“The soul is healed by being with children.”
Ok so full confession: this is not my son’s first introduction to gaming, defined by actually holding the controller and manipulating characters on the screen himself. That honor goes to The Legend of Zelda. Raise your kids on the classics and they’ll appreciate the context.
However, this is a text-heavy game and my little 3-year-old boy, first name Kal, is learning to read. Like his father before him, he can take this opportunity to expand his vocabulary through interactive entertainment! I remember expanding mine with games like Breath of Fire and EarthBound, and while I don’t know that he’s quite ready for RPGs, I think Stardew Valley represents a great starting point!
I’m also inviting readers, friends, and fans to participate! I’ll toss out questions now and then on Twitter (@thewellredmage) and I’ve left some polls here where you can help us make the big decisions.
Here’s what we started with:
I’ve already made Standard Farms to death, and I’ve done Forest and Hill-Top Farms, so that left us with Riverland and Wilderness for this outing. “My favorite color is blue, daddy,” so that helped us pick Riverland. From then on, we went with a favorite thing that would give us the theme of our farm (initially, Kal said “Christmas” but we had a talk about it). He did pick the cat over the dog because he takes after his father, who knows what’s up.
Thanks to everybody who suggested farm names! I didn’t quite find the perfect one there, so I ultimately went with one that would fit our theme. I’m going to be naming pets, animals, etc. after video game characters, so if you have a suggestion as to what names we should give for our 1st chicken, 1st cow, sheep, duck, horse, and so on, let me know! This just adds a little extra layer of fun and I’ll keep you updated as to our progress.
On to the big question!
I’m really looking forward to this.
Actually, I’ve wanted to be able to play video games with my son since the day he was born. I think there’s so much to be gained by seeing the world through the eyes of a child, even a digital world! In some way, that echoes the core of Stardew Valley’s premise: leaving the unhappy, cynical emptiness of nightmarish corporate existence in the modern world and having closer, simpler connections to people and to nature.
Games are for everyone,
-The Well-Red Mage
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