Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

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kjvmartin
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by kjvmartin »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Is your computer upgradable? As in, you dont need to spend so much building a new one, just add a new graphics card to allow for gaming?
Very few similarities between a non gaming budget PC and a $1500 gaming PC. A video card upgrade will likely require a power supply upgrade. Even if that gets done, there will probably be some other kind of bottleneck in the hardware. I learned this the hard way years ago.

Also, as an aside, I tried to get back into some light gaming recently. There are few if any wholesome/family friendly games. It became an issue of having to keep it on "mute" even in a WW1 combat game, about every other word your fellow soldiers shout in game is foul language. The most popular games, and the best reviewed games, are fraught with extreme gore, violence, nudity, adult themes etc. It seems they have realized what sells, but I can't fathom ever allowing a minor to start this hobby. I would consider a Nintendo Switch if I had kids interested in gaming.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by takeshi »

markfaix wrote:My son, a rising high school junior, has saved $1500 through summer jobs, chores, gifts, etc. He now wants to spend almost all of it on a gaming computer that he plans to build this summer.
I don't have a teenager and I'm not a parent. I'm definitely not qualified to give parenting advice. However, I do want to say that I have the career that I have today (with no degree) because of computer games and building my own computers and networks to play them. I'm not saying that your kid will accomplish the same things if you allow him to do so but it may be something to consider. You know your son better than we do.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by SimonJester »

My 17 year old almost 18 year old Senior is in the same boat, ADD with the inattentive side of it. I can say that he will get absorbed into things and not manage his other projects / activities very well. It has gotten steadily better as he has progressed in school..

let me caution you; the high school junior year is the most important one from a GPA and SAT / ACT point of view. This will be the GPA you will most likely submit to Colleges for initial application.

So be aware of this and make sure his GPA doesn't start slipping. Make sure you have a good plan for SAT / ACT tests. My son took on too much his junior year, (multiple AP classes, after school job, girl friend, sports, scouts etc), his GPA slipped just a bit.

So would I let my son purchase a gaming computer? Absolutely, and I would make sure he was building it as well. I would however try and set limits on the amount of time spent using it during the school year vs actual homework / studying.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by michaeljc70 »

I'd say let him do it. He earned the money. I would possibly suggest he cut back slightly on cost in case something else comes up that he wants to spend money on. If he winds up devoting too much time to playing games, you could always set limits on that.
health teacher
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by health teacher »

Constructivism is a high level learning theory. Let the kid do it. He earned it.
TSR
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by TSR »

I haven't read the rest of the thread, but I'll just say that my brother and I wasted a TON of money on gaming systems as kids, and it often represented the bulk of our savings at any given time (what else were we saving for?!?). Those were really important financial lessons for us at a time when the consequences were low. We are now both extremely frugal with great saving habits. We also still enjoy video games. We're also both successful lawyers. I don't know how any of these things are related, but the point is that this is not an automatic recipe for disaster. I'd say let him do it but insist that the computer goes in a shared space and enforce time rules. Good luck -- parenting is hard.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by barnaclebob »

He should learn how to build a computer and you should learn how to control his internet speed on the router and make sure the router is "your domain". Tell him his grades and behavior will dictate the internet speed.
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David Jay
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by David Jay »

TropikThunder wrote:
markfaix wrote:My son, a rising high school junior, has saved $1500 through summer jobs, chores, gifts, etc. He now wants to spend almost all of it on a gaming computer that he plans to build this summer. He has been talking about this for over a year. I am conflicted about whether we should allow him to do this.
My guess is this was his motivation for saving the $1,500 in the first place. I think it's essential that that kind of determination and goal-oriented focus be rewarded in any teen, especially in one with ADD. Besides, building a computer is pretty cool. 8-)
This ^^^

My son just built a gaming system from the case up (he is a bit older, college age). It was a great learning experience for him. He did a Ryzen5 CPU with a nice Radeon GPU. He spent under $1000 because the AMD chip is a lot less expensive than an i7 and the Graphics card was not absolute top end.
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flamesabers
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by flamesabers »

OP,

I don't think there is nothing wrong with a teenager spending $1.5k on a gaming computer, especially if gets use out of the computer for years and years to come. I wouldn't worry so much about the expense of the computer itself as it is mostly a fixed expense and he wouldn't be needing to upgrade it for at least several years. If he likes to spend his money elsewhere, (i.e. going out with his friends, watching movies, eating out, etc.) I think this would be a good lesson for him on prioritizing his budget. Getting a new computer might mean he won't be able to spend as much money on his other leisure activities.

