This post is sponsored by Oivo Gaming. I have been asked to review their awesome Joycon Controller Charging Dock for the Nintendo Switch.
Are Mummy Gamers underrated? It’s always been assumed that dad’s game and mum’s don’t, that’s how it was in my house growing up(albeit gaming was a Commodore 64 back then) and that’s how it seems to be even 30 years later looking at the parents in Tristan’s school. Or is it just that gaming is still so young its taking time for the next generation of mum’s to catch up?
With Covid and lockdown more and more people have turned to gaming and more and more “girl gamers” have appeared all over the internet including ‘granny gamers’, games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley are making it easier for woman to dip their toes into the gaming world, but i say why dip a toe when you can plunge right in. There are so many amazing games out there and we mums, woman, girls and grannies should be playing them too and loosening up these stereotypes that dads are fun and we’re not.
My Gaming Journey
When i was little growing up in the 80’s and 90’s gaming was effectively born, my elder brother had the Nintendo Game and Watch style systems, these included the Nelsonic Nintendo Zelda watch game, Game and Watch Parachute and Tiger Electronics games….I however got dolls, yet I played the games systems just as much as my brother did.
We visited our Grandparents every weekend and my Gran introduced us to the Atari 2600 where we played games like Super breakout, frogger, mega mania and donkey Kong. Then came the Commdore 64, my Grandad had a whole gaming setup in his loft, with soft sofa bed seats to sit on and we would play for hours with him. Paperboy was one of my absolute favourite games, that and Mad Nurse, Pit Stop, Trollie Wallie and Little Computer People(sorta like Sims). I owe my love of gaming to my Grandad.
We eventually got our own Commodore 64 one Christmas morning to share and we had hundreds of games we built up for it. When games consoles started coming out our parents never worked so could never afford to buy us any, so we played at friends houses or my grandparents house. My Grandad had progressed on to the Amiga 500+ and then the 600, which had similar games to the ones on some of the games consoles, for example Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge and Road Rash. My grandads favourite game at the time was Prince Of Persia, which i used to love watching him play. My friend and i used to play McDonalds Land on her Amiga and i absolutely loved it, its basically Mario except you collect golden M’s.
I went through a stage of borrowing my friends handhelds in exchange for toys for the weekend, I got to use a Sega Game Gear and was introduced to Sonic The Hedgehog and fell in love with sideways platformers. Next on the borrowing list was the Nintendo Gameboy and Super Mario in green lol. I loved these so much. My friend would bring over his Sega Mega Drive and we would have weekend long contests where we would all battle it out at Street Fighter and Mortal Combat, i was the Chun-Li and Liu Kang champ. But these got boring easily and i craved adventure games.
At 14 i went to America to visit my cousins and they introduced me to the SNES and Aladdin, Lion King and Donkey Kong Country, we played these games non stop whilst i was there and I wanted them so much myself.
The PlayStation 1 was released and finally there was a games console in my house….but it was my brothers. My friend sold me his Mega Drive for £5 and i found my adventure game, he sold me Lion King with it… Hooray!!! I finally had my own console.
The mega drive was the kind of console you couldn’t save on, so you had to keep pausing and turn your telly off so your mum didn’t know you were wasting electricity. I could never manage to complete this game, until sometime in the last 10 years i played again and finally got Scar off that cliff. My best friend at the time had a ps1 too and she had this game called Pandemonium which her and i got really addicted too and played for years together. She let me borrow it all of the time and eventually gave me it to keep when she stopped playing games and i eventually had a PS1 of my own when the PS2 was out. I still have the game in my loft. I started playing the basic Sims game on the house pc at this point too and would stay up for hours at night playing and building houses.
When i met Pamela she had a PS2 and Guitar Hero which she was awesome at and she taught me how to play, i soon beat her high score at Free Bird, which she made sure to beat again lol! She bought me my first handheld Nintendo Console for our first Christmas, a DS Lite and the Super Mario Kart DS game, and her flatmate gave me Animal Crossing Wild World and that was me hooked on Nintendo, its pretty much never changed, nearly 15 years later. She has bought me over the years, a wii, 3DS, a shared Wii U with Tristan which he first learned on, then we bought him a Switch and i got a Switch Lite and we are up to date.
