Out of the House Round-Up: Video Game Addiction, Losing Cable TV & a Very Manly Changing Table

Audrey Snow Pants

All this staying-at-home has made me a little stir crazy. Let’s take a look around the internets, shall we?

Kids These Days and Their Video Games

How much gaming is too much?  “My 2 Year Old Is Addicted to Video Games” is a good glimpse into the life of a father who grew up with video games and is now dealing with the fallout, in the form of his three game crazy kids.  I can relate too.  I still harbor fond memories of booting up the Commodore 64 and waiting 45 minutes for “Ghosts and Goblins” to load up.  I can vividly recall the very moment my father brought home a Nintendo Entertainment System, complete with Super Mario, Duck Hunt, and that track and field game that you needed a giant floor pad to play.  It was like stepping out into Oz.  The world was no longer black and white.

Instead, it was pixelated.

Now I don’t want to sound like a stereotypical geriatric here, but things are admittedly different these days.  Gaming is no longer an activity for a small niche audience.  Now it’s ubiquitous, as are the devices you can play them on.  My wife and I have learned to be very cautious about our use of the iPad and iPhone around Audrey, but the dam will surely break.  Eventually games—whether on a mobile device or the Xbox—will seep into her life and there will be no going back.  And with a son on the way, it will be increasingly difficult to manage their screen time.

How much concern is warranted though?  Are video games a scourge and a rot on the brain?  What are the long term effects?  No one has a definitive answer here, and likely won’t for quite some time, if at all.  Still, as illustrated in this piece, addiction to games and devices can deprive us of the day-to-day joys in life.  And that is something I can be sure I don’t want.  [National At-Home Dad Network]

Cutting the Cord on Cable

Going from a two-income household to just one isn’t easy.  Sacrifices must be made and cable TV is a good place to start.  “Requiem for Food Network & Travel Channel” knows this all too well.  While I can’t say I share the same fondness for those two particular channels, I do understand the fear of cutting the cord.  My wife has been busy sprinkling little reminders that we’ll need to shut it off soon, and while I agree with her, I haven’t exactly been pushing the process forward.  My hope is that I can make it two more weeks because that’s how much longer “The Walking Dead” has in store for this season.  After that we can shut it off and live on Netflix (and maybe Hulu) for a while.

I must admit, however, that while I do dread this change in my daily life, there is a (small) part of me that does welcome it.  Perhaps less “boob tubing” will lead to more productivity and a better me!  Perhaps it will make me more appreciative of the things that truly matter most in life.  Perhaps it will even make me a better dad.  In other words, maybe I’ll be okay after all.

That is until “Breaking Bad” comes back on, of course!  [Undead Dad]

At Least I Can Still Watch TV at the Changing Table…

Somewhere out there, in the bowels of the Dove corporate offices, there’s a genius who likely initiated the following exchange:

GENIUS:  “I know how to sell our products to men!  We put TVs in men’s room changing tables!”

CORPORATE SUIT:  “That…  Is…  Genius!  Men should be watching TV instead of their children’s exposed bits.  Here’s a million dollars!”

Yup, that’s probably exactly how this idea was born.  “Dove Men+Care Blows It With Ultimate Gameday Change Table” doesn’t find it to be such a fantastic idea though, and I’m inclined to agree.  Look, I don’t hate the idea of a TV in the changing table—especially at a sports arena—but I don’t like the insinuation that men will be more likely to do the job if there is one.  Plus, can’t we go a few minutes from time to time without the warm, glowing warming glow of the television?  Mmm?

I didn’t think so.  [Dad-Camp]

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