My big concern would be what he could start spending his money on now that he has a good gaming computer. Is your son planning on buying a bunch of new games once he has his gaming computer? If so, I could see this as potentially being a big money drain for him. New games typically cost around $50 each. Also, some online games require monthly subscription fees along with buying the latest expansion packs. Even worse, some online games allow you to spend real money to get virtual "gold" or "gems" to spend in the online game.
arsenalfan
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by arsenalfan »

Yes but within a budget paradigm.
We make our kids split allowance and cash gifts into 3 equal parts: long term saving goal, spend now, charity.
Our 8yo saved 2 years for a PS4 and got it.
He is somewhat chagrined that he Zeroed out the accounts, but deliberated some about spending, and enjoys the system.
finjour
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by finjour »

takeshi wrote:
markfaix wrote:My son, a rising high school junior, has saved $1500 through summer jobs, chores, gifts, etc. He now wants to spend almost all of it on a gaming computer that he plans to build this summer.
I don't have a teenager and I'm not a parent. I'm definitely not qualified to give parenting advice. However, I do want to say that I have the career that I have today (with no degree) because of computer games and building my own computers and networks to play them. I'm not saying that your kid will accomplish the same things if you allow him to do so but it may be something to consider. You know your son better than we do.
Second on this.

I built multiple computers when I was younger, and that has contributed to my career (computer programmer).
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by TigerNest »

kjvmartin wrote: Also, as an aside, I tried to get back into some light gaming recently. There are few if any wholesome/family friendly games. It became an issue of having to keep it on "mute" even in a WW1 combat game, about every other word your fellow soldiers shout in game is foul language. The most popular games, and the best reviewed games, are fraught with extreme gore, violence, nudity, adult themes etc. It seems they have realized what sells, but I can't fathom ever allowing a minor to start this hobby. I would consider a Nintendo Switch if I had kids interested in gaming.
Really? I've found there to be quite a few popular ones. Try downloading the Steam application and browsing their selection.

Check out Civilization VI, Portal I & II, Kerbal Space Program, and Cities: Skylines. I agree the Switch also has some good games for the younger folk.
cjcerny
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by cjcerny »

I think there are a couple of angles to this one:

One, you don't need to spend $1800 to get a decent gaming computer. You can get something decent on sale at your local Microcenter for about $600 that will do a great job with games. You can also troll Craigslist for used gaming computer parts. There are a ton of videos on Youtube about building gaming computers for $100, $200, $400, etc. Are they going to be as awesome as $1500 gaming computer? No, of course not. But, if the goal is to get the knowledge and satisfaction of assembling one for yourself, you can sure spend just a couple hundred dollars to get started in that world.

Two, I think you need to let him spend his money on what he wants to spend it on at his age, but not before you point out that being responsible with your money and always saving at least some of it for a rainy day is a very important thing to do in life. You never know when you will need it for an emergency, or a car, or anything else.

Maybe splitting the difference here is a good approach. Let him buy a gaming PC, but not something that leaves him penniless.
Last edited by cjcerny on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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flamesabers
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by flamesabers »

arsenalfan wrote:Our 8yo saved 2 years for a PS4 and got it.
I feel old now. I was a teenager when I started playing games on the PS1.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by aristotelian »

+1, I would let him do it but express the concern about school work and set some limits. Building computers is a nice skill, and the DIY attitude can translate into other positive things, including finance! Remind him that he could be saving for a car, etc, but if this is what he really wants it's probably not going to go well for you to try to deny it. Maybe you can offer to buy him some games for it if his grades are good. Of course, you know your son best and I can't address the ADD issue, so if you truly feel he can't handle it I would respect your judgment.

