One of life’s realities is that kids and parents don’t always see eye to eye on everything. Perhaps nowhere is the generational divide more apparent than in the world of online gaming.
Parents can be forgiven for feeling out of the loop when it comes to today’s video games – after all, it’s reasonable to expect that someone who grew up playing Pac-man and Frogger at the arcade would be at least a bit disoriented by today’s all-immersive wonders of graphical wizardry, which exist in entire worlds built separately from reality.
For parents to be up to speed with modern gaming might be bit much to ask. Fortunately, there are other ways to bridge the gaming gap. Parents looking to find common virtual ground with their children can take comfort in the fact that there is an entire space devoted to memes making light of the relationship between parents and kids in the gaming space.
Not surprisingly, the theme is generally centered around the older generation’s humorous and sometimes cringeworthy lack of understanding when it comes to games.
So, if you’re not able to identify with your kids’ experiences in the world of Skyrim and the battlegrounds of Valorant, at least you can share a good laugh with them over these memes about parents.
Here are five of the memes that we’ve deemed especially LOL-worthy for parents to bring up with their kids.
This might be the quintessential dad meme. The template is a charmingly crude stick-figure drawing of a father – sporting an old-fashioned hat while smoking, for maximum effect – walking in on his son, who is in the midst of some form of virtual adventure that is both presumably engrossing and nuanced and asking him a question that would only come from a clueless dad: Are ya winning, son?
There’s probably a lot of subtext to unpack within this time regarding the fluidity of societal norms and our often ill-conceived attempts to relate our children’s interests to our own childhood. But essentially, this is about the dad who’s overly simple interacting with a kid who’s overly advanced, at least in the world of gaming. If this meme rings true to you…well, there’s always time for self-reflection.
This is a meme that will undoubtedly make many parents bristle at the memory of arguments over the amount of time their kids spent playing games. And it must be mentioned that parents do have a habit of blaming their kids’ failures on reasons that are perhaps more convenient than anything else. Of the multiple variations of this meme, the unifying theme is that parents love to attribute a universe of shortcomings to the supposed brain-decaying effects of playing video games.
It may be heartening for parents to know that there is actually some evidence that playing video games is at least better for cognitive development than watching television. If that’s no consolation, it’s also worth noting that the professional eSports leagues are a rapidly growing phenomenon currently comprising a market worth over $1 billion and rising. The stars of these leagues undergo training as intense as any professional athlete, logging thousands of hours of gameplay to reach elite status. So, parents can take heart that their kid’s video game habit might actually be job training for the future.
Remember what we said about video games being better for you than television? That was before we got to the part where we explain that kids these days do, in fact, watch video games as passive observers. This meme highlights this practice as well as the mild hypocrisy of the parent who derides it and then goes on to sit in front of a screen with moving images.
There are few more reliable sources of humor than out-of-touch parents clinging to outdated notions about how things are supposed to be, particularly when it comes to technology. Logically, the existence of eSports leagues means that watching video games as a spectator is a valid activity – but that’s often lost on parents who insist that games are to be played and television is to be watched. And here’s where we’re obligated to reiterate the ultimate punchline of these memes: What is the difference, really?
Here’s a meme constructed with an elegant logic that is sure to make kids nod their heads in agreement and parents roll their eyes in frustration. The gist of the argument that Captain Hindsight (of South Park fame) makes is that if you set a rule that video games can only be played on the weekend, you should not be surprised when video games are played a lot on the weekend.
Parents might make the counterargument that the whole idea of the weekend-only restriction is to reduce the overall time spent on video games and that to play games excessively on the weekend is to knowingly flout the whole spirit of the rule.
The ultimate lesson here, perhaps, is that kids sometimes take things more literally than parents.
The last meme on our list is one that doubles as the exasperated lamentation of video game-loving children everywhere. Using a scene from The Office (the rare show that lives within the cultural lexicon of both parents and kids), this two-panel series bemoans the fact that parents equate gaming with drug use and alcoholism.
Overprotective parents are as much a part of the natural order as over-indulging children. To be sure, video game addiction is a serious matter that has the potential to derail young lives. But, in the grand scheme of things, there are probably worse things to get hooked on – drugs and alcohol being a couple of them.
Share a laugh
At the end of the day, parents and their kids will probably disagree on the merits of video games. That’s OK, as long as both sides are able to acknowledge that the other might have a point…occasionally. If not, at least they can share a laugh about the subject. And, perhaps one day, we’ll be able to make parents and gaming memes a meme of its own.
What is your favorite meme about parents and kids and video games? Share it in the comments!