This is the second part of the interview with Catherine Smith-Desbiens. To read the first part, click here.
Marc: What advice would you give to parents who want their children to play in moderation?
Catherine: I don’t have children but I can tell you what my parents did with me when I was younger. Basically, I was entitled to periods without interruption of play as long as my homework was done and I had spent some time playing outside. My playing time was seen and valued as my rest time and never interpreted in a negative way, as a waste of time for example. The game wasn’t antagonized so I was more open to doing my homework and going to bed on time knowing that I was allowed to play a little bit almost every day.
Marc: Do you have any other tips for parents who don’t know a video game?
Catherine: Take an interest in the games your children play. There are a lot of YouTube channels made by players that explain the most popular games. Talk to your children about the games, ask them questions about what they like to play and why, watch them play if you can.
At my parents’ house, the console was in the basement, where there were also washing machines. I have a vague memory of my mother folding clean laundry while watching me play Final Fantasy. She asked me about the game, the story, the characters. It was a simple moment when we had a conversation about something that was important to me and it was good.
M: What are you playing at the moment? And do you recommend the titles in question?
C: I play Lost Words: Beyond the Page, a narrative game that tells the story of a little girl who dreams of being an author. The gameplay (the principle of the game) is simple but fun, the story is touching and the graphics are superb. I highly recommend it.
M: Do you have any games to recommend for children? and for teenagers?
C: Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a good one for older kids. I also really like the two games of Unraveled. These are platformer puzzles (platform game) that are played in local cooperation too. Otherwise, a classic of my childhood: Mario Kart.
For teenagers, I’d say Stardew Valley. It’s a resource management game that also has an interesting history. It is cheap and available on all platforms. The soundtrack is magical. I also recommend it as background music when you study.
Catherine, on what social networks can we find you? Do you have any creations, sites to promote?
I’m mostly active on Twitter and Instagram. For more information on Girls on Games and our podcast, it’s on the girlsongames.ca.
Catherine, thank you very much for your time and advice.
It’s a pleasure!