Do you know where the computer would be located? I would worry some about social isolation, lack of supervision etc if it is in his room. We only allow our kids to be online in common areas of house, no screens in their rooms (but ours are younger, 7 and 10).
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by LiterallyIronic »

markfaix wrote:My son, a rising high school junior, has saved $1500 through summer jobs, chores, gifts, etc. He now wants to spend almost all of it on a gaming computer that he plans to build this summer. He has been talking about this for over a year. I am conflicted about whether we should allow him to do this.

Advantages:
He could learn that we shouldn’t spend such a high percentage of net worth on a rapidly depreciating item, especially if the computer malfunctions.

Disadvantages:
The only purpose of this computer is gaming. He has a Chromebox that is more than adequate for his schoolwork. Should we allow/teach our kids spend so much of their net wealth on a luxury item?
Your entire question seems to revolve around "spending so much of their net worth." Sounds like a parenting question more than a finance question. To me, your kids save their money and spend it on whatever they choose. They don't have to worry about emergency funds, investments, depreciation, etc. They're kids. I mean, I have eight video game consoles connected to my TV and you know how much time I have to play them? None. Let the kids be kids while they still can.

We don't have a teenager, only a four-month-old baby, but you better believe we'll have a "family gaming computer" for the kids to use. Don't want the kids messing with my gaming computer. I would even encourage him to build the computer rather than buy it. Follow the instructions and it shouldn't be too tricky. In recent years, they've eliminated some of the more difficult parts of building - like CPUs don't have pins on them any more.

Sounds like he doesn't have access to a desktop computer anyway, so I think he should get one. Who wants to be stuck using a Chromebook? I suppose that would be fine if all you were doing is checking Facebook, but you're not going to be running Visual Studio on that.

As for computer depreciation, you don't really sell them. You use them until their specifications are no longer good enough and, at that point, they've depreciated to zero and you throw them away. It's really a question of whether you'll get enough use out of them to warrant the cost - for example, I try to only buy video games that I can get an hour of play time from per dollar I spent on it.

Everyone seems to be talking about $50 games, but I don't those will happen much if at all. Steam sales are where everyone buys games these days. I have 700GB worth of games installed on my machine and the average purchase price was $2.98.

TL;DR - Yeah, go for it.
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5th_Dimension
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by 5th_Dimension »

I would vote for letting him have it. You never know where the interest might lead. I know someone who built his own rigs to play flight sims when he was young. He is now a captain at a major airline, and he still plays flight sims on his days off :D .
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lthenderson
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by lthenderson »

I would let my kids build a computer in the same situation. However, like I already do with my kids, I would still limit their time in front of electronics. In the case of your son, I would tell him you support his endeavor but once it is built, he is limited to X hours a week of play on the thing. This way you address your concerns and his all in one fell swoop.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by junior »

If he earned the money to get the computer, do you want to teach him that getting a job is pointless by telling him he can't spend it on the computer?
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jadd806
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by jadd806 »

kjvmartin wrote:...There are few if any wholesome/family friendly games. It became an issue of having to keep it on "mute" even in a WW1 combat game, about every other word your fellow soldiers shout in game is foul language. The most popular games, and the best reviewed games, are fraught with extreme gore, violence, nudity, adult themes etc. It seems they have realized what sells, but I can't fathom ever allowing a minor to start this hobby...
This is not fully accurate. You clearly didn't look hard enough for quality games. I agree with you that those themes do sell... which is why games like that are so prevalent on consoles. Console gaming is targeted towards "casuals." Yeah, the lowest common denominator tends to be interested in games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. But PC gaming is a totally different world, with a much wider range of titles available. Small developers simply can't afford to develop games for Xbox/Playstation.

There are tons and tons of high-quality, family friendly games available for PC through the program Steam. If you like city building, I would recommend "Banished" and "Cities: Skylines". I've been playing an excellent space simulator called "Kerbal Space Program" recently. You build rockets piece by piece and fly them using some incredibly complex controls and real-to-life physics. I have literally done research on orbital mechanics and sat there with a paper and pencil solving physics problems in order to figure something out in the game.

Since you mentioned a First Person Shooter game in your post, I'd recommend that you check out "Overwatch." There's no blood and gore. It's so much higher quality than Call of Duty, Battlefield, or any of those other mainstream shooters.

