Posts Written ByNathan Sutherland

3 Truths about Technology Addiction

truth about technology addiction

Technology Addiction is Real In one of the most advanced, free, wealthy and educated nations on the planet we are actively creating new ways to become addicted. Technology addiction is most often associated with social media, video games, and personal electronics. It does include television, although this is more and more through phones and other devices, so the t.v. centric conversation is dwindling. 3 truths to know about technology addiction 1. Choices are the problem There is a growing body of research showing us that technology is not the problem. We are actively training our brains to need video games…

5 Keys to Choosing Great Board Games

How to choose a great board game

What Makes a Great Board Game? The most important part of selecting a good board game: Know your audience. When choosing a game you need to know who will be playing. A great game or six year olds may be incredibly boring for a group of junior higher. Also, simply being someone’s “favorite game ever” isn’t enough. Brain Food Think of great board games like food for your brain: When choosing real food, there is no single dish that everyone will like. Tastes differ even among the most experienced eaters. Same with games. Two veteran board gamers may like completely…

4 Steps for Choosing a Great Book

How to pick a great teen book

Finding a Great Book It can be tough to choose a great book. Do we look at the cover? Go off what our friends like? What if we simply hate reading? Learning how to choose books that engage us and challenge is us more than just what we do with our free time. It’s part of growing up and learning who we are. “But I Hate Reading” As a junior high English teacher I run into this all the time: I walk into the library with my class, introduce a genre and set the students loose to find something great.…

Doom (2016): Game Review

DOOM: Review Details - why this game scored how it scored.

DOOM is Not Worth The Journey DOOM (2016) is part first-person shooter, part survival-horror. You play as a space marine stranded on Mars.  A portal has been opened to hell and you are the only one who can stop it. The game’s tagline is “Fight like hell”. I’ve said elsewhere that DOOM is a one-trick pony. The goal is to kill a variety of demons and purge the evil from this reality. Of course, this can only be done through incredibly intense and graphic violence. The Verdict: Skip It Parent Approved Hero: 2/10 Your hero fights for what he believes is good.…

FPS: The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect: We want to be heroic

The Halo Effect First Person Shooters (FPS) are controversial. I’ve talked about how parents fear them and given a crash course introduction to First Person Shooters. Now I want to take you into the mind of an FPS gamer and what I call the Halo Effect. A Mind on Halo When Halo came out fifteen years ago it was mind-blowing. It had an incredible hero, combat that left you jittery it was so exciting, and graphics that were cutting-edge. Master Chief is a perfect spot to start when we look at how an FPS can be engaging. I’m going old school…

Nintendo Switch: The Best and Worst of Gaming (Part 2)

It’s easy to say that the Nintendo Switch represents the best of gaming.  It’s portable, there are great games, it has engaging graphics, you don’t have to quit just because you’re moving locations. Yet not all of these points are good. Nintendo Switch: The Worst of gaming. Go back to the launch trailer and watch from :30 – :45 again. I’ve quick-linked it here so it will start at 30 seconds. Notice anything? Let’s take a moment to reflect: Dog walks up to owner asking for attention. Guy dutifully stands, pulls his gaming device from it’s holder, and saunters out into…

Nintendo Switch: The best and worst of gaming (Part 1)

Nintendo Switch: Review

The Switch represents the best and worst of gaming. The biggest advances for Nintendo are coming this next year as they get ready to release their newest gaming console: The Nintendo Switch. The Switch represents the best and the worst of gaming in a single console. Oh sure, Nintendo recently made news by selling nearly 200,000 units of their throwback entertainment system, The NES Classic, in a single month. Nintendo has long made their standard the family-friendly, graphics-light, casual gamer category. But the Switch is hoping to take that to the next level. The Best and the Worse: Watch this first. To fully…

Ticket to Ride: Board Game Review

Ticket to Ride: A board game for every player

Ticket to Ride: A great game for any age People are always looking for a family activity where they can uplug from the t.v., cell phones, video games, and activities that draw us apart, and do something together. Board games are a great option, and Ticket to Ride is a crowd pleaser that fits well with any number of playing environments. family game night kids playing with friends board game nights with adult friends board game club at a junior high (I’ve done it. It’s awesome.) trying to win Uncle of the Year award with nieces and nephews (done that too) This…

DOOM (2016): A One-Trick Pony

Doom: Game Review. Is it worth the gore?

The Problem of Problems The premise of Doom (2016) is simple: You are a space marine stranded on Mars.  A portal has been opened to hell and you are the only one who can stop it. I said it was simple, not logical. The problem-s0lving in DOOM is limited to how and when you evicerate the demon hordes. Players have a host of grisly weapons at their disposal: pistol shotgun machine gun rocket launcher chainsaw So, is DOOM worth the violence? No. DOOM focuses on death and killing as a major part of the plot and gaming experience. They put…

Crash Course: First Person Shooters

An Itchy Trigger Finger There are plenty of reasons to have concern regarding First Person Shooters (FPS). As I wrote in Parents fear First Person Shooters, these games often have fast-paced, immersive violence with plenty of content that should be concerning to an engaged parent. Yet is it fair to just write them off completely? Is there any redeeming value in this genre? First Person Shooters as Action Movies FPS are one of the most-played game genres because of their ability to draw a wide audience. If we were to compare video games to movies, great FPS games would be like…