The Four Video Games My Toddler Son Tried To Destroy

This is a public service announcement. Consider this a warning. If you're in a stable relationship and you''re thinking, 'hey maybe I should ruin all this peace and quiet by bringing a child into this God forsaken world' — think twice. Ruminate on that for a minute or two and think of the consequences.

Because I didn't, and now my misguided decision to procreate has me in somewhat of a quandary. I have a shit-tonne of video games that just don't fucking work. It is all the fault of my goddamn child.

[Silent scream]

Allow me to elaborate.

I have a son. He is 22 months old and he is a complete arsehole. For the first 10 months of his life he was cool. Sort just rolled around there, kept me awake at night, peed on me a bunch. I had to fish a fair few turds out of the bathtub — nothing I couldn't handle. Then, roughly around 10 months and two weeks into his existence he decided that walking was a thing he wanted to try out for a while. That's when things got a little bit 'problematic'.

In short, ever since this wee bastard could walk he's been messing with my shit. Namely, my video games. As a result I have a large number of extremely expensive, well-made coasters. These are the four video games that my son decided to destroy.

Victim #1

InFamous: Second Son I have no idea why my son decided to target InFamous: Second Son. Literally no idea. I suspect it was an issue of access. Simply put: my review copy of InFamous: Second Son was easy to dislodge from its case. You will find that this is a common thread in this tale of woe.

One of the problems with review copies of PlayStation 4 games is they don't come in the same boxes you see on shelves at retail. They tend to come in these flimsy little transparent cases. They are easy to open, easy to break and the game is visible from the outside. This is a killer. When my son inevitably gets his grubby little hands on these cases he knows something is inside and it is his sworn vow to remove the disc and do heinous things to it.

My InFamous: Second Son disc is a lost cause. It's covered in a ridiculous amount of scratches and fingerprints. It's beyond salvaging.

Perhaps the worst thing is this: he still wants to punish the game. He's already wrecked it, but that's not enough. The other day I caught him trying to use it as a skateboard. How does that even work? It doesn't even have wheels you idiot.

Victim #2

Pikmin 3 This one is the worst because it subverted all my dreams of an idyllic family life where my wife, my son and I would all play video games and exist in a state of eternal bliss.

Pikmin is a pretty important series for my wife and I. When the first game came out I played it alone. When the sequel came out I introduced it to my wife and we played it together constantly. To this day Pikmin the only series my wife actually cares about. When the third game was released I had this nice little idea that I would introduce my son to the game and we could play as a family.

My son decided to introduce himself to Pikmin 3. And then he destroyed it.

Guys, he fucked it up real bad. The problem is that the Wii U was the first console my son learned to turn on, so he would get into a habit of pressing all the buttons. When he pushed 'eject' and was rewarded with this little disc sliding out I can only assume he thought this was an alien object that needed to be terminated without prejudice.

So he stomped the shit out of it.

[Insert drowning Pikmin noise here]

Victim #3

Destiny By the time Destiny was released my son was already a repeat offender. His first two murders were clumsy, messy affairs. Evidence strewn through my living space, fingerprints all over the disc. When Destiny was released he was operating at the peak of his criminal powers. He was a cold, efficient video game killer.

The Destiny murder was, in many ways, the perfect crime.

All it took was one scratch. Just one. Right at the base of the disc. A clean cut right at the jugular. Now the game won't load. The PS4 won't even recognise it. We tried everything to resuscitate the poor bastard to no avail. I can't be sure that this was the work of my son — he's too clever by half, too clean, too organised. But this crime bears all the hallmarks of a master. He's killed before and he'll kill again.

Victim #4

Alien: Isolation Thankfully, this was one victim we managed to save.

My son was in the midst of a sadistic torture campaign. He had become more sophisticated in his criminal behaviour. This wasn't a one shot kill, it was a slow burn. In order torture my copy of Alien: Isolation for the PS4, my son had started slotting it into my Wii U and Xbox One... upside down. Could you imagine the pain of being in a console you don't run on... upside down? The pain. The humiliation. This is the work of a heartless sociopath without a single shred of humanity.

Thankfully I managed to rescue Alien: Isolation before it was too late. He still bears the psychological scars of being lodged inside the wrong console, but it lives on.

Alien: Isolation lives on.

But so does my son. And he must be stopped.


    My older brother once found chips in his PS3 disc tray.

      I remember one of my child hood friends families always used to bring up how they bought an expensive VCR only to have my friend jam toast in to and break it

      I had a PS3 die and the very same night I got the replacement my kids filled it with coins.

      I remember after babysitting a 2yr a few yrs back that my subwoofer was rattling, pulled it apart and found that it had been stuffed full of pens and crayons.

        Mine is regularly filled with matchbox cars.

          Nah I get pens in ours too.. My daughter found the hole in the pack and proceeded to fill it every time one of us wasn't watching her like a hawk! it still rattles to this day =/

    One day, when he's old enough to read, he will start going through his dad's old Kotaku articles. He will come across this one and he will find out what his dad really thinks of him. Then there will be tears.