Anyway, there's a whole world of gaming out there. The perception that all of these older folks have that gaming is mindless and purely violent entertainment clearly doesn't seem to come from firsthand experience.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by Pajamas »

I was thinking about this some more. A couple of thoughts:

You should be a good sport and chip in so he can buy a bigger and better monitor than he is planning to get or at least pay for a top quality gaming keyboard, mouse, and headphones of his choice.

You may even find that you would enjoy participating and end up getting him to build you a gaming computer, too. :beer
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by SkierMom »

Mark:

Previous posters here have great financial advice. However, as a fellow parent to an ADD-inattentive child, there is another layer of complexity that frankly, only parents of kids with ADD will understand.

ADD-inattentive kids have an emotional and social maturity lag of 2-3 years. Research (MIND Institute, Yale University) shows frontal brain lobes are not as developed as their peers. This is the section of the brain that controls pleasure and impulsivity, as well as executive functioning. So the question becomes Is it a good idea to allow the build/purchase of a gaming computer by a 12- or 13-year old? Will they be able to develop the self-restraint and discipline to shut it off and complete AP schoolwork? I'm suggesting not. The situation calls for clearly articulated expectations that if not met, the computer goes away.

Curiously, our child as well is extremely good with computers, gaming mods, trouble-shooting and any kind of programming or hardware. Neither are they interested in a future Computer Science degree. I thought Silicon Valley was filled with these ADD creative thinker types excelling in the computer professions.
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reriodan
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by reriodan »

kjvmartin wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Is your computer upgradable? As in, you dont need to spend so much building a new one, just add a new graphics card to allow for gaming?
Also, as an aside, I tried to get back into some light gaming recently. There are few if any wholesome/family friendly games. It became an issue of having to keep it on "mute" even in a WW1 combat game, about every other word your fellow soldiers shout in game is foul language. The most popular games, and the best reviewed games, are fraught with extreme gore, violence, nudity, adult themes etc. It seems they have realized what sells, but I can't fathom ever allowing a minor to start this hobby. I would consider a Nintendo Switch if I had kids interested in gaming.
This is not true, but even if it was, I am pretty sure kids are exposed to far worse things than what video games are offering. Foul language... lol, people are dreaming if they think their teenagers are so innocent as to not be exposed to bad words.
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BeerMoney
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by BeerMoney »

If he wanted to spend $1500 on a gaming computer I'd tell him he's spending at least $700 too much and not let him spend it all :P

You can spend a lot less and build a system that will play any modern game.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by mikemagz11 »

Colleges are starting to add esports teams and giving out scholarships so maybe he can turn it into a full ride somewhere :sharebeer
kjvmartin
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by kjvmartin »

reriodan wrote:
kjvmartin wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:Is your computer upgradable? As in, you dont need to spend so much building a new one, just add a new graphics card to allow for gaming?
Also, as an aside, I tried to get back into some light gaming recently. There are few if any wholesome/family friendly games. It became an issue of having to keep it on "mute" even in a WW1 combat game, about every other word your fellow soldiers shout in game is foul language. The most popular games, and the best reviewed games, are fraught with extreme gore, violence, nudity, adult themes etc. It seems they have realized what sells, but I can't fathom ever allowing a minor to start this hobby. I would consider a Nintendo Switch if I had kids interested in gaming.
This is not true, but even if it was, I am pretty sure kids are exposed to far worse things than what video games are offering. Foul language... lol, people are dreaming if they think their teenagers are so innocent as to not be exposed to bad words.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gaming/what- ... nt-evil-7/

I went through this list and 90% of the PC titles are rated M. Nearly all of them have "blood and gore" "intense violence" and "language."

