165: Playing Mommy

Playing Mommy

"Walk down the hallway of any maternity ward and you'll hear the beeping of a multitude of machines accompanied by anguished cries of pain. If you had walked into my unit, however, you would've been surprised to find the beeping coming from a videogame and my anguished cries caused not only by contractions, but from the near misses and hard-fought victories of the videogame I was playing. Videogames are a part of my everyday life, and my pregnancy did little to change that."


A surprisingly good article, even though it involved so much birth. Congratulations and I look forward to reading about Claire Sparks, the pro gamer, in the next 20 years.

Gaming makes giving birth easier: only on the Escapist.

Keep the great articles comming.

i hope i marry a woman like you one day =]

Great article! It's good to hear articles on getting girls hooked on gaming, but even better about what can be done with games once women are into them.

First of all congratulations!

I really enjoyed reading this article, as it's not often you hear about the adventures of a pregnant gamer lol, and playing the DS during contractions has to be a first, maybe Nintendo could use it as their next advert to casual gamers.

That's about as hardcore as it gets, folks. Someone give this woman a prize. ;-)

I'm remembering this one for when I get married. I hope I can meet a lady as cool as you. Great article!

So, how does actually caring for a baby compare to playing one of those "mother simulators" on the DS?

So, how does actually caring for a baby compare to playing one of those "mother simulators" on the DS?

The baby has a higher polygon count. ;-)

Oh wow.. the joy of birth, and the joy of video game at the same time? That would be sensory overload for most people.

I'm a pessimist, so I have to ask this--wouldn't starting your children on video games so young sort of cut them back on other exercise? I know being a gaming parent yourself, you most likely know the importance of balance between gaming and life. I think it's a life skill that kids these days need to learn. (Especially if they live in the US.)
All in all, congratulations, and hang in there.

A good article overall. I like how gaming sort of encompassed the whole experience, from planning the games to bring to the hopital to using Wii fit for getting back in shape afterwards. I shall pass this article along to my girlfriend when the time comes.

One thing irked me a bit though: The bit about EB Games. I mean, what exactly were you expecting? Asking for a "labor" game is about as arbitrary as asking for a game you can play while peeling potatoes or going to a book club meeting. Of course, the immediate response should have been "well, what kind of games do you like?", but it seems to me that you were purposely trying to stump the clerks with a weird question and then blaming them for not being able to counter it quickly enough.

This reminded me of when my son was born... I went to EB for a game to take to the L&D room, and my wife actually took her PSP with her to pass the time! Man, sometimes i just don't know how lucky I've got it!

My son was in the NICU for 3 weeks. I would rock him as he slept and play my DS. Once we got home, he refused to sleep in a bassinet (and continued to refuse for 3 months). I found I could let him sleep in the crook of my arm on the sofa while playing Elder Scrolls on the 360. Epic RPGs helped me keep my sanity during my first months of motherhood.

Our son be 3 this month and already plays Go Diego on my husband's old DS. He also loves the Wii Fit, and will be getting a Leapster for his birthday (like a big DS for tots).

From one gaming mommy to another,
Congrats on your new daughter, and thanks for giving a voice to a small minority of the gaming community.

Whats you're babies race and class going to be?

Playing DS WHILE breastfeeding! And I thought I was hardcore. Could you imagine if, GOD FORBID, something happend when he got older, how the anti-gaming people would go nuts!
Also, where's that picture of the baby with the "Level 1 Human" shirt when you need it?


Whats you're babies race and class going to be?

Star-Trek Med-Warrior (in his infanthood stage), featuring a mithril vest +1
[Sry, this picture was only available in "male" flavour, so let's assume it depicts the second-born]

Zack: I think that armor solves a problem that the armor created. That kid was probably just any other dopey hippie kid of the late 60s and then he had to add body armor. The armor protects him from maces and short swords bullies might wield, but really, they're only trying to hack him to pieces because he's wearing armor.

Lowtax: It's a self fulfilling prophecy. "On the next Dr. Phil: my child wears armor to protect him from the violent serf uprising." Dr. Phil needs to set those parents down and explain to them the midget criminal planet is just misunderstood.

Zack: Mrs. Steelwind, the bad news is your son was beaten to a pulp again on the playground. The good news is that your mithril vest protected him from orcs on his long journey home.

Lowtax: Your child will spawn in your neighbor's house with half his experience points.

Zack: He has to go back to the second grade until he can kill enough rabbits with his crossbow.

Lowtax: But what happens when he levels up enough and that shirt is inadequate armor to protect him?

Zack: He could spend all day collecting rocks near the front of the school and then take them to the dwarven forge in the shop class.

Lowtax: He doesn't outgrow clothing, he out-levels them.

While everyone here seems to like the idea of ever-distracted mom, I fail to see how this would benefit the child. I mean... think of this: Child is coughing up something non-edible, turning red and dieing while mommy has the iPod in her ear, a portable game console in her hands and wields a wiimote with her feet, all the while sitting 2 metres away from the baby, back turned on it and her eyes fixated like a junkie who is setting the golden shot on a tiny screen with hopping dots. Game on, sister, I say.

