Parent Gaming Prima – Raising Children in the Video Game Generation

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I’ve debated this topic with myself for a while now but haven’t really commented on it due to not being a parent myself. However, I did grow up from a young age surrounded by video games and am now an adult who watches the industry closely. I have seen the gaming climate shift from nerdy pariahs stigmatised by society to a mainstream activity that has become a core part of modern day life. I have seen communities change and have witnessed the good and bad of gaming’s rise to power.

With this knowledge I want to impart some advice for parents bringing up children in this digital era. Parents who themselves are already gamers will know and understand most of these points but if you are unfamiliar with the medium then it can be a mystical and complicated concept to tackle. You cannot avoid it though. Your children will be exposed to games so it is vital that you give them the correct support because it is far too easy for games to create bad habits in children. Continue reading

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The Nintendo Switch Needs to Switch up Nintendo.

When Nintendo first announced the Switch I was excited. This kind of surprised me though since I have never really owned a Nintendo console. Sure, I’ve owned several handhelds from the Gameboy to the 2DS but they have literally just been dedicated Pokemon machines. We also had a household Wii that saw action with Wii Sports Resort and Link’s Crossbow Training but little else.

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The Switch was an interesting concept. A console/handheld hybrid sounded cool and the initial trailer was pleasantly devoid of any gimmicks beyond this portability. They were showing off Skyrim which suggested stronger links with third party developers and most of the actors were young adults instead of children. It looked like they were trying to market the Switch as a more matured console, still fun but aimed at the people closer to my own age who had grown up with Nintendo and still made up a massive portion of sales despite Nintendo’s drive to be a child-oriented company. Their move with the Wii U to add Bayonetta 2 to their exclusive list and include her in Smash Brothers was a step in the right direction so maybe they were learning. Continue reading

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – Review

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I never reviewed the base game for Dark Souls 3. I loved the game but felt like it was missing something. As such I wanted to wait for the DLC to be released in the hopes of it completing the excellent experience. So for reference, the base game would be a 9/10 for me.

So did the first DLC have what I was looking for? Sadly not. Playing AoA was a strange experience for me since I loved every second of it yet felt nothing but disappointment after about three hours. The reason being that I completed the it within that time. Barring one area where I fell off a tree a few times, I only died once to each of the DLC’s two bosses, and I am far from a good player. Most of the enemies were slow and weak bird fetuses and bloated flies. The bigger Vikings were a fun challenge and I hated the Edward Scissor Hand crows guy in a good way but that was really all of the enemy variety available. The same was true of the areas: they were beautiful and interesting but so short that I felt like a traveler walking straight through the scenes rather than actually visiting them. Continue reading

E3 2016 – Day One Round-Up

It’s that time of year again. E3, where games that have been known for weeks are announced and jazzy CGI trailers are flaunted to an enthusiastic audience that never seems to lean. To be fair though, I do enjoy seeing what all the developers are working on and the event does bring the gaming community together, whether by excitement or by cynicism doesn’t really matter.

Sunday started off the show with EA and Bethesda as the main headliners. There were no major announcements from either really. EA had some sports games. Just imagine any other sports games they’ve released, improve the graphics by 10% then remove 50% of the features and you’ll have a basic idea rather than me linking trailers or describing them. There was mostly trailers for known games like Mass Effect Andromeda, Battlefield 1 and Dishonored 2. Continue reading

Opinion – Games and Anger

Games can make us angry. Whether it is rage quitting, breaking a controller, punching an inanimate object or screaming at the screen, most people who play games will have some experience with the frustration that games can bring out in players. They are competitive and they are challenging. That adrenaline that fills us in a boss battle or a really close multiplayer map is an example of how they affect us emotionally and can trigger chemical reactions within us.

Of late though it feels like gamers have being getting angrier and more violent. We all know of kids screaming insults and swears into the microphone in multiplayer matches, the death threats sent to developers, reviewers and competitive major league players and the new trend of ‘swatting’ (notifying authorities of terrorism to bring armed swat forces to game streamers’ houses). Then there is the ever present perception of gamers as unstable outcasts who are one breakdown away from shooting up a school. Continue reading