Did you ever play games with your dad?
I could never figure my dad out. He never showed much interest in the games, and would only play on rare occasions. But when he did play, he had a HECK of a good time! I remember him laughing his ass off sometimes while playing.
Not sure why he didn't play more often but I suspect he thought it was just a kid thing.
Being an old fart here (45), I can remember my father proudly bringing home the TI 99/4A as the "gaming" system to surprise the urchins. He was a programmer at that time (Ohio Bell \ AT&T) and wanted us to learn about computing as well as enjoy some games. That being said, he was never that interested in participating unless it was something that I actually wrote in BASIC (using books from my local library to guide me through it).
In later years, he was somewhat interested in racing games (he is a piston head) but still never spent a great deal of time playing video games with me. He would jump in when my buddies were over to garner a few laughs, but overall he never did embrace nor understand the entertainment alternative that this medium provides.
There's a local arcade that's still around here, Connecticut Golf Land, and I have fond memories of going with him and always playing the cockpit version of Star Wars. I mean ALWAYS. I was hardcore into Star Wars as a kid and it was my go-to game. As usual he was stuck on Pac-Man.
At our local pizza place, we'd always show up early to eat potato chips and play Ms. Pac-Man. They had a cocktail table version of the game. Every time we got a pizza, we were on that machine.
When I was seven we got an Atari 2600. It was well past it's heyday and everybody was getting NES systems but that's what we had. The great thing about it was the price of games - we ended up with 185 different games for the system. His favorite game was River Raid, but Combat and Keystone Kapers were also mainstays.
In the 90's he sort of fell away from gaming. We got an SNES for Christmas one year and although he played Super Mario World he wasn't into it like the old games. In my opinion it was due to the lack of pick up and play.
I'm 32 now and he's seen examples of all generations - almost always Star Wars games, heh. But he didn't care to play so much as check out the new technology.
Two years ago he played the Wii for the first time at my cousin's house and was hooked. He started talking about gaming again, and was eager to play every chance he got. I spoke with my mother and we bought him a Wii with an extra controller and charger for Father's Day. Since then, he's been back into gaming in a big way. He plays weekly with his friend Danny; they have late night sessions and tournaments. He loves Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and Sega Bass Fishing.
I'm glad I was able to get him back into gaming, because his love of games made them a big part of my life.
We started playing together during the N64-generation; quite a bit of Goldeneye and chasing each other's high scores on Namco Museum. Galaga was a big deal, until he did that one "no enemy shooting" glitch wherein he wiped out any sort of score I could muster.
This gen, when I'm at my parents' house, my Dad will occasionally challenge me to Wii Sports. Other than that ...
Then one November day in 2006 I stood in line at a K mart to be the first in my town to bring home a Nintendo Wii and from then on my parents were addicted once again. They were super pissed at me when I sold the Wii a couple of years latter. But I dug out my old Atari out of the closet and hooked it up to one of my dads old Black and white tube sets he had lying around and when ever we get together with all the kids and in laws and stuff now, my nieces and nephews enjoy playing atari games at grandmas house but I never see my parents turn it on.
Its the same with Star Wars, my parents got me hooked on that and then all of a sudden one day they just decided they liked Star Trek better and got rid of their star wars tapes and replaced them with the boxed set of trek movies and TOS. I asked my mom about both occurrences once, why they stopped playing games and when they stopped liking star wars, she told me when us kids grew up they out grew that stuff. Now all they do is sit around watching the Waltons on their HDTV complaining about how technology has taken over the world.
I remeber my Dad playing Dr. Mario a good bit on the Gameboy. He also played some 2600 Battlezone with my brother for awhile. And once I got him and my Mother hooked on the free to play version of Bookworm. He was never very much into any of it for very long though. He'd look to see what we were doing, and then, like with Dr. Mario, if something caught his attention, he'd play for a few days. I can't say he ever got "into" games though.
He does really like Wii Sports though as I've said here before. He also likes one of the Tiger Woods games on there that my sister has.
One thing I will say is that he always gives games a chance. He will always watch what I'm playing if he is around, and doesn't ever call it a waste of time or anything. Him and Mom were down for all of last week because my wife was out of province and I needed someone to watch the kids while I was at work. I played Team Fortress 2 every night for about an hour, and he'd always come out to see what was going on. The first night he was like "where's that, Afganastan?" and I explained that it wasn't "that type of game. In fact, I am trying to capture the inside of a barn right now." Not even a raised eyebrow. He also asked why the guys I was shooting weren't dying. I said "because I'm a medic. I heal people." and then had to explain why everyone on the other team was essentially hunting the Red Cross.
As a Father, I am really looking forward to playing games with my kids (currently 3 years and 5 months respectively).
Nowadays, he plays Tiger Woods 12 on the Wii, as well as a couple of fishing games, and wii sports bowling, but i obviously do not live with him anymore, so i dont play these games with him.