Desensitization: The Good Kind

NewbMost parents will admit that they learn as much from their kids as they are able to teach. The other day, I had the opportunity to observe my oldest son playing a PvP version of Mindcraft called “Hunger Games” (due to its similarity to the popular book and film series), and a funny thing happened.
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Fathers Day 2015

Dancing ManNPR radio show “This American Life” put out a great podcast episode this week focusing on fathers. Specifically, it spoke of the difficulty dads have in communicating with their children. While not universal, I do see this as something that fathers have traditionally struggled with, especially dads who spend most of their time interacting with other adults, conducting serious business, and trying to provide for their families financially. Some of the issue may be cultural or generational, but generally I just wonder if fathers who struggle communicating with their children (and spouses, too) just don’t get enough practice.

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Extra Life

My Children’s Hospital Experience & Extra Life Decision

I’m going to take a break from game/industry posting today and get a little serious and personal. I’ve recently signed up to participate in the Extra Life charity drive for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and though I don’t know what I’ll be doing for “the marathon”, I do know that I will be playing for St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. I had a brief, if scary brush with this hospital a few years ago and the experience has been with me ever since.

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Lego Minifigures

Lego Minifigures Online First Impressions: Is Everything Awesome?

Ever since I played the first #Lego Star Wars game, I’ve been impressed by the ability of the franchise to merge intuitiveness, humor and interesting gameplay mechanics into recognized IP, while simultaneously building up their own brand to toddlers and adults alike. I’m also a big advocate of making sure the “big business” of video games doesn’t forget about kids it it’s quest for the almighty dollar. So it was with great excitement that I opened my inbox to find an invitation to the new Lego #Minifigures Online closed beta this past weekend.

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Desensitization: From DOOM to Slenderman

Last week, the national headlines in the US centered around the unthinkable. A pair of twelve year old girls attempted the brutal slaying of a friend and classmate in order to impress a fictional internet character. Not being a fan of that genre of entertainment, I have to admit that the “Slenderman” character, along with such horror sites as Creepypasta Wiki were all completely new to me. But as a parent, its influence on this pair of children (who will be tried as adults, it seems) is frightening. I can’t imagine sending my daughter to something as innocuous as a sleep-over party and the next day visiting her in the hospital, not because of any type of accident, but due to a pre-meditated senseless attack by those who she considered friends. The mere possibility chills me.

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Kids Gaming

You Know, for Kids!

Despite the abundance of MMO’s on the market today, one constantly hears about the “aging MMO player base” and the speculation on how that will affect the development of MMO’s in the coming years. MMO gamers in their 30’s and 40’s are typically harnessed by time constraints which leads to a more casual play-style. Casual play demands goals that are more attainable with less time invested. Meanwhile, the younger player base becomes frustrated by the simplification of a game that can no longer hold their attention for more than a couple of weeks, and starts turning towards the instant gratification and re-playability of MOBA’s, further contributing to the “aging MMO player base”, and placing the MMO’s we know and love in danger of eventual extinction.

However, I may have a solution.

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