I’m the parent of three well-adjusted, mostly normal children who happen to play video games. They’re all teenagers now, but throughout their lives I’ve set very solid boundaries when it comes to video games. There’s no gaming during the week (except during holidays – I’m not a monster), while they’re free to play games on weekends – as long as it doesn’t interrupt anything we do as a family.
Apparently those sorts of boundaries aren’t all that common, and I hear horror stories from other parents about their children, who sit bleary-eyed, glued to a screen all evening. German shopping chain Aldi’s UK stores want to do something about that – but they’ve gone about it in the most misguided way imaginable. They’ve launched a campaign called Teatime Takedown whereby frustrated parents can hire a hit-squad of elite gamers to destroy their little ones in online games, forcing them to come and have dinner. Says the campaign site:
“Is gaming getting in the way of dinnertime?
Parents! Tired of your kids missing dinnertime because of computer games? Then call upon the services of an elite squad of professional gamers who will join their game online and take them down. Now they’ll have no excuse not to be at the table when dinner’s ready.”
Sure, family time is important but this is such a poorly-plotted campaign. For starters, it’s little more than cyber bullying, and also makes gaming the enemy, like it’s some sort of moustache-twirling villain.
It’s just such an incredibly out of touch, backwards campaign. Parents should be setting boundaries, and also take an interest in their children’s hobbies. Maybe play something together, instead of getting them to rage-quit after a spot of cyber bullying. It’s especially cringey, because it seems the campaigns entire reason for existing is to punt teatime recipes.
Last Updated: March 14, 2019