Guilt-free gaming and children's day

Posted by on July 12, 2010 at 12:18 am.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are spending time with family. Yeah, yeah, I know… they can annoy the heck out of me at times. But, they were always there, and I knew that my parents really loved my brother and myself.

My family is extremely important to me. When it comes to down time, I really enjoy including my daughter in many of our activities. She’s a great kid; I love hanging out with her. So yes, at times what I enjoy is tweaked a bit to ensure she’s having a great time too. Now that I think about it, I imagine that’s one of the reasons why I simply cannot get too wrapped up in gaming, especially MMORPG’s, as much as I enjoy playing them. Gaming is one of my guilty pleasures, and it’s something you’ll occasionally see me doing when my daughter is sleeping or preoccupied.

That’s why I enjoy the shorter video games, like First Person Shooters. The story lines don’t last too long. MMORPG’s, can be a huge time sink (if you let it) and they have that social aspect going along with it. I’ve met so many great folks in the few games I’ve played, but it can get time-consuming. When I was playing World of Warcraft, I could have easily spent hours kicking some night elf or human butt in a Battleground, but I didn’t.

Now that I think about it, even if I were truly single, I wouldn’t be spending too much time in the gaming fantasy world, because I still would feel guilty. Crazy, I know. Why is that? As much as I hate to admit it, if I linger in a game too long, I feel guilty wasting my time in the gaming world.

At times I gently reprimand myself, thinking of the other ways I could better use my time to do something ‘constructive’.

  • I could be working out
  • I could be writing an article
  • I could be working on some designs
  • I could social networking for my business
  • I could be reading

Well, you get the idea, and if you have a guilty pleasure, perhaps you’ve done something similar? After a few hours you’ll find me (regretfully at times) looking to do something creative. Besides, when my daughter is awake and not occupied the last thing I want to be doing is escaping into some magical fantasy world. I want to be ‘here’ if she needs me.

I know a lot of the guilt has to do with how my brother and I were raised. My parents, when not working, spent a lot of time with us and that has left a major impact on the way I interact with my daughter. I really enjoyed knowing that my parents were ‘there’ whenever I needed them. They included us in there interests and actively encouraged our own.

This week, my daughter is bursting with excitement! I told her I’m bringing her to my gym. My daughter knows how important fitness is. It makes you feel good, it’s good for you, and it increases your energy level. She knows that exercise can be a lot of fun too. Our exercise usually involves games. It doesn’t feel like exercise to her, and it’s a lot of fun! There are some games we play inside; others are done outside. Regardless of the weather, we got our physical activities covered

Anyway, childrens’ day at my gym is set aside for Tuesday, Thursday, Saturdays. Although it isn’t all day, the hours are enough to play in the pool. Although she was at my gym when she was three, she really doesn’t remember too much about it, and so I’m sure our first trip will be a tour of some of the equipment mommy uses. My daughter is excited and has already changed her swimming outfit a few times. You want to know something, I’m sure it will change again before we head to the gym this Tuesday.

Finding a happy medium can be challenging; Work, family, personal time. etc., Sometimes it seems impossible to make it all fit, right? However, I think I’ve finally stumbled upon what works for my daughter and myself. A few hours a week you can find me escaping into the gaming world, it’s simply one of the ways I spend my personal time.

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Family, Fitness, Moondancer


  • kaozz says:

    I’ve been playing MMO games in particular since EQ came out. The media was very harsh on players calling them addicts and fiends and really it’s stuck in the back of our minds. I don’t feel guilty but I see a lot of people who do. I’m a gamer it’s what I do, tough ‘petunias’ if anyone doesn’t like it. I’m sick of the negativity.

    I sit at home and play games in the evening beside my son. He knows where I am- right beside him. We even play together. We do other things but I am trying to make a point. My sons best friend’s mother wouldn’t ever play games instead she goes out and drinks the night away, leaves the kids home for a week while her and the father go on vacation. The kids sit and play video games to have someone to talk to at night. I sit home playing games with my son while their father slices open his arm in a drunken rage. I think I’d rather be the gamer. I don’t drink or do drugs, I sit home with my family and game.

    I will drop what I am doing if someone comes to the door, my son needs me and so on. Life happens, we have to have willpower to be decent in any situation. You don’t feel guilty watching TV or reading a book, but gaming is making you feel guilty? I’m not attacking you, it’s the mentality that just kills me.

    If you could be doing other things then gaming just might not be for you. It’s just like any other hobby.


