real world is much more exciting than video games. The trouble
is that its a tough sell to our children. They immerse
themselves in worlds where slaying dragons and earning a
million gold coins is the norm. How can a parent compete
the question that the Adventure Dad website hopes to answer.
is Adventure Dad?
My name is Joe Dean and Im the father of three sons,
now ages 17, 19 and 23 (as of 2019.) Like every parent,
Ive struggled in my efforts to create lasting family
memories with my sons and tearing them away from their screens
have been a constant struggle. We seriously limited their
screen time to only two hours per week (one hour on Saturday
and one on Sunday) while they were growing up. In the early
years what we found was that although they weren't playing
video games during the week, much of their conversations
and focus were still on the games, discussing strategies
for difficult levels and bragging about their latest achievements,
reliving the highlights from the previous weekends
video game exploits. Trying to get them excited about hobbies,
sports and other skills that will help them in the real
world proved nearly fruitless and left me frustrated most
of the time.
when I changed my game tactics
me begin by saying that for the past 20 years Ive
owned my own adventure design company for corporate events,
private parties and fundraisers. Im hired to bring
in actors and themed props in an effort to create a whole
world for my clients to interact with. I was creating MMOs
in the real world before the MMO existed online. Its
been a great job, unstable thanks to our unstable economy,
but a great time has been had by all. I took my skills that
Ive developed for my work and translated them into
activities for my sons.
results were astonishing.
creating what I called Adventure Nights. Although
the formats and themes for the Adventure Nights have evolved
drastically over the years (i.e. What I did for them as
teens is a lot different than when they were in Kindergarten,)
the focus was bringing the adventure that they experienced
within the video games to the real world. Ive been
known to send them on real spy missions within the city
and hunting for Bigfoot in the woods. Over the years I also
learned to incorporate many of the more addictive and engaging
aspects of video games into the Adventure Nights, such as
Experience Points (XP), rankings and leveling up.
spirit, this website was created. Id love to share
with everyone my victories (and defeats) over creating these
types of adventures in hopes that you might get inspired
to do the same for yours. It's been over a decade of providing
these activites for my sons and now that they are older,
they love to share with their friends what we did as a family
and even INVITE them to future ones (yep, I still do it
for them!...when there's a time where we're all together,
that is!) Our Family Adventure Nights will probably go down
as the fondest memories that my sons have as a family. And
that feels great!
did our Adventure Nights achieve beyond just a good feeling
and great memories? For one, they broadened my sons minds
as to what the world was all about. They learned that although
video games are great (they still love them!) there are
OTHER things in the world that can be a lot more exciting!
They are all three very adventurous in spirit - willing
to try ANYTHING new! Additionally, it broadened their own
exploration of themselves and have been inspired on their
own to learn foreign languages and pick up different artisan
skills...ON THEIR OWN. Because they found themselves inspired,
they explored new hobbies on their own.
you'll find fleshed out ideas for creating live adventures
for your family and friends along with resources for helping
to make the adventure real and exciting.
have fun perusing and dont forget
the idea that will create the memory but what you choose
to do with it!!!