Like a lot of parents, I’m obsessed with my kid’s education. Even when we play videogames, I try to steer us to titles that have even a slim thread of educational value. Machinarium teaches you to solve puzzles. Pokémon makes you do arithmetic. The kid in Papo & Yo speaks Portuguese. So, there’s a tiny flake of learning in every game we play.
The king of not-really-educational games, the behemoth that I’ve been keeping in my back pocket since the day my son was born, is the Civilization franchise. If you’re a gamer parent, you probably have it on your list as well. You save it until your kid is old enough to enjoy it and, natch, conquer it – because nothing would make you happier than watching your child master its strategies, assimilate its lessons and rise to its challenge as a player who’s empathetic, wise and strong. (more…)