Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Short and sweet--never the case.

Ever notice that whenever I say I'm gonna be brief I end up writing an essay? Why is that? I usually set out with some sort of point to make, but I'm like a 3 year old, shiny things distract me. Even with my insanely verbose posts I usually notice after the fact things that I've forgotten to say that I had planned to-*ooh pretty butterfly*
Where was I?
Right, things i forget to say. What did I forget this time? Not much really, I mean I could talk more about Deus Ex, gameplay, dialogue, story, whatever, but, no, can't say I had anything planned that I didnt cover. I just feel chatty, that's all.

Life is somewhat quiet now with the kids back at school and I can focus on my stuff for a change, well somewhat. First week of school is always a little hectic.

my *tentative* plan is to play more games, attempt to go back to my drawing and painting a bit and write more often. But how many times have I made that plan..The best laid plans...and all that rot.

So, lets just say that I'll be randomly popping in here and randomly writing random things.

Since i'm here, what the hell, I might as well write about what this blog was originally named for. Being a mom gamer and trying to raise a gaming family.

Over the summer I've bought many games, Lord I dont think I could list them all if I tried. Those damn Steam sales get me every time. I've expanded my tiny PS3 collection a bit as well. I think I'm at about 20 PS3 games or so.
I've probably mentioned my console collection before but who knows where in this unorganized mess of a blog that info is, so I'll run through the console collection really quick here.

So I'll try to put them in age order as best as I can recall.

Atari 2600
Sega MasterSystem
Sega Genesis