Playing Civ 5-6 on a high end gaming PC is like taking a Ferrari to pickup the groceries. I am assuming this young man wants to be able to play first run AAA titles, otherwise he could save $700-$800. I'm a huge Civ and Cities Skylines fan and play them beautifully on a Mac with integrated graphics. He doesn't want a $1500 gaming PC for those games. Edit: Also to add Overwatch is a good non-violent combat game, but it does not need anywhere near $1500 worth of equipment to play
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by PFInterest »

my 2 cents:
- dont forget you are the parent. you control the time spent on any computer/phone/game console, what its used for, etc. end of discussion.
- yes let him build a PC. youtube youtube youtube.
- it should NOT cost 1500 (budget gamer can be made for 500, good mid end for 1K). ryzen 1600 or intel i5 7500, AMD 580 or nVidia 1060, SSD+HDD, 16gb ram BOOM!. this would be a great value/techdeal type of adventure. microcenter, frys, newegg, etc. isnt this what bogleheads do all day anyways?
- cont to work closely with your PMD/specialist for ADD, as this will be an ongoing issue in college as well.

excited to hear if/what he ends up building!
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by PFInterest »

kjvmartin wrote: Edit: Also to add Overwatch is a good non-violent combat gamey
:o :!: i almost spit out my coffee at that. while it is cartoon animated, super fun, and not bloody, what exactly is non-violet about killing/destroying other people with weapons?
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by tj218 »

As long as there were no other tangible (non college) expenses coming up (car bill/ins, etc.) then heck yes let him. But make him build his own computer too to get some skills. I spent way too much money on computer gaming at that age, and it taught me the time value of money and budgeting. If I wanted the better graphics card I would have to work or sacrifice going to a movie, etc. Then 6 months later when the hot new CPU came out (AMD Athlon!) I needed to upgrade the motherboard and CPU all over again. Well more time working. Eventually I said I didn't need the latest and greatest and learned to spend and save money for other things.

It was frivolous, but much of what we do in life is frivolous. But it definitely imparted some financial skills and work-ethic upon on me.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by JimmyD »

tj218 wrote:As long as there were no other tangible (non college) expenses coming up (car bill/ins, etc.) then heck yes let him. But make him build his own computer too to get some skills. I spent way too much money on computer gaming at that age, and it taught me the time value of money and budgeting. If I wanted the better graphics card I would have to work or sacrifice going to a movie, etc. Then 6 months later when the hot new CPU came out (AMD Athlon!) I needed to upgrade the motherboard and CPU all over again. Well more time working. Eventually I said I didn't need the latest and greatest and learned to spend and save money for other things.

It was frivolous, but much of what we do in life is frivolous. But it definitely imparted some financial skills and work-ethic upon on me.
+1. I recall taking out a line of credit with Fujitsu when I was younger, at 20-something percent, to purchase their latest and greatest laptop.

Looking back on that mistake, I can now laugh at it, but it was a wonderful life lesson. I still recall getting the statements in the mail and being mad at myself every single month for spending so much.

Let him do it! He worked hard for it and should be able to spend it as he sees fit.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by Smorgasbord »

Well, your teenager will be 18 soon so your days of being able to dictate what he can and cannot spend his money on are rapidly coming to a close. Try to maximize the lessons he learns. For example, offer to pitch in another $200 if he assembles the system entirely from used parts he acquires off Craigslist ($250 if he negotiated a lower price on all the parts).
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by jadd806 »

kjvmartin wrote:Also to add Overwatch is a good non-violent combat game, but it does not need anywhere near $1500 worth of equipment to play
Well, you could play it at 5 frames per second on a $300 laptop. You wouldn't have a fun time, though. The more you spend, the better everything will feel. Like anything else there's diminishing returns.

If you want a 144 Hz monitor (which is really becoming the standard for FPS gaming) you need a surprisingly powerful computer to drive it even for a game like Overwatch. My $2500 beast of a gaming rig can't maintain a steady 144 FPS in Overwatch at maximum settings. I get close, but I need to turn a couple of the more intensive settings down.
PFInterest wrote: i almost spit out my coffee at that. while it is cartoon animated, super fun, and not bloody, what exactly is non-violet about killing/destroying other people with weapons?
Would you rather your 16 year old is at home playing Overwatch, or out drinking and smoking weed like most other kids his age are doing? And before anyone tells me that isn't what high schoolers are doing these days, I'm 23. I've been there. I've got younger siblings.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by barnaclebob »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: For your son, once he's got a setup, you should have clear rules. Ours for our 16 year old during the school year is no gaming when the next day is a school day. When allowed, he must first ask permission and is then given a time limit. He sets a timer and is off when the time is up.