      Ha ha, I think we flatter ourselves a bit that our lives would be interesting to our children. Most kids are too self-centred to even consider that their parents HAVE lives beyond providing them with stuff, let alone be interested enough in them to do stuff like read old Kotaku articles.

        I completely disagree.
        This is probably true for children whose parents who exhibit the same behaviour.

          I was exaggerating a bit, and I think you are right in saying that children whose parents fail in the acknowledgement and affirmation of them during their formative years have a higher incidence of narcissism or other egocentrism, but it is completely normal for children to be self-centred, particularly in their teenage years. Most children are only interested in their parents' lives insofar as they involve interaction with them, the children. Ask any child about his or her parents' work achievements and you'll mostly get blank looks or sketchy detail.

    This reaffirms the fears I've had whenever the SO brings the subject up.

    All aboard the 'nope' train to 'nopeville'.

    Grows up to invent wheelless disc shaped skateboard just to spite you.


      Fuck. Yes.

        Yo, it goes science
        Yeah science is amazing
        But not to me though cause I am sick of waiting
        I've been patient
        I really have, I've been reasonable
        Now it's time to say what I needed to
        Dear science, cheers for the iPods
        White goods, yeah thank you for the cyborgs
        Top work on the light bulb
        That was quite cool
        But where's my hoverboard?
        I mean I know you've been busy
        But no hoverboards just seems a bit piss weak
        I got a brand new computer and a big screen
        I guess Back to the Future was a dick tease
        And I can't be the only one
        Maybe everyone forgot but I am holding on
        The hovercraft was a solid start
        Shoulda stuck with it, hoverboard
        Where the fuck is it?

    It gets better Mark. My daughter is 4 years old now and I use the good old "Its doesnt matter that your controller is different to mine baby (she's holding a green N64 controller). You are helping Daddy save the world." It works every time.

    Last edited 27/11/14 2:46 pm

      My 4 year old girl is too smart for that trick unfortunately. She can already tell if her actions on the controller are corresponding to something happening on the screen or not.

        Yes, my 4-year-old and my 6-year-old are constantly fighting about whose turn it is to have a go on Tokyo Jungle. Playing co-op doesn't work because the 4-year-old just ends up dying pretty quickly, which frustrates the hell out of the six-year-old. Then I get a turn and survive for like half an hour and they both get shitty with me and tell me 'just die Daddy. Go and find a hippo and let it kill you." Charming :-)

      My 20 month old doesn't fall for that one for more than about two minutes...

    This is the best article iv read in months, funny as hell.

    My niece and I were playing spaceships (FTL) on her uncle's computer. Well, I was playing, she was hellbent on the people of the SS Spiderman (her name) suffering a fiery death.

    I ended up unplugging my friend's xbox controller from his computer and gave it to her. Except she's the smartest 4 year old ever and told me that it wasn't working and got super huffy until I let her play.

    Poor SS Spiderman...

    Last edited 27/11/14 2:53 pm

    The only thing my 28 month old destroys is Mario Kart, but only through actually playing it.

    He actually came fourth in a race the other day.

    The impressive part (aside from him doing it at that age) was that he can only turn left, so when he comes to a right turn, he reverses holding left and realigns himself to take the right corner.

    I would have thought it was less complex to just press right whilst going forwards (certainly this is my experience) but there you go. Just one of the many mysteries of the two year old...

    My partner complains about this but I often find the solution is an easy 'put game back up on high shelf' kinda thing, mixed with a good old fashioned 'introduce child to interesting play thing and interact with child to keep her away from expensive grown up toys', and if all that fails she gets told off and gets to be upset for like 10 seconds until she finds something else to focus on.
    We learned early on when she chewed up a charger cable for the 3DS, that is our only casualty, anything destroyed after then is our own fault.

      Yep. Leaving games within reach of children is ultimately a lesson for parents to learn from. Methinks Mark might take a little more care with storing his games, unless his son is Spiderman or something...

      EDIT: Just read Stevorooni's comment and Mark's reply below: Yep, he's Spiderman!

      Last edited 27/11/14 9:40 pm

    Dude! You have got to lock that shit up!
    My daughter has almost wrecked my ps3 by force feeding disks into it and using my games as shurikens as the mood takes her.

    Lockable doors over the cubby holes or relocate everything to a higher level so the kid cant see it / touch it.

    Baby proof your games area, not to protect the child but to protect the games FROM the child.

    This needs to be printed, framed and presented at the 21st birthday.

    Save this article to show him when he's older.Read it at his 18th/21st

    You should look in to putting some kind of fence around your tv area, my sister has a well made one from one of those baby stores that keeps her 2 year old away from it.

    Last edited 27/11/14 3:02 pm

    Childproof everything.

    I suppose putting things on higher shelves won't help because he probably inherited his father's rock climbing abilities.

      True story: he could climb before he could walk.

      He's an ungodly monster.

        Mine too. She would climb the walls of the cot and literally backflip out onto the floor before she could walk. She is 20 months old now and is regularly on the benchtops, there is nothing that is technically out of her reach in the house.
        She is a terrifying climbing monstrosity.

        Apparently I was a climber as a kid. Until I climbed the VCR cabinet to put in a video, and the part I was climbing fell over. Coffee table stopped it landing on me, thankfully.
        Pretty sure that's why I now have a fear of heights...

    I put marbles in the VCR when I was young. Other than that, I grew up playing on my dad's Spectrum from a young age and it never went through my mind to pull all the tape out (mind you, I was a bit older than 2 :D )

    You just have a sociopath on your hands @markserrels :P

    Last edited 27/11/14 3:02 pm

    I used to put match box cars in VCR players :D
    They used to cost heaps too.

    Meanwhile my two daughters never once went out of line with my "toys".

    My eldest (3) plays the XBONE and PS4 unsupervised without issues and she's a crackshot with a bow in Minecraft too.
    Being a wargamer (I play with toy soldiers as an adult), I really went hard on the whole "Be mindful of what's not yours" with my kids and it seems to have worked.

    The downside is that, even though they both know not to break my things, their own toys look like war survivors haha.

    Reminds me of my mate who's nephew managed to fit 5 PS3 disks inside the machine before it finally collapsed into a pile of yellow light deadness.

    None the less we were both amazed at how that was even physically possible.

      I'm definitely investing in a locked cabinet for games and dvds when I create a spawn of evil. The hard part will be getting my missus to put each disc back in its case after using it instead of just leaving it out next to the TV

        Ohhhhh I hate that! That's a deal breaker for me; basic disc care is non-negotiable!

        Or just teach them boundaries. Worked wonders for us. We don't even have doors on our cabinet, it's all open. Just have to keep an eye out when occasionally the wife has a friend over with....wilder kids.

          This. Ours is almost 5 now and had open access to all my games, consoles and music cd's. Bit of discipline and regular "be gentle with those ok?" reminders has seen 1 music disc destroyed (it was what initiated the "discipline") and no other issues.
          She asks to play games sometimes and is often told no and she's ok with that. But she loves it when I say yes and we smash through space invades, golf (YES I GOT IT IN THE WATER AGAIN DADDY!) some gran turismo and little big planet.
          I trust her with my stuff now but still keep an eye on her, same as I do with my grown friends =)

    My son is 18 months old. When he was born, I thought I could do for him what my parents never could do for me - be his Obi Wan and teach him the way of the Video Game. Now I have had to sacrifice my limited run Halo 3 xbox 360 controller to him to save my Xbone controllers from being thrown and munched on. Oh he will sit and try to "play", but he has already learned how to rage quit. My PC gaming is no longer a solitary experience either. He has to sit on my knee to watch. Then last week, he wanted to play too. So now I have to sit at my PC with two keyboards and two mice just so I can play. Alas, now I have given in to his interests and have devised a way to make him the ultimate pro gamer. I tell him to keep his APM up, I talk to him about jump-shotting, I show him how awesome a double undertaker opening hand is in Hearthstone.

    At the end of the day, gaming is not what it once was. BUT. HE. IS. JUST. SO. FRIGGEN. CUTE!
    Wouldn't change him for the world.

    P.S. Yes he is an arse when I tell him its time to turn it off. Sweet baby Jesus does he have some lungs haha

    A couple of years back a mate of mine brought his ps3(original fat ones) around for me to look at (he's a concreter not very tech savvy) as he said it would no longer work (accept/play discs). When I pulled it apart to have a look I laughed so hard, I found about $110 worth of notes (a 50 a couple of 20 and 10's) and about $5 in change stuffed in there. Seems he had been teaching his kids about saving and had bought them a piggy bank each but apparently they thought the Ps3 was a much better option !!

    He also had to apologise to his partner as he thought she had been the one raiding his wallet !

    Having recently just purchase my first 2 figurines my 22 month old daughter keeps pointing at them on the high shelf and saying screaming "Miiiinnnneee!"

    I calmy turn to her and say they are daddy's toys and you don't ever touch them. Ever.

    She's also learnt that the PS3, router and Wii are boring toys. Block towers and train sets are much more fun to destroy with a calm, disassociated, impassive swing of her fist or foot. Sometimes she freaks me out.

      Yeah, that is one of my fears, that my kids will suddenly decide that my sexy and oh-so-expensive figurines are for playing with rather than salivating over. That's partly why I keep my Senbonzakura Miku in its box on a high high shelf even my wife can't reach (and that's the other reason).

    I have 4 kids under 13, luckily they all respect games and their consoles from a young age.

    My one year old playing xbox :P

    Last edited 27/11/14 3:30 pm

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