  • Moondancer says:

    @kaozz – Oh I don’t watch too much television, lol. It’s something we didn’t do as a child. My parents took the tv out of the house when I was five, we didn’t see another until I was about fifteen. When we got it, Iw ould watch tv occasionally but it never really held my interest. So yes the limited TV watching has carried over until this present day. My daughter doesn’t watch too much of it either, I’m sure that has a lot to do with myself.

    It’s really hard for me to sit still, so three hours is my limit. Do I feel guilty about reading? No not really it’s usually something educational ot something to enhance myself. although for me that’s still fun) or something to enhance me in a certain way. When it comes to personal time I tend to feel guilty about that since I’m usually doing something for others.

    Hmm… perhaps I’m not explaining myself clearly. Perhaps I’ll elaborate in anaother post? I do like gaming, but there are so many other things I like also. So for me spending time doing one thing repeatedly can get monotonous. For the record, I feel the same way about clothing design, beading, soapmaking, easy reading, etc., Gaming isn’t the only thing that gets that treatment, but since it was on my mind it’s what I wrote about. This website is part personal thoughts and hopefully sharing recipes that others might like.

    Is there anything wrong with gaming? No it’s a nice passtime, and the creativity does kick in for me there too. 🙂 I’ve been actively gaming since I was about fourteen, twenty-five years later I still enjoy it but there are so many other things I enjoy too, I want a taste of them all. I realize I cannot do them all at once. I wish I could!

    I still pop on a few hours and play Torchlight (excited that it might be made into a MMO) and eventally I’ll try out Lord of The Rings Online, simply because I really really love the book. I know it won’t be exactly like the book, but it will be nice to step into the LOTRO gaming community even if my time there is brief.

    My personal time is very limited so I tend to break it up into the multitude of activities that I do enjoy, lol. When I do feel guilty about doing one particular thing, I tend to take that as a sign to do something else. This time, I’m just cutting back on gaming. Once I get back into beading, yeah I’ll cut back on that (eventually) too. Yes, I’ [m a butterfly too. I flit from one flower (activity) to another savor the time I spend with a particular activity before sampling something else, lol.

    For the record, I really enjoyed hanging out with you in WoW, and it was one of the few times I didn’t look at the time. I didn’t feel guilty about that. If I lived nearby, I would be budding you about hanging out now and again. You’re a positive soul; heck you would keep me up with the gaming culture when I had to take a back seat. Here’s hoping we connect in another game somewhere in the future. 😉


  • kaozz says:

    Oh not directing at you personally but it’s commonly something pointed at gaming that we should feel shame. You are a busy person I know! You have so much energy- pass some this way hehe. Jk! I also am selfish and miss reading your MMO blog as well 😉

    LoTRO might be pretty good. I am trying DAoC again and met some fantastic people already. It’s so good I wish I could get the ol’ man to play it with me. More about that tomorrow. I wanted to pop back in and make sure I didn’t sound like some ranting old woman to you heh.


  • Moondancer says:

    @kaozz – Yeah gaming/gamers tend to get shafted. It’s seen by some as childs play. Games has a large audience, so it’s not just children that find games appealing.

    There are lots of responsible gamers out there. 😉 I do remember when Big Red Kitty wrote about stepping back from gaming. I admired him for easing up on his WoW time and spending more time with his family. I would have linked to the actual post, but he’s made a fresh start, so am unable to do so. Although hunters aren’t my top class, I enjoyed reading his writings about them. It was obvious he is passionate about him, and he did inspire me to recreate another Hunter. I had dumped my night elf hunter long ago. I recreated a female orc Survival Hunter, whom I took all the way to 80. Although I’m not playing WoW anymore, I’ll continue to check him out since I enjoy his writing style. He also games on a Mac (as a fellow Mac user I think that’s cool!)

    At times, people can lose sight of their priorities. Sometimes we don’t even know it, I’ve been there myself, not with gaming but other aspects within my life. That can cause problems. Unfortunately, since gaming does have a negative stigma attached to it. The media tends to focus ont he negative aspects of gaming, and seem to want to label us all that way. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way! I guess that’s one of the reasons I squeezed normal posts into my gaming blog, to show for those who have those stereotypes that gamers do normal things too. It’s another reason why I post about more than vegan things here. It’s part of whom I am, but it’s not all of me. I’m more than that, we should judge people as individuals not some label. Which at times can be inaccurate. 🙂

    Oh, I’ll be chatting about gaming from time to time. I’ll squeeze it in here. I still need to add screenshots of Torchlight. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to play it as much as I would like. It’s a nice game, but I don’t know whether it’s something I would play long-term.


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