I still play Animal Crossing, I played Wild World until City Folk came out for the Wii then I played that. Then when I was pregnant with Tristan, Pamela bought me New Leaf (she called it a ‘push present’ 😂) and she bought me New Horizons on preorder. Animal Crossing isn’t an adventure game, it’s more a Simulation based Role playing game (RPG) it has a little adventure in it, it’s super relaxing and it’s how I like to unwind at night.
I have just started playing Stardew Valley and I am really enjoying the old school sprite based RPG look to it, it’s a great game to pick up and play with a cuppa and chill, very much like Animal Crossing is.
So these games above that I mentioned are the types you expect mums to play if they play games, but what about the popular ones our kids are playing today, games like Minecraft, Fortnite, Roblox, Rocket League, Pokemon, Mario Kart and so on…?
Are mums playing them or are they having a quick cuppa between washing’s and picking up Candy Crush Saga?
I grew up in a house with a dad who played fighting and football games with my brother and a mum who would rather watch her soaps on the telly than play. Trust me your kids always remember you never wanted to play with them. I swore this would never be the case in my house if i ever had kids. Tristan has always had playmates with his mummies. From building Lego and intense Hot Wheels or Train tracks to video games. Tristan loves to use his imagination and build, so naturally his first big gaming love is Minecraft. He got a Switch and Minecraft at age 4 and played creative non stop, building these crazy worlds for himself with a rollercoaster and everything. I never really understood Minecraft at first so I played Roblox with him, sort of dipping my toe into his gaming world. Roblox is easy to get into and with a massive library of user based creations there are plenty of unique games to play on one platform, there really is something for everyone without it being a really hard gaming experience if you are new to gaming with your kid.
We would play some Roblox every other day for a couple of years together until Pamela got into it and its now their go to game together. Then we dipped our toe into Minecraft. Minecraft is a sandbox game, which means it is a game that allows the player an element of creativity toward competing or completing their tasks. Minecraft is one of the most successful sandbox games ever made. It’s not a hard game if you start off in Creative mode. You can’t die in this mode so there is no scary survival element and you get to build whatever you want. The only limit here is your imagination…that and everything is square. 😂 This is the mode Tristan and Pamela play together.
If you are not a creative person, or like me, you like the survival aspect but don’t want to get jumped by zombies, then you can play Survival but set it to Peaceful, this means mobs aka zombies, skeletons, spiders, witches, Pillagers etc can’t come and kill you, in fact they don’t spawn at all. In this mode you start the world with nothing but a map and your adventure begins. This is where I started as i found creative too boring.
I spend most of my time in this mode as you can earn achievements in survival mode and i am a really achievement based gamer. If you feel comfortable you can eventually introduce mobs at either easy, normal or hard. Tristan and I play normal most times now and the fear of being killed adds to our adventure. We have multiple worlds and a sky world we built with a farm and villagers and have been known to have entire Minecraft ‘Gaming Days’ where we pull down the projector, connect the switch, get snacks and play all day.
If your child is a little older and has got into the Fortnite craze then here is what it is. Fortnite is a Battle Royale game with a sandbox element, like Minecraft it has a creative mode which is a great place to start to understand and get used to it and better so, practice. In Creative you start with your own little island that is completely empty and you can use the built in library of buildings and items to create your own cool little Battle Royale world to practice and play with your kids.
Once you have learned all you need to know about this or if you are not a creative person, there is the main Battle Royale Survival mode, where you’re dropped from a bus onto an island with 99 other people, there is a crazy killer storm that gets closer and closer and eventually there is hardly any normal space left without storm to survive in. Your role is to survive the storm and also be the last person alive. You need to eliminate the other players to survive. It’s probably best to just hide or run from other players at first until you get the hang of shooting. There are Quests throughout the game to complete which you earn achievements for, there are free achievements you can win or you can purchase a battle pass which opens up the possibility to win more cool character skins and stuff. The battle pass is 950 v bucks(in game currency) which costs approx £6.50. However after buying 1 Battle Pass it is possible to receive enough v bucks as rewards for completing achievements to purchase your next battle pass for the next Season/chapter.
This is a highly competitive game and extremely addictive, if your child is on the younger side playing it, be prepared for temper tantrums when you pull them off it for dinner though as its an ‘instant gratification game’ it gets them super hyped up and energetic, be sure to gradually wean them away. Give them plenty of notice they are coming off it in 20 mins, 10 mins, 5 mins etc.. I find this has the best results as they can tie up the round they are on and say goodbye to their friends and leave happily. It’s also a good idea to set limits on the time spent on the game to keep a healthy balance between instant and slow gratification, as too much can have a negative impact on their concentration and behaviour.
Warnings aside, this is a great game in small doses. I throughly enjoying playing this with Tristan now that i fully understand how to play.
Gaming is one of my favourite things to do, if you combine it with camping with my family then watching Netflix or Prime after and you have a pretty happy Serina. I have an iPhone 11 with 64GB of storage, most of which is filled with mobile games. I love games of all sorts, I explained above some of my favourites I love to play to chill, Animal Crossing on my Switch and most recently Stardew Valley, I explained what I play with Tristan for fun and adventure, Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite.
But for myself I love to try out new games all the time.
At the moment on my Nintendo I have been playing AER – Memories of old, which is a beautiful RPG in a world that has been destroyed and survives now as little islands floating in the sky. You act as Auk a young woman who can change into a bird to complete her quests to find out what happened to her world. I have also been playing the demo for Ori And The Blind Forest, which has one of the saddest starting sequences I have ever played in a game, it literally had me in tears. Ori is a little Tree spirit who fell from the light of the Great Tree during a massive storm that destroyed the forest, the little orphan has to traverse some dangerous places in the derelict forest to find their way back to the Great Tree. This is a side ways platformer but the 3D graphics in the background are astounding. It has a very Studio Ghibli feel about it. I will definitely be purchasing the full game. I have restarted The Legend Of Zelda Breath Of The Wild and can’t wait to really spend some time on it. Asphalt 9 has become a particular favourite, I have it on my switch and my phone as it’s the kind of game you can just pick up and leave at a moments notice. It’s amazing, the graphics are superb, the controls are easy and it’s really fun. I love racing games.
On my phone I have a lot of games for different thing, most recently I have Stardew Valley to relax before bed. I also play Animal Crossing Pocket Camp which is just an easy pocket version of animal crossing, Mario Run and Mario Kart, both awesome on the phone, Pokemon Go as and when I have credit when I’m out. I’m enjoying the new Pokemon Go features that were introduced for lockdown though, the ability to battle remotely was awesome as my nearest gym/poke stop is a bit of a walk. I have to admit I love golf games, I started playing Ultimate Golf for iOS and absolutely love it. But probably my most played phone game is Killer Sudoku or Nonograms, I love to solve puzzles and these really exercise your brain.
Last year I started an instagram page called Wolfgang Hollows where I share pics and videos of my gaming experiences (mostly Animal Crossing) and I have started gaining a good following with 1300+ followers at the moment, so I expanded to TikTok and twitter too. I have started working with some companies who create gaming accessories and have reviewed a controller previously on my page with a speaker review coming soon.
Today I would like to give you a brief review and description of the Oivo Nintendo Switch Joy Con controller charging dock, that was gifted to me from www.oivogaming.com
This dock has the ability to charge up to four joycons simultaneously and glows green if the controller is fully charged or red if it is charging, there are handy + and – symbols so you know what side to charge each controller on. Charging time was pretty fast, I left it for an hour and my joycons were fully charged. It comes with a USB charging cable that can be connected directly to the side of your Nintendo switch dock.
My favourite part is the storage, it holds 8 game cartridges, so if like me you are always running out of space for your cartridges, this is a handy little extra, all of my favourite games are now stored here so I know exactly where they are at all times.
The build quality is fantastic, the packaging was great and it’s an awesome new addition to my growing gaming collection and definitely worth checking out:
So there you have it, mummies can be cool too? This blog has really just been a nerdy ramble but hopefully someone will read this and be inspired to pick up a console and enter the world of gaming.
Thanks for reading 👋🏻