You also have to carefully monitor and research any games he's playing. That's a whole other ball of wax.
Seems like a bit much for a 16 year old.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by jadd806 »

Smorgasbord wrote:For example, offer to pitch in another $200 if he assembles the system entirely from used parts he acquires off Craigslist ($250 if he negotiated a lower price on all the parts).
I wouldn't advise purchasing used PC parts. Especially not a used GPU. A lot of used GPUs on the market have been used for mining cryptocurrency. Video cards weren't designed to run at 100% like that all of the time (with poor cooling in the case of most miners), so it's very likely that these cards are damaged in some way.

Not to mention the cost of getting scammed and buying a fried part will probably outweigh what you saved by buying used. Good luck getting your money back from the guy on Craigslist who sold you a fried GPU for $200 in the McDonald's parking lot. At least with eBay you have some recourse if you get scammed, but I still wouldn't recommend buying used PC parts. First builds are daunting enough.
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by flamesabers »

barnaclebob wrote:
Jack FFR1846 wrote: For your son, once he's got a setup, you should have clear rules. Ours for our 16 year old during the school year is no gaming when the next day is a school day. When allowed, he must first ask permission and is then given a time limit. He sets a timer and is off when the time is up.

You also have to carefully monitor and research any games he's playing. That's a whole other ball of wax.
Seems like a bit much for a 16 year old.
I agree, but everyone's family is different.
spoco79
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by spoco79 »

I was not a gamer, but I did build my first computer back in the 90s. Learned how everything worked together and some valuable skills.

A conservative estimate of what I have made "on the side" in my 20 years since building computers and coding would be north of $50k, including $5,000 one month between semesters at college.

The gaming part of it aside, I'd use it as an opportunity to teach him to shop around for quality parts, and learn the skill with him. Computer engineers make good money even with degrees from state schools.
BlueCable
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by BlueCable »

When I was 19, I spent a majority of my savings on a very nice electric guitar and amplifier. I wasn't very good at guitar then, and 10 years later still am not. When I was 21, I realized I'd have been just as happy spending a third of what I spent.

Spending 80% of the $2,000 I had at 19 on a guitar was much more efficient lesson for me than spending 80% of the $60,000 I had at 25 on a fancy car.

I'd tell him to go for it! Make sure he spends it all so he has no money for games too :)

I recommend https://pcpartpicker.com and https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapcsales and http://www.logicalincrements.com
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GerryL
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by GerryL »

arsenalfan wrote:Yes but within a budget paradigm.
We make our kids split allowance and cash gifts into 3 equal parts: long term saving goal, spend now, charity.
Our 8yo saved 2 years for a PS4 and got it.
He is somewhat chagrined that he Zeroed out the accounts, but deliberated some about spending, and enjoys the system.

I was going to add a comment like this.
Have you taught him yet to budget? My mom had us dividing our money from the time we first got allowances and money gifts from the grandparents. We didn't have a charity line item, but we did have to set money aside to buy gifts for others. From there it was not a big leap to expect to budget with money we earned on our own.

Another thing my folks did to encourage setting money aside for something "big" we wanted: We'd come up with a contract and if we saved half the money, they would put in the other half.
kjvmartin
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by kjvmartin »

jadd806 wrote:
Would you rather your 16 year old is at home playing Overwatch, or out drinking and smoking weed like most other kids his age are doing? And before anyone tells me that isn't what high schoolers are doing these days, I'm 23. I've been there. I've got younger siblings.
I have played Overwatch and other Blizzard online games both as a teenager and adult... The kids (and many adults) on the other end of the voice chats are often into drugs, profanity, crude humor, racism, and a lot of the other "isms". It's really no place for kids. I was given a free month, logged back in, leveled up, joined a group to do some end gaming and could not believe the type of stuff they said.. It can't be repeated here, I can't think of way to censor it enough to make sense. This is considered the norm in online gaming

I don't think there's a problem with gaming, but being aware of the type of gaming that *typically* goes on with that much spent on a computer, it does not seem like a positive environment for a young mind. I don't think those types of games or drinking and smoking weed are constructive.

