By TMoM Team Member Laura Simon

  • Pulling my toenails out with plyers, one by one.
  • Lighting my hair on fire.
  • Jumping out of an airplane with a flimsy parachute attached.
  • Fighting a grizzly in the wild with nothing but a stick plucked from the ground nearby.

What do these things have in common? They’re all things I’d rather do than play video games, such as Roblox.

And yet, here I am, the parent of three elementary children who love video games, especially Roblox. They love video games so much that they want to share them with everyone they meet. Including me.

I have briefly waded into Minecraft. While i had no idea what I was doing, I just kept pushing random buttons until my oldest son said, “Great job, mom! Here, let me help you.” And he took the controller away, rescued me from the void, and suggested we could try again later.

And I was totally fine with that.

I also tried Just Dance on the Nintendo Switch. Let me tell you, if Beyoncé needs a backup dancer, she definitely won’t be coming for me. Also, I needed a good dose of Motrin and a hot bath the next day. On the upside, I’m not sure my family has laughed that hard in a long time. I might even host a wine and Just Dance party for my mom friends some time.

But do you know what my middle boy loves more than anything else? Roblox.

I don’t even understand Roblox, but for some reason he keeps needing gift cards so he can buy cars he’ll never drive and clothes he’ll never wear. My son begged and begged and begged, and finally I agreed to play with him.

We played on different devices. He used his computer, his brother used a tablet, and I used my phone. I must have been doing something wrong, because I slid my hand across the screen and immediately found myself looking at the top of my own head, apparently from some high elevation position. It felt like a near-death experience, but my son came over and touched the screen in the exact same way that I did, and somehow I descended and joined my digital self again.

I scanned my digital world, tried taking steps forward, and immediately fell into a pool. It wasn’t fenced or anything – just a big old pool in the middle of a city park. I definitely did not see that one coming. Fortunately a simple push of a button launched me out of the pool and onto dry land. I wish we had one of those in real life – getting out of the deep end is no joke.

At this point, my son found me. And what I mean is, his little gamer person found my little gamer person. He must have sensed that I was a danger to myself because he suggested that we go back to his apartment to rest. I was just about to suggest that maybe it was time for me to quit when he smiled big at me and said, “Mom, I’m just so happy that you’re playing Roblox with me.”

Well, crap. I stumbled and swerved to his apartment.

I’d like to know where he got the money for this thing and why I’m still paying his swim team fees. He had a sweet, modern set up with a fireplace, a TV, and a couch.

I sat down on the couch – no, actually, I stood next to the couch and it pulled me in. Then it gave me the option to recline. Who says no to that?

The game gave me my choice of things to hold, which is how I came to be holding a baby and a book while reclining on a couch and looking at a TV I couldn’t see.

And that is where I stayed for the next 45 minutes. While my boys zipped around their virtual world, I kicked up my feet, balanced my phone in one hand, and read a real- life book with the other.

I was playing Roblix and it wasn’t bad. My kids were happy. I wasn’t unhappy. Roblox for the win.

Video games will never be my thing. But my kids? They are my thing, and I guess if this brings them joy, I can spend a little more time reclining in a virtual living room.

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