A Guide to the World of Computer Gamers’ Psyche for Clueless Dads

by Harsh Kushwah

World of Computer Games for Clueless Dads

The editor of menPsyche, and former gaming addict, explains the psyche of computer gamers to help hapless Dads struggling to understand their kid’s obsession.

1. Psyche of Gaming Kids

Not every kid will be a sportstar or the class topper. Some kids are better at other things that require a totally different skill set. For some kids (and adults), there is a challenge and comradery to be found in the world of computer games. And because you can play rain or shine in the comfort of your own space, it can become an enjoyable ‘second reality’ and an addictive place to keep trying to beat your best.

Why Do Kids Love Computer Games?

As kids, many of us grow up listening to the stories of heroes, adventurers and explorers. 

Gaming allows kids to experience those characters and their ‘heroics’ before they become adults (and maybe do it in real life!).

valorant play valorant

Kids are more capable of processing new data. It is a part of their learning brain.

I’m sorry to have to highlight this, but their processing skills might be superior to their parents. Childhood curiosity is piqued, and some kids seek different sources to explore, hence the fascination with the new worlds computer games provide.

Since most games allow the kids to explore without getting hurt (at least physically), there is often less parental supervision or involvement required, thus allowing the kids an element of freedom.

Also, computer games are a great way for kids who have trouble associating with other people to have some fun and feel ‘normal’. In my experience, the kids who were more introverted felt safe with an online clique.

As a dad, you might not see the signs of your kid not fitting into society. The kid might be getting bullied. They might not be able to focus on their studies. They might be overwhelmed with new surroundings (new schools, new city, new people or even new teaching methodology).

I used games for coping. 

As a parent, you can too.

And you can also bond with your kid over games.

god of war we do it together son

My father, for example, has built an entire empire on “Clash of Clans” which he plays on mobile. 

(I am not that into mobile games. So we don’t clash over those games. 😉

Back to the talk on gaming…

How I Became A ‘Gamer’

I was raised in a highly competitive environment. As a result, I had a strong push to learn new skills and attempted to master many different domains.

However, due to the restriction of wearing spectacles, I found my activity options limited. 

One activity that I could do was playing computer games. It didn’t matter the physical limitations. I began to discover new skills and realised I could apply my talents in other ways.

In those days it was not easy to even source the computer games, but somehow I managed to start playing and learning the rules and tactics.

I rented CDs and used ‘Emulators’ (these emulated the version of the game I wanted to play on my system).

And I also found a group of friends who exchanged CDs.

A kid got to play. 😉 

Growing up, I was fascinated with FPS (first-person shooting) games and RPGs (role-playing games).

It started with PC games such as Metal Gear Solid, Golden Eye, Counter-Strike 1.6 etc.

Age of Empires also became one of my favourites. I played until University.

Frankly, I couldn’t get into MMORPGs (massive multimedia online role-playing games). Since I didn’t have better graphics cards, processors etc. and internet connectivity was at its nascent stage in my country, I mostly played single-player games.

I did try games like Neverwinter Nights, but it was too much for my HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) mind and too complicated.

I still can’t fathom how people play DOTA, World of Warcraft, Elden Ring etc. It’s way out of my league.

Commandos got me into strategic video games, mostly based on Special Forces etc.

I then started the exploration of the entire range of games.

Roller-Coaster Tycoon (loved making difficult rides, often intersecting each other), Max Payne (still remember the “slow-mo” shooting), Hitman, etc. become part of life. 

GTA Vice City did cost me dearly in school examinations. For that, I still blame my school-mate!

I played Call of Duty for hours until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Then, walking like a zombie, falling on the bed, after feeling dizzy, getting up early in the morning and playing it again.

I may not eat – it’s not really not that important when a game is on the line!

gaming timmy turner

If I wanted to play a console game on my PC, I looked for appropriate Emulators.

Finding games and playing games – That was my childhood.

2. Gaming Glossary – Basic Gaming Terms

Before we go any further and lose you completely, here are a few definitions for those Dads with no gaming knowledge:

  • PC – Personal Computer (Windows)
  • Console – A device for playing computer games (ie. Playstation, X-box etc)
  • Cheat Codes – Command prompt that enables special features or access to parts of a game
  • PS – Playstation 

Console Communication ‘Chat’ Terms:

The conversations on the gaming chat sites will sound like a different language! Often heavily involving abbreviations and acronyms – 

  • GG –  good game
  • GL – good luck
  • AFK – away from keyboard
  • HF – have fun
  • DC – disconnect
  • QQ – crying

Check out more gaming abbreviations here.

