So Is Your Mum!

My Mum is a gamer. I don’t mean she has a DS and likes to play Brain Training to keep her mind active. I don’t mean she has a Bejeweled addiction or likes to beat everyone at Wii Bowling at Christmas. These are of course all great ways to game and I am ecstatic that these games can appeal to an otherwise ignored demographic. My Mum isn’t that type of gamer though. My Mum is a hardcore gamer. How hardcore? She’s more hardcore than you. No really, she is. If you’re reading this that means you aren’t playing a game right now. She is.

It started back when we got an Atari 2600 for Christmas when I was a kid. She wanted her turn. Not just a turn but every turn that she could legitimately claim. A few years later we got an Amstrad CPC6128 and a family of gamers were born. I was completely hooked on Kung Fu Master and Ghostbusters. I’d come home from school and all my high scores on Winter Games would have been beaten by my Mum. Then we discovered Jet Set Willy and Starquake. She’d uncover whole new sections of the Starquake map and add the transporter codes to a little bit of paper we taped to the monitor. Once games started to be marketed more squarely at kids she kinda lost interest and whole console generations passed her by.


It wasn’t until my sister and I were upgrading from PlayStations to PS2s that she got her game on again and even then she could have so easily missed out if I’d gone about it the wrong way. I suggested to her that being older and not working, gaming might be an interesting hobby for her and that she could have my old PSOne. It’s a time sink and if she was going to spend all that time in front of the telly anyway she might as well be interacting with what was happening on the screen. I knew the key was to get her past the controller issue. I bought her a Bust-a-Move 4 so she could learn to press a few simple buttons and keep her head up and not looking at the controller. She took to it more quickly than I thought. Within a couple of days she asked me to get her “that Lara Croft”. I did and the rest is history. It wasn’t even a month before she said she wanted the same console my sister and I had. From that day to this she has voraciously consumed every game she could get her hands on. She went through the platformer stage, shooters, FPS games, survival horror, RPGs and MMORPGs.

Golden Choc sThe thing is because she’s retired and her kids are grown up and left home she has an incredible amount of time on her hands. The result is that she is, when it comes down to it, a much bigger gamer than I am. She plays more games, more thoroughly and across more consoles. I remember when she first finished Final Fantasy VII and she patly said, “Yeah, that was a good one. What’s next, VIII?” I said, “But Mum you’ve only had it a few weeks, you must have missed out loads! Did you get Yuffie?”

“The one who steals? Yep.”

“What about the  weapons, Ultimate and Ruby and Emerald and all that?”

“Up in the sky and under the water? Yep.”

“So that means you got a Golden Chocobo then?”

“For the Knights of Round thingy? Yep”

My mum's avatar

That’s how most of our conversations go about games. She doesn’t pay any attention to what characters are called or even the names of the games. She asked me at the start of the year if she should get that game with the girl with glasses on in it – “Vienetta”. Her casual attitude is so massively at odds with her vast experience of gaming it’s in turns funny and frustrating!

There’s no denying though that in a family of three generations of passionate gamers she is, if you’ll pardon the expression, ‘the daddy’. Here’s one more story that illustrates the point rather neatly. One night I was playing some Rainbow Six on Live and someone in the room asked me if I had played the latest Guild Wars expansion. I said I hadn’t but that my Mum may have. I said that hoping for the shock reaction of “Your Mum plays Guild Wars?!” Instead he said “Yeah, I know. I’m in her Guild”.







5 responses to “So Is Your Mum!”

  1. Jake avatar

    And she totally looks like her avatar.

  2. Simon avatar

    I want to play some games with your mum. I think she would be a good influence on me.

  3. Kirsten avatar

    Well she does sometimes play the games that people on the internet do together. She liked that one with the space shooting and the guy in a helmet – Chief Man or something like that. Oh yeah and that Call Me Fruity and Car Thief thing -ummm CTG, although it is a bit violent.

  4. Tina avatar

    I am crying with laughter at my work!

  5. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    Does she have a bigger gamerscore than you? And when you get too tired, do you ask your mum to review games too? 😀

    My dad still needs my help to get the menu screen off the cable box when he accidently presses the menu button. I would be tearing my hair out if I were to try and get him into gaming.

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