Avengers Endgame brought tears to my eyes

I enjoyed Avengers Endgame. In fact, I liked it so much that I’m not going to address the part that made me roll my eyes (that everybody in my twitter feed LOVED). I don’t feel that it’s worth nitpicking this, the first and only culmination of a ten year cinematic arc. To be able to bring that much storytelling to a satisfying conclusion is nothing short of incredible.

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Gaming as the Kids Grow

When I first started playing LOTRO, my kid’s ages were 10, 8, 6 and 4 years. In those days, they had a fairly strict bedtime of 8:00 in order to maximize both their sleep time and my wife and I’s sanity. Thanks to this rule, I was able to put off playing video games until afterwards. It was convenient for me to be able to completely separate video game time from family time, as I was very cognizant of the fact that my kids were growing up quickly, and I didn’t want to be distracted from spending quality time with them, especially for something as trivial as my own personal entertainment.

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Vacation Adventures: Braxclan Geocaching Log

CompassI’ve not been doing much gaming lately, as the family and I are on vacation in the north lakes. We stay with my parents at their summer place, and this year my sister also made the trip with her family. It’s been one big weeklong family get-together! Typically, though, we take one day to go off on our own, just myself, Mrs. Brax and the kids, and do something besides the normal fishing, swimming, and eating that normally comprises our vacation days.

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Parenting Gamers

Kid GamingFather’s Day was this past weekend, and I’ve only recently become aware over the past ten years or so how tricky these types of family holidays have become. In the “good old days”, I used to find a suitable greeting card for my parents, and possibly try and do something nice for them (like pick up my room) in order to show my gratitude and love towards them. That was pretty much as complicated as it got. Then came social media, and it became an even greater expression of appreciation to share your feelings towards your loved ones with your entire sphere of influence and beyond.

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Parenting: Choosing Family Films

FilmI was listening to the Burton and Scrooge podcast the other day, when host Roger Edwards said something that made me pause and reflect upon my own behavior. Near the closing of the show, he noted how, at a recent movie theater visit, many small children were present at a film that was obviously not appropriate for a young audience. As I was nodding along and heartily agreeing about how parents should be more cautious about exposing their children to some of these images and messages, it struck me that I am guilty of this very thing with my own kids. This train of thought has brought me to a familiar conclusion: parenting is tough! It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do, and sometimes I fail miserably.
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It’s Time for Steam to Update Family Sharing

steamI love Steam’s Family Sharing feature. I’m always a little peeved when I take a step back and notice the fast-paced tech industry ignoring the concept of “family unit” in favor of pushing everything towards individuals with credit cards. This is especially irritating in the gaming world, when you realize that historically, video games were developed and marketed mainly towards kids, and without whom the industry itself might not even exist, today. So I’m always happy to see big companies like Apple, Amazon and Valve taking families into consideration through sharing and parental features.

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The Need for Media Rating Systems

5006956785_b71066fe01_zFirst off, thanks to Noctua over at Gamers Decrypted (one of my new favorite blogs) for reaching out to me on this topic. It’s always flattering when someone expresses the desire to collaborate, and especially so when the source is someone of such high quality. Gamers Decrypted is a fairly new site, so be sure to add it to whatever tracking mechanism you currently use!

The topic of discussion today is the effects of gaming. Or, more accurately, the effects of the media we consume, gaming included. When Noctua first approached me, she floated the idea of censorship as a topic, and I notice that while her post hints at the need for some kind of control (be it internal or external), it never uses the word ‘censorship’ at all. There’s a good reason for that. The word is so heavy with negative political and social connotations that it can no longer be used in a positive support role. That is, unless you’re talking about self-censorship, which seems to be much more acceptable. In our western culture, the idea of someone else telling us what we can and can’t do or say is so abhorrent that the very language surrounding it has been fallen victim to, well, self-censorship!

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