Every game has its own Short Codes, Chat Abbreviations etc. Every gaming community also has their own. It will take you some time to learn. However, trying basic ones with the other players will go a long way.

3. Tips to Play with Your Kids

If your kid shows interest in you joining in the fun, here are a few tips to help you get into the world of gaming:

Server Etiquette

  • Command Prompt Talk (Chat)

There is always a chat window where you can talk to your teammates or the entire server.

Learning the basics of Command Prompt Talk goes a long way to being able to talk to people from different countries and age groups as you are talking to a username.

  • Be cordial to people, or else you will get banned.

Moderators are often the old pro-gamers. Teach your kids the same.

General Tips

  • To play online games with your kid, try mobile games.
  • Be ready to handle defeat. Enjoy the game with your kid. Be a role model for appropriate behaviour.

How to Talk to Your Kids about Gaming

Depending on your child, it might be worth trying the following:

  • Some kids may not want you to enter ‘their world’ – if you sense resistance, back off and let them be. Find an alternative place or activity to talk to your kids (ie. dinner time)
  • If they are willing, ask them to explain the game they are playing
  • Try not to judge the content of the games (unless they are underage and playing an inappropriate game). It is a game and there are elements of fantasy.
  • Start a game and ask your kid if he or she can help you with a particular part. It will demonstrate to them that you are willing to talk about games and play with them.

4. Learn About Gaming

Check out the following great gaming channels to (try) and understand the psyche of the gamers. If you do your research, you might one day triumph in a game over your kids! 

Best Gaming YouTube Channels

  1. iFerg

This is a recommendation from my ‘old’ team member. 

In modern times, the games have become too fast for me. I can’t play that much but I liked to watch the top players and their gameplay.

Some of the best gameplay I have seen was on Batman – Arkham Night and the entire series.

So, I am listing my best eSports channels/ teams on YouTube

  1. fNatic

I have been their fan for over a decade. Their team management, their brand management and especially their logo had a huge influence on me. I think watching their marketing helped me understand branding and creating this platform.

Even though I haven’t been up-to-date with their current achievements, I still am an ardent fan of this team. 

“Consistency” is hard to maintain.

fNatic is still standing.

Check out their YouTube Channel.

  1. Soviet Womble

Channel Link

Who says one person can’t bring people together and make them talk aloud their “bullsh*t” commentary on YouTube.

I don’t know whether his stories are true, but I certainly think he is a master storyteller.

YouTube channels, especially gameplays with commentary, are hard. Keeping the attention of its fast-thinking audience is extremely difficult.

I think the attention of a gamer is less than a goldfish. (Maybe they have a higher ‘refresh’ rate?).

Check out its “Random Bullshittery” series.

Editing – Amazing.

Captioning – Brilliant

Guests – Aliens.

I often watched his videos when I was feeling low or alone. Listening to his gameplay will certainly make you chuckle.

Take a look at the different ways you feel alone.

P.S.- Don’t eat or drink while listening to them. You will definitely spill something or choke.

  1. Batman- Arkham Asylum

There is a long list of people who release their gameplay of this game and the series.

I have watched them for hours and hours.

It’s like watching a Limited Series marathon of Batman.

Try the entire series-

  • Arkham City
  • Arkham Knight
  • Arkham Origins
  1. Gaming Bible

You will love their star commentary and take on most of the games.

5. Safe Gaming

Adults regularly get scammed online. And kids can be especially vulnerable.

Online communities do have boundaries and bad characters. 

Instead of getting paranoid about what you hear, try to educate yourself. 

Just as you visit a school or university to get your kids admitted, check the gaming world before you make a decision or an assumption.

Help your kid to learn the online boundaries. Educate yourself to understand the gaming world. 

Most online gamers are in the virtual world because the ‘real’ world can be taxing. 

The gaming experience can help a kid learn new skills. They can learn communication skills, team building and coordination, improve their reflexes and learn the importance of community.

You can join Online Gaming Communities to learn more about it. Try Reddit.

These communities do share the essential security tips you can learn to safeguard your kids.

Learn about Cybersecurity, Phishing, and other scams.

Even older generation who are getting into gaming can be susceptible to such dangers. 


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