Plants vs. Zombies vs. Mom

in All About Zombies

Plants vs. Zombies quickly became a family affair – well, with the exception of my husband, who shakes his head because he doesn’t “get” video games.

Last fall I was given a copy of Plants vs. Zombies by PopCap, the makers of Bejeweled. Many readers here have heard of Plants vs. Zombies and probably beat the game, but I assure you: people in the rest of the world have not. However, my children will gladly give any newbies their enthusiastic and detailed rundown of what the game looks like, the variety of plants and zombies, and how to play.

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, and one of my most precious memories is the Christmas we got an Atari 2600. So I am a video game enthusiast, even though as a mother of young boys I have no time to play them. When I got PvZ, however, I took it upon myself to play the game before I showed it to my children.
At ages 6 and 4, they are avid Wii gamers, familiar with the magical worlds of Mario and Kirby and the fabled resort island of Wii Sports. But zombies? We hadn’t gone there yet.

One night I started up the game, noting to my husband that I was “just checking it out,” and promptly played for 2 hours. I fell asleep that night, and many nights after that, with ruminations of future strategy in my head. Pea shooter over snow pea – costs less sun! And always plant a Wall-nut. Curse the dreaded night levels!

Soon my children got wind of my newfound skill at this game, and flocked to my sides. I man the controls, but they watch and give me instructions. Even though I have logged far more hours at play than they have (not to mention 35 more years of life and education and exercise of my hand-eye coordination), the boys manage to come up with creative and effective solutions.

The boys are 6 and 4 years old, with very active imaginations. My older son gets so frustrated when I fail at my zombie-fighting task and allow the beasts to breach the line of lawnmowers, leaving my house open for the zombies to come inside and eat my brain, that he has stopped watching. He is less scared of the zombies than of losing. My younger boy is still an enthusiastic planter, however, so the game continues to be a fun bonding activity for us. We’ve beat the boss by now, and we’re exploring all of the puzzles and mini games.

The only thing we’re missing now is snuggle time, because it’s hard to snuggle while you’re blowing zombies off a roof with watermelons.

Kim Tracy Prince, one of the original “mommy bloggers, has been blogging since 2004. Although she keeps her best writing hidden away in the journal under her bed, you can check out her online archives at House of Prince.

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