ByDan O'Halloran, writer at
Writer. Father. Gamer. Geek. Not necessarily in that order. @danoh
Dan O'Halloran

This article is part of our ongoing series about video games and family, where we highlight different stories of parents and children playing video games together.

First, let me say I'm proud to have raised two enthusiastic gamer kids. My 13-year old son plays Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 religiously because all the other Call of Duty titles in the franchise are "garbage, Dad."

My 11-year old daughter mostly plays Minecraft, building intensely complicated, yet working machines from directions she found on YouTube. And, of course, there's our nightly family dog walks which have transformed into Pokemon Go hunts and sometimes turn into slow creeper van drives through the neighborhood to get the damn eggs to hatch.

Not my van.
Not my van.

Last month I finally bought Overwatch and it was glorious

I willingly admit I suck at first person shooters, but Overwatch was easy to learn and I quickly got the hang of a few heroes.

I liked McCree's Flashbang and Fan the Hammer combo. And then came the D.Va buff with the Ana patch and the gremlin girl was my new favorite. I couldn't get enough of her launching her mech into clumped up enemies to rack up the kills, then firing off her pistol taking down whoever survived.

But, lo, I have a day job that must be attended to and I told my daughter she can play on my PC while I wasn't home since she's on summer break from school. Soon enough I was coming home to loot boxes stacked up and levels ahead of where I had left off. And who were all these new people on my friends list?

I was quite proud of her for her progress in the game. After dinner and our nightly dog/Pokemon Go walk was done, she would sit next to me as I would get some play time in.

I would show her how to pull off the D.Va mech launch auto destruct sequence. She smiled sweetly and mentioned maybe next time Bastion would be better since it was a payload map and we already had a Reinhardt and a Zarya on the team.

And the student becomes the master

So I would indulge her and play Bastion on a payload map. She would tell me to sit him on top of the payload to make sure it moves. "I know." A few minutes would go by. "Dad, you're on the wrong part." "I'm on the payload." "Dad, you need to be on the high part on the back of the payload, not the front. Then you can shoot 360 around you." "Oh..."

The next game I brought up Ana, as I like to play Support characters and was starting to get the hang of Blizzard's latest hero. "Now watch, you can flank Reinhardt and Sleep Dart him out of his shield, but if you take damage, you have to go find a heal pack."

My daughter was quiet for a bit, then started inching closer to the screen. "You know you can heal yourself, right?" "Huh?" "Throw your grenade at your feet and it will heal you, too." "Oh..."

Now, I'm her co-pilot

We won that map and I got a team invite from one of the people she had made friends with earlier in the week on my account. Well, there goes my play time. So we traded places and I watched her play, gave her a few tips, let her know when her health was low or her ultimate was up.

Basically, I was her co-pilot so she could focus on getting Play of the Game which she did time and again with Reaper, Bastion, and Genji.

Then my son started complaining because we were sucking down all the internet and he couldn't, and I quote, "wreck the scrubs" in Call of Duty with all the lag. That was enough for the night for us.

My daughter and I make a good team and while I'm ok with taking a back seat while she plays I do need to get better at taking her advice while I play. Another skill to learn while we play Overwatch together. Maybe I can get even get to read the new Overwatch graphic novel next year before she gets her hands on it...

[Image credit: Kururuart]


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