Explaining Video Games To Your Mom

Hey big fella! Feeling pretty good about yourself, are you? Think you’re a big shot art director, huh? I’ll bet you think everyone’s as in love with you as YOU are.

OK. Let’s take a little test.

Try explaining what you do to an old person .

Nothing takes the wind out of your sails faster than attempting to explain the making of a video game to someone who's lived through The Depression and used a rotary phone. Because nothing you say will adequately answer the one question they have:

HOW do you get your DRAWINGS in the GAME?

By the end of the conversation, YOU won’t even know what you do.

If I could see inside my mom’s head, I’m pretty sure this would be how she pictures video games: 


I want to be clear here: This is NOT oldie bashing. I love old people. Some of my best friends are old people. I actually respect the fact that they know nothing about games, and, for the most part, couldn’t care less.* Their confusion lends perspective. When I feel like throwing a hissy-fit because the character modeler can’t seem to get the dinosaur mouth looking just right, I try to see it through my mom’s eyes, and realize how silly it is.  (Seriously, though, why can’t he get it? “Make it look like a prehistoric Joker” is pretty clear direction, right?)  

(*This does not apply to my dad, for some reason. He’s in his 80’s and has a weirdly solid grasp on technology. He pops up in chat windows when I’m on Facebook occasionally, which is a little disconcerting. The guy even has an Instagram account! I really hope he’s not on Tinder...)

Most conversations I’ve had with older people about games has gone the same way every time:


Geoff CoatesComment