Tips to Help Your Teen Break Away from the NPC Video Game Life

Tips to Help Your Teen Break Away from the NPC Video Game Life

What is a NON-PLAYER CHARACTER (NPC)?

So many games these days have people or characters in the background to fill space and even have things to say to make the game that much more realistic. The NPC is pre-programmed to respond a certain way and will never actually play in the game by a live person.

Many teens and young adults are living like this non-player character as they spend most of their free time focused on a fake world inside a TV screen. They are living their life through a video game and not getting the chance to experience what real life can be like.

So I am 42 years old

and yes from time to time, I find myself playing a popular game called Smash Bro’s with my boys and I have to admit, it is very fun, however, after about 30 min, I have had my fill and I am ready to move on to something else.

When I was a teen, I was absolutely hooked on Nintendo and I will never forget when me and my friends would stay up all night just to beat a game. I was 14 years old and in my Nintendo flow state, I only focused on solving the next problem to get to the next level.  The only other goal we had that night was to polish off the tray of brownies we figured out how to make after everyone had gone to sleep.

That’s what we did on the weekends

until later in high school and then sports kind of took over for a while.  So, I totally get the hype and excitement that comes with these video games, but I am now seeing a major problem with this generation that I only saw traces of it when I was a teen.

There is a disconnect with the real world and because there are so many realistic scenes in these games, many teens just jump into this video game world and think they are now contributing to real society.

The Solution?

Smash the video game consoles with a large hammer and then throw the pieces into a Vitamix blender…HA! Well, maybe not. There is only one way in my opinion out of this video game war.

We have to go into their world, engage with them the best that we know how, and then pull them into our world again. With tough love and respect, we fight for their attention. After all, they are the future of this country. There is a careful balance in my opinion of video game time playtime and real-life playtime that includes real people.

Let me show you a real-life example:

Recently, I bought a small fishing boat thinking that my boys would just throw their fishing stuff into the truck and then off we go. Well, they showed some interest in the boat, but not until I played in their world for a while did I get the excitement to do the boat thing.

See, I believe our teens just need us to be interested in their world for a minute, listen to them, and be simply present in their lives. Check out our recent fishing video that shows the challenge and excitement of bringing in the biggest fish they have ever caught.

Seeing their reactions is priceless… It wasn’t easy breaking away from what I was doing with work, but I’m so I glad that I did. The experience was so worth it.

It doesn’t have to be a long dramatic event,

but maybe just ask if you can play their game and make an effort to learn what they are interested in. This is a sacrifice for most parents, but worth the fight to make that connection.

My wife and our 3 boys like to do things like fishing, working out, cooking, swimming, or one of these activities almost every week. We look forward to living real life together and making memories.

I feel like most parents would love to see their kids do these types of activities to cope with the hard times in life compared to hiding out in the video game world. I believe we will start to win the hearts of our teens, one day at a time…

Ben Waggoner

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