Other than that the Toys'R'Us passage reads like Little Kimberleys Sentimental Journey to Capitalism-Landâ„¢ - where every need can be satisfied by buying the right (expensive) substance. Sometimes I wonder how my body developed past the toddler stage without dinosaur pajamas and a V-Smile...

It's funny that she might be gaming before she can walk or talk!

Yeah... even funnier might be the idea of a 20-year-old social reject, sitting in her darkened room all day, killing time by gaming World of Warcraft II 16hours/day, while her happy gaming parents pay the bills [IN A VAN, DOWN BY THE RIVER!] and shrug with joy as they enter her realm as they go on a raid with her! Game on, family, I say!

In every pregnancy book, they tell you to pack your hospital bag well in advance

Now I'm a bit puzzled. You read a [pause] book? What's wrong with you parents? Where is that gaming appreciation spark that fuels everything? Seriously, you didn't learn those things in Theme Hospital?

First on my list were my laptop and DS, including which games I would bring.

Phew! Literacy alert level back to green! I repeat, literacy alert level back to green, she is bringing a DS!

Studies show that games help by getting the child to focus on something other than the pain. Essentially, the pain messages are competing with the play messages, and though the pain is still there, the kids just don't notice it as much.

Armed with this information, my husband and I had a lengthy discussion about which ones to bring

Alright... but your child's pain, where does it come from in the first place? Do you fear the child might notice what kind of parents it was assigend to? Tough luck!
"It'sa me, Mario!"
"Aaaaaah." (great relief)

My Chumby helped keep me up to date with what was going on in the world. It's about the size of a grapefruit with a wireless internet connection, and you personalize it by choosing from hundreds of widgets. I signed up for local and world news feeds as well as gaming and tech-related news. It helped me feel connected with the world around me at a time when I couldn't actually participate.

This one, I liked, too. Especially the last part of not being connected to the a-hem, "world", while a baby has docked thru a port (ten zillion times more enjoyable than standard TCP/IP) called "nipple" with your breasts and sucks away at a nurturing enjoyment sensation called "milk"... but mommy does not feel connected. If someone gave me 10 years of time for this article, I would never have thought THAT up. Not connected...
If a mom isn't connected to her baby while breast-feeding, then, for the love of God, what on this creepy, cold, capitalistic and techno-logical planet is?
"Shush! Mom is trying to read meaninglass Twitter-balderdash, cause she feels more connected to some random crap-posting foreigner she never met (and will meet) in person, than you, darling! You could have been a cute little Borg Baby, BUT NOOOOO! You chose to be a completely boring non-gaming and non-tech-related human offspring! *falls down the chair*"
Tech-relationships rule, I say.
Plus, the author receives +10 in "audience charming" for mentioning the things we nerds wanted to hear.

I want to foster a love of gaming in Claire, sort of like what my mom did for me, unbeknownst to her, when I was growing up. She was the Pac-Man champ on our block. Kids would come over all the time to play her, and they rarely ever won.

It's actually quite funny how being a woman makes creepy things cute. I mean: A grown-up plays all day in order to beat kids. Where is the merit in that? What else was she proud of? Beating up weaker and/or defenseless opponents? Playing while the kids had to go to school? Getting nothing else done because of gaming addiction?

There is a saying about internet arguments, which goes along these lines:
Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics - even if you win, you are still retarded.
I guess the same holds true for this kind of woman and playing against infants... even if she wins, she has beaten a twelve-year-old! What challenge comes up next? Stealing candy from a baby? Besides, she had the advantage of owning that antique video game. Today's spoiled brats own at least half a dozen consoles _just for themselves_ 'til they turn 18. And seriously... you stand no chance vs. those freaks. In. Any. Game.
Yes, they might not know how to read or write or just got kicked out of school, cause they feel that their pro-ga(y)mer career is just about to kick-start and make them 21st century digital kids some kind of gaming-millionaires (or so they think). And once again, you tell me that you want to compete against THAT?
"Ow, the dignity..."

In the end, I'm all your opinion, because:

That's about as hardcore as it gets, folks. Someone give this woman a prize.

I ask: Hardcore? ...indeed.

I have just one question. Why do you need to register with "Toys R us" exactly? Im a little confused.
I also have to agree with the comments SamLowry made. My thought's are along the same lines just not as well put together.

Great article, and I've just researched that V Smile Baby - it's ace, be getting that for my toddler for christmas :)

One game he's loved playing from about 8 months old, and other babies seem to love too, is the 'Freestyle' mode in Donky Konga 2. Every hit on the bongos or clap makes an animal or a piece of fruit appear on screen. Keeps them giggling for ages, especially with 4 babies and 4 sets of bongos plugged in! :)

SamLowry, are you a little frustrated? :) You certainly sound like that.

By the way, i am going to remember this article :) It might help me a lot when I ever feel like having kids. But don't forget to let them play outside as well.


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