I taught my son how to play video games. Now he’s teaching me
There is a moment in parenthood when your child discovers you are not infallible, that you can be beaten. The first time a kid wins a game of tennis against their mum or dad, or solves a maths problem their parents can’t even begin to understand, it is profoundly bittersweet. While it is wonderful to see your child growing up and becoming independent, when they get good at things, they are a little bit less yours, and you are a little bit less heroic. It is sometimes hard to be the grownup in that situation and not deal with it childishly. I discovered this on Saturday when my eldest son and I were playing Apex Legends.
My wife had taken our younger son to Jersey for the weekend to see her sister, and I thought it would be a treat to hunker down with our first born and spend a few hours fighting against strangers together in the battle royale shooter game of the moment. Players are automatically put into online groups of three, so we set up two TVs and two consoles so we could compete together in the same squad. My son and I have not played together much since the days of our epic Minecraft sessions or when we’d spend hours battling through every one of the Lego action adventures, dividing up the puzzles between us. That was when he was eight or nine. He’s 13 now, and plays with with friends he meets online. I hear them from the other room, sharing jokes and trash-talking through their headsets.