Mums get a bad rap for not understanding the world of video games, but have you ever tried sitting down and walking yours through how much wholesome fun it can be? The developers of Paleo Pines did, and it went…well about how you’d expect. Some had a roarsome time, and some might have been a little too excited to put the controller down. Regardless of their reactions, it was special getting to share something we’ve poured so much passion into—and our mums were still proud of us even if they didn’t all quite get it! If you’re ready to introduce your own mum to the world of video games, here are a few handy tips to guide you from our experiences.
Tip #1: Lure them in with an adorable farming sim
Lucky for us we created a cozy game with no high stakes and nothing to fear in the friendly world of Paleo Pines. It’s the perfect genre for introducing someone to video games who has never picked up a controller before. The straightforward tutorial, whimsical scenery, and laid-back vibes made it (mostly) a stress-free experience for learning the ropes, exploring the world, and suggesting next steps when it wasn’t intuitive to a new gamer where to go. And if that’s not enough to convince your mum, you can also PET DINOS! The wholesome (and educational!) component of befriending various dino breeds is sure to capture their interest.
Tip #2: Start with the controller basics
To someone used to playing farming sim games, or video games in general, various mechanics might be intuitive or expected, like storing and interacting with items. But to someone who has never played before, moving your character while correcting your camera angle can be a bit of a pat-your-head and rub-your-stomach challenge. Explain the basic functions of all the controls, and give your mum space to play around and get used to it. It might take some time for it to come naturally, so offer plenty of encouragement to keep your mum from getting frustrated! Gentle reminders of what to do when she finds her screen once again staring at the sky can also go a long way.
Tip #3: Don’t spoil the fun of learning and exploring at your own pace
It might be tempting to tell her exactly what to do and where to go next to maximize each in-game day, but don’t forget there is magic to learning and exploring at your own pace. If your mum wants to pick fights with NPCs or spend time admiring the reading area in Pebble Plaza because it perfectly matches her outfit, let her enjoy leisurely exploring her surroundings. Some of our mums loved taking time to soak up all the details. What you find to be fun in the game might be very different, so sit back and only offer help when it’s requested. Too much input can be overwhelming to someone who is still trying to figure out how to put the watering can back into her inventory.
Tip #4: Let them unleash their own creativity
Once our mums got the hang of the mechanics, we were amazed by the depth of their creativity! From dino pens to decor to farm plots, we saw some ranch setups that had us ready to call our realtors. Once again, here is where micromanaging someone’s video game learning experience can be a major hindrance. If you let them explore the possibilities without much input, they can make it their own, and get excited to come back for more when you’re done!
Tip #5: Bond over all your favorite moments
For many players, video games can be all about community. Get excited about that first dino your mum befriends, and despair over the one that got away. Being silly and spending quality time together can make it a really special experience for both of you. And if she really liked the game, show her where people are talking about it online and how to swap tips about where to find the rare species and which crops to grow to win over that picky T-rex. (Join the Paleo Pines Discord here!) Inviting her into the game’s community can help your mum feel included in something bigger, and excited to share her own stories and tips from her playthrough!
Introducing your mum to video games can be a challenge, but trust us, it’s worth it! But be warned…pretty soon your mum will be asking for a console for her next birthday.
If you’re looking for a great game to get your mum started, Paleo Pines is available to order now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. For more information on Paleo Pines and Modus Games, visit www.PaleoPines.com or follow @PaleoPines on Twitter and Discord, and @modusgames on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Discord.