Browsing CategoryGamers

Crash Course: FPS

As I wrote in last week’s post, Parents fear First Person Shooters, there are plenty of reasons to have concern regarding First Person Shooters (FPS). I ran out of time before I got to talk about how FPS can be an incredible and engaging genre as well. No, it’s not appropriate for all ages, neither are movies such as Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan or, heck, even The Passion of the Christ for that matter. Yet these movies deliver powerful and engages experiences that draw throngs of viewers to give up their hard-won money and limited time in order to see…

The Games Parents Fear: FPS

First Person Shooters (FPS) is a genre that ties parents in knots. Game review sites are filled with discussions, opinions and arguments about the value or danger of first person shooters. All of this attention isn’t without reason. Outside of some action-adventure titles FPS are the most obviously violent. I say obviously because there are games such as Starcraft 2 or the yet-to-be-released Total War:Warhammer which have far more people dying but in a much less personal way. And the news we see and hear makes parents uneasy. So what is an FPS? In short, it’s exactly what you’d expect. In an FPS you: see from…

Halo 5: Is it appropriate for my son?

A friend sent me this message today and I thought it was a great question that others might be able to benefit from hearing. Q: “Gabe (her son) is trying to convince me that Halo 5 is totally ok because it’s rated T. Do you think it’s appropriate for a 9 year old? I’m not convinced by his argument.” A: In short, no, Halo 5 is not appropriate for Gabe as it was not built for a 9 year old.  I love to make sure parents can make educated decisions, though, so I thought I’d give you some context for…

Puzzles + Fighting = Action-Adventure

The action-adventure game mixes the problem solving of an adventure game with the fighting prowess of an action movie. Oh sure, sometimes the action hero looks like a pudgy plumber in a blue unitard, or sometimes it’s a heroine that has all of that junk packed into different trunks, but at the end of the day they still crush their enemies one way or the other, and the adventure is still had. It would bear asking why the female characters always seem to have a certain physical theme going, but that’s a discussion for another day. Action-adventure games include some of…

3 Ingredients of Great Adventure Games

The heart of any great game is player engagement. If you can get everyone involved, you’re going to have a good time. As I talked about in my previous post on the adventure genre these games differ from others because they focus on drawing the player into a mysterious adventure; hence the name. However, I feel that I may have done the genre an injustice. With just my initial explanation it sounds like these games may be dull; the opposite is true. Gamers play adventure games because these games do three things better than almost any other type of game: Player engagement Play immersion…

What’s an Adventure Game?

Adventure games tickle the puzzle-solving spot in the gamer’s brain. Adventure games such as the Myst series give beautiful, interactive environments that guide the player through a story filled with danger, intrigue and generally lots of puzzles. They can even avoid that “you’ll never solve this stupid Sudoku” feeling so many of us get. Typically these games lack the violence of FPS and action-adventure games, but that is not the case for all of them. The Walking Dead series has created the feel of being a part of a graphic novel, with your actions determining plot events. Some of the…

4 Video Game Myths Busted

The news surrounding video games can be misleading. There are reports that: there is no such thing as video game addiction video games are good for you video games enhance things like eye-hand coordination or other real life skills violent and language in video games has no effect on gamers These reports do more damage than good because they focus on only part of the story. The end result are video game myths that we hear repeated throughout the day, that are referenced enough to make us believe certain claims the original research and findings never intended. To be healthy consumers of…

Gaming Shows a Heart Condition

My dad is always full of wise sayings, great advice and terribly painful jokes. Growing up he was always fond of reminding me that one way to spot a bad decision was that it would “take you farther than you want to go, cost you more than you want to pay, and keep you longer than you want to stay.” Compulsive gaming is like that. It draws the gamer beyond the limits of a healthy life. I could give you a list of why gamers game too much, explain each and we could all go our way feeling we learned…