My mom never loved video games. She bought my brother and I our first system in the late 80's and never touched it. She understood that if gave me a tool to communicate and make friends as we all moved through a messy divorce and many moves. She never saw it as entertainment only as something to distract me from the tough times. As I grew older her view of video games started trendy downward. "You're wasting your time!" or "Go play outside!" were commonly heard as I tapped away at my control pad.
The final straw I think was a few days after I received a PSOne as a birthday present. I had been up all hours of the night playing Metal Gear Solid. My mother burst into my bedroom right as Liquid Snake is walking away from the wreckage of Metal Gear Rex. She was not pleased, apparently I had played the whole night away and was now late for school and for my accounting final. Mom tossed me in the car and drove me to school. I passed the final but sadly my mother's feelings towards video games had officially soured. No more video games for me - ever! A year or so passed and I moved out and went to college. After my first semester I got a job with my mom at the bank she worked at. Eventually my mother noticed that I was saving almost all of my paychecks. Proud of herself and her mothering skills she asked, "What are you saving all the money for? A car? Maybe a new TV?" My only reply was that it was something big. I eventually saved enough to buy a PS2, an extra controller and a few games. I got a ride with my mom to the store. She went off to do the normal mom shopping and I proceeded to electronics to buy my first game system for myself. When we returned to the car my mom saw how much I had spent and what I had bought and she was not happy. A short call to my dad later and I was in the dog house. Mom threatened to return all my purchases and lock me up forever. My Dad's cooler head prevailed and he asked me to hook up the PS2 and show him a few games. I was on cloud nine but my mom just kept huffing and puffing, visions of me failing out of college dancing in her head.
This cold shoulder act went on for a few more days until my dad told her to sit down and watch me play. One of the games I bought was Ratchet and Clank. I remember the sound my mom made the first time Quark goofed off, it was half way between a giggle and grunt. Within minutes my mom was hooked on the humor of Ratchet and Clank. After a few hours my mom needed to get up and make dinner, she left the couch saying, "Now that PS2 thing is funny." I went back to college (I didn't flunk out) and eventually started my own life and my own family. To this day I would like to thank the makers of Ratchet and Clank for helping me prove to my mom that not every game is a waste of time and not every decision I make is the wrong one. Happy Mother's Day!