Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Non-Massive MMOs

Yesterday was my son's birthday and he received the original Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii as well as Mario Party for the DS. Around the same time, my husband's friend bought him a copy of the PC game Borderlands. Both males in the household are now enjoying what my husband described to me as "non-massive MMOs". My husband said that Borderlands is similar to WoW, with quests and places to explore and what-not, except that he is deliberately limiting his play-time to co-exploration with the friend who purchased it for him. He says that he's rather enjoying the experience of playing collaboratively but not with dozens of strangers but instead with one pal - the game can have up to four players. I get the feeling that my son's Mario Party pleasure is similar. He first discovered the game while playing at his friend's house with his friend, his sister, and another peer. One person owns the game and the other players can connect with their individual DS devices and play together. My son was pumped to get this game and get his sister to use her DS to join in. Don't get me wrong - there's a lot to be said for other game-play styles, like working in huge guilds with virtual companions all over the world that you only know online, or playing games solo - but playing with a small group of folks you know is gaining in popularity here at our house.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fan Expo Experience

My children and I attended Fan Expo 2011 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This was my son's first time going and my daughter's third. This convention is geared towards many fan bases - sci-fi, horror, comics, gaming, and anime. We had a great time. My son's main reason for going was to buy a Kirby hat and he was successful. We saw a sneak preview of Just Dance 3 (good songs, looks like fun) and inquired about old, rare games at the various vendors. My daughter went for two days and on the second day we spent some time in one of the gaming rooms playing a new card game called "Let Me Have The Brain". That was enjoyable. What was most impressive were the costumes that people wore to the convention. My daughter and I dressed up on the second day as Frankie Stein from the web TV show Monster High and her mother, the bride of Frankenstein. My son was a bit shy to ask to pose with people for photos but after seeing R2-D2, he became less bashful. Both of my kids were thrilled to see this person on the left - the sunflower from the Plants vs Zombies video game. In the Masquerade competition, there were many tributes to various games like Mass Effect, Left for Dead, Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon. My girl recognized most of them and the creations were well-crafted. People really admired and appreciated the time it took for people to create these costumes.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Screen proof of Moshi prize

Here's proof that my girl was one of the runners-up in the Moshi postcard contest. The winner did "The Weirdamids of Sneeza" as their postcard. Hers is the top row, nearly-upper right hand corner (one's above hers).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"He's better at it than I am"

I confess - I listen in on my family's conversations sometimes. It teaches me a lot.

My husband was talking with his friend on the phone. Both of them play Terraria; in fact, it was this friend that introduced my family to the game. My husband was marveling at the skills of our son in Terraria.

"He's such a methodical digger. He really takes his time."

"You should see - he builds platforms in his shafts. They're great."

My husband was very proud of his son's accomplishments in the game. Our boy watches a lot of Terraria videos on YouTube and observed his father playing for a long time before he began to play on his own. I worried that he wouldn't get to explore it, since he "learned about it" so much beforehand. Mothers have silly worries sometimes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Moshi Awards

My daughter was very excited - she had entered the Moshi Monsters drawing contest (design a vacation postcard with a Moshi twist) and she was one of the runners-up! For her efforts, she received online money. For now, I'll post the photo of the announcement later on, but for now accept a reappearance of the actual entry she made.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Tell them about Terraria"

My son has enjoyed watching his father play Terraria and even searched for (and watched) videos about Terraria on his own. My husband has the game loaded on his computer and players are allowed to create multiple characters, so my husband had our boy create a character of his own to play. There seem to be three world sizes you can choose from, so he selected the smallest for our boy, so he wouldn't get too frustrated as he wandered around trying to find things. Since he received his character, our son has gone nuts exploring, building, and amassing items. He asked me to take a picture of the house he built for himself in Terraria and post it on this blog. Here it is.
When I asked him if there was anything he wanted the blog readers to know, this is what he reported:
I have shadow scale helmet, shadow scale chest plate, and I have iron pants because I don't have any shadow scale pants. 
He has discovered how to enter his father's Terraria house and he helped himself to several of the items. He didn't leave his dad empty-handed and left other items as "payment". On my husband's house sign, his son wrote "[the name of my son's character] was here". He has survived blood moons when the cute bunnies he loves becomes corrupt bunnies and tried to kill him. He only had to kill one corrupt bunny, although he regretted his actions. He has a nurse living with him (and we joke about him being too young to be living with a woman, to which he replies, "yeah, well Dad is living with a nurse AND a dryad!"). He loves this game.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Morphing Traditional Play

My husband and son recently bought Nerf guns for themselves. Say what you will about violence and firearms, but they've had a lot of fun playing with each other, running and shooting and interacting. My son decided to take the games he plays with his dad using their Nerf weapons to a new, video-game-inspired level, by creating "achievements" and a "store".

I know this photo is a bit hard to see, but in his room, my son set out various items and placed price tags on them. If I understand the process correctly (this seems to be just a "father and son" activity), players earn fake cash during their battles, depending on things like how quickly they obtain their winning "first to get three hits on the enemy". Then, you are supposed to take your fake cash to my son's store to buy things that will help you in your next fight. For instance, the bunny silly bands (the blue things at the bottom of the photo) will allow you to summon an army of bunnies that will ambush your opponent when summoned. This proved useful when Mommy tried to rob the "achievements store" - if you follow the drama improvisational rules of "yes and", accepting all suggestions, you have to accept that a crowd of bunnies can take down an armed assailant.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mini Clip Games - Dale and Peackot

Welcome to our guest blogger, my son. He will tell you all about this new game. I was the secretary.

This game is about a farmer named Dale trying to get his chickens back from the coyote. Along with his parnter, Peackot, he was special to Dale. The coyotes dropped a magical feather that allowed Dale to control Peackot with his own hands so he used the power during this adventure to get back his chickens. They can get upgrades during the game. Peackot can get a helmet, and chest armor. Dale can get a different gun. Sometimes in chess, you can get extra bullets to shoot more than once. You go through worlds and fight bosses along the way and try to save your chickens from the mighty Bobo. That's it for now.