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Game Review: Heroes of the Storm

Overall Grade: 2.2 (Concerning) Grade Summary:  This game takes a HUGE amount of time to play. There is also a large focus on paying in order to advance. This game is free to play and encourages you to pay to win. In addition, Heroes of the Storm focuses on a dark premise – players will battle to the death and the total extermination of the other side. Some people play as “good” guys, others as “bad”, but at the end of the day the goal is complete extermination of enemies. Each heroic character is drawn from an already existing game series…

Crash Course FPS: Part 2 – Powerful Narrative

Okay, it’s been a couple weeks, but I’m returning to our conversation about why FPS (First Person Shooters) hold such a place in the gaming community. If this is the first entry you’ve read you can catch up here: The Games Parent’s Fear Crash Course FPS: Part 1 – Epic Heroes Contrary to popular belief, FPS games can have storylines! It seems like they should be more like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie: Dude with huge muscles Blow up everything Kill everything you see Mind-numbing one-liners In fairness this describes probably half the FPS out there. However, as you saw in the…

Competitive Gaming is Here: MOBA

The world of competitive gaming is coming to the main stage.  Leading the charge are Massive Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs). These competitions feature big-name players, highly-trained players and BIG money prizes. MOBAs focus on fast-paced gameplay, intricate strategy, and expert team work. Team: For the Win You join a team of 3-5 players and go against another team of live players. You compete for victory by advancing your characters skill levels, gaining new abilities and weapons, and destroying your opponent’s base. The base rules are simple enough and the quick play time allows gamers continual practice and improvement. The Big Three Three…

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…

Why is gaming addiction a thing?

Just ask any gamer and they’ll be able to tell you: Video games are awesome. As one of my students put it recently: “I can do way cooler stuff in a video game”. I guess he’s got a point. Only in video games can I create a home, life, city, world of my choice without leaving my chair. I can take part in an epic journey, save an entire universe and get away with dangers, risks and choices I’d never live down, or through, in real life. Yet saying gamers play video games because of “cooler stuff” is a little…

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…

A Common Gamer Question

When can I play games again?Watch Cyberbully (2015) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download? It’s a question asked by more than just teenagers looking down the barrel of another depressing Monday. It is not always verbalized, at times it is a mindset, a way of life, a self-deprecating motto of sorts. And it carries the weight of more than words alone: It is a call for help. There are times when video games are about more than just a good time. I have seen students who use video games to avoid conflict at home or struggles with grades, husbands…