Google "Overwatch language online". There's a link to a Reddit (about 3rd down), which is NSFW. There are hundreds of replies with examples of racism, sexism, harassment.
arsenalfan
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by arsenalfan »

flamesabers wrote:
arsenalfan wrote:Our 8yo saved 2 years for a PS4 and got it.
I feel old now. I was a teenager when I started playing games on the PS1.
It's insane. The graphics are amazing. And then they want to play...Minecraft. Which is like 1980s graphics.

So then you don't feel so old anymore!
financeidiot
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by financeidiot »

Video games can have a bad stigma. Let's pretend he's a huge audiophile and see if the answers are the same. If your son saved $1,500 for over a year to get his dream sound system would you:
1. Let him spend all the money he saved on his dream sound system?
2. Let him set up the system in his room?
3. Let him choose what music he can/can't listen to (even if it's violent, offensive, sexist, etc.)?
4. Set up limits to how much time he can watch movies per day/week/month?
5. Chat with other audiophiles online without your supervision?

As an aside, I play Destiny and am part of a Dads of Destiny clan. A lot of members play with their kids or let their kids play on their account when they're not on(ages 8 - 18). Some kids are fun, respectful, and helpful to play with, some are not. The bad apples definitely learned it from their parents (or lack of parenting), not video games.
kjvmartin
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by kjvmartin »

financeidiot wrote:Video games can have a bad stigma. Let's pretend he's a huge audiophile and see if the answers are the same. If your son saved $1,500 for over a year to get his dream sound system would you:
1. Let him spend all the money he saved on his dream sound system?
2. Let him set up the system in his room?
3. Let him choose what music he can/can't listen to (even if it's violent, offensive, sexist, etc.)?
4. Set up limits to how much time he can watch movies per day/week/month?
5. Chat with other audiophiles online without your supervision?

As an aside, I play Destiny and am part of a Dads of Destiny clan. A lot of members play with their kids or let their kids play on their account when they're not on(ages 8 - 18). Some kids are fun, respectful, and helpful to play with, some are not. The bad apples definitely learned it from their parents (or lack of parenting), not video games.
Video games, particularly online gaming, are created to be addictive. It's their job to keep you playing, it's how they get paid. It's a bit like a drug and effects the brain similarly to gambling (a compulsion). The amount of time needed to be successful or to even enjoy many modern video games necessitates that other parts of life will be neglected. Something has to give. It has become a full blown epidemic overseas. This is nothing like buying some speakers.

There is a DSM diagnosis "Internet Gaming Disorder". Is there an audiophile diagnosis?
Last edited by kjvmartin on Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Pajamas
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by Pajamas »

financeidiot wrote:Video games can have a bad stigma. Let's pretend he's a huge audiophile and see if the answers are the same. If your son saved $1,500 for over a year to get his dream sound system would you:
1. Let him spend all the money he saved on his dream sound system?
2. Let him set up the system in his room?
3. Let him choose what music he can/can't listen to (even if it's violent, offensive, sexist, etc.)?
4. Set up limits to how much time he can watch movies per day/week/month?
5. Chat with other audiophiles online without your supervision?

As an aside, I play Destiny and am part of a Dads of Destiny clan. A lot of members play with their kids or let their kids play on their account when they're not on(ages 8 - 18). Some kids are fun, respectful, and helpful to play with, some are not. The bad apples definitely learned it from their parents (or lack of parenting), not video games.
The difference is that playing video games occupies your entire mind and attention but you can do other things while listening to music.
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flamesabers
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by flamesabers »

kjvmartin wrote:I have played Overwatch and other Blizzard online games both as a teenager and adult... The kids (and many adults) on the other end of the voice chats are often into drugs, profanity, crude humor, racism, and a lot of the other "isms". It's really no place for kids. I was given a free month, logged back in, leveled up, joined a group to do some end gaming and could not believe the type of stuff they said.. It can't be repeated here, I can't think of way to censor it enough to make sense. This is considered the norm in online gaming.
I don't think foul language and crude mannerisms is something limited strictly to online gaming. While I can understand people wanting to avoid such an environment, I think there is still a reasonable chance that young adults will be exposed to bad language in college, their workplace, or elsewhere in public.
financeidiot wrote:Video games can have a bad stigma. Let's pretend he's a huge audiophile and see if the answers are the same. If your son saved $1,500 for over a year to get his dream sound system would you:
1. Let him spend all the money he saved on his dream sound system?
2. Let him set up the system in his room?
3. Let him choose what music he can/can't listen to (even if it's violent, offensive, sexist, etc.)?
4. Set up limits to how much time he can watch movies per day/week/month?
5. Chat with other audiophiles online without your supervision?

As an aside, I play Destiny and am part of a Dads of Destiny clan. A lot of members play with their kids or let their kids play on their account when they're not on(ages 8 - 18). Some kids are fun, respectful, and helpful to play with, some are not. The bad apples definitely learned it from their parents (or lack of parenting), not video games.
I don't think the stigma against video games is entirely unwarranted. In extreme cases, people (teenagers and adults) got addicted to video games to the point that video games literally were taking over their lives. I don't think I ever heard something comparable happening to audiophiles.
sketchy9
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by sketchy9 »

If he spends all his money on the computer he won't have any left over to buy games :D

In all seriousness, don't worry about depreciation. The desktop CPUs that Intel has been releasing over the last several years have seen only marginal improvements, particularly for gaming purposes. My 4 year old core i7 4770k is only 10-15% worse performance than a newly released version, depending on the game and benchmark. The graphics card is what counts, and unfortunately will iterate much faster; however, you don't need to scrap your entire system to buy a new one.
RRAAYY3
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by RRAAYY3 »

he should invest the money and then play this totally sick 3-D VR role playing game called "Going outside"
kjvmartin
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by kjvmartin »

I'm going to go out on a limb and tell my story of "wanting a gaming a computer in high school" I was once interviewed on NPRs "The Story" as a "survivor" of this ordeal...

I got my gaming computer in high school and started playing EverQuest in 10th grade. It took a year for my character to reach max level. It was a game where my success and fun depended on helpful interactions with others. I learned that when I found a "good group" it was worth being late to school to maximize the potential gain for the day. I very nearly didn't graduate high school due to excessive absences. I knew what I was doing and always got by without studying. I also knew I wasn't a good enough student to excel, so I rationalized my gaming by saying there was no point to try harder at school. I got into a college 3 hours from home (no one there trying to dissuade me from playing anymore) and spent my first year playing constantly. I ended that year on academic probation. I was entirely addicted and had no interest in any other activities. Our guild was in the top 5 in the world and we played six nights per week about 6 hours per night. They were famous in EQ and very hard to get into.

I would have failed college, but my college roommate was a friend from high school who played too. We got tickets to a concert and missed a night of progression, rendering us ineligible to move on to the next level with our group. The group struggled to repeat that stage of progression (not a fun fight) to catch us up once a week and we sort of "woke up" from years of playing when we suddenly couldn't attend 5 of the scheduled nights. That was the beginning of the end. We started exploring other interests by force! The people I played with on EverQuest... I considered to be my friends, but it's not really like that. One is useful for for a willingness to give up your life and help people progress. There's sense of accomplishment, but it's also much like a job, where they take attendance and dole out points for performance. I was ranked #7 player worldwide for my class. If I hadn't missed that night, I may have been in the top 3. When we decided to stop playing, we faced such a backlash from our "friends" and and were uninvited to the annual meet up in Ohio.

Set firm limits!!!!
tj218
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by tj218 »

flamesabers wrote: I don't think the stigma against video games is entirely unwarranted. In extreme cases, people (teenagers and adults) got addicted to video games to the point that video games literally were taking over their lives. I don't think I ever heard something comparable happening to audiophiles.
Yeah nobody has ever gotten addicted to traveling around going to Phish concerts and wasting tons of money and their life.....
Last edited by tj218 on Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
theplayer11
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by theplayer11 »

I would say he should be able to spend his money on what he wants...but you can also set limits on gaming usage as he is living under your roof.
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Whiggish Boffin
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Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

Post by Whiggish Boffin »

Let him spend the money he earned.

Strongly encourage him to give some. save some, and spend the rest with gladness. A 10% / 15% / 75% split would direct $150 to charity, $225 to savings, and $1,125 to the computer. Encourge him to build the computer, and document the build (photos, notes). If you can kibitz, support, and help without being intrusive, do that.

Proclaim a policy to throttle the router according to his grades and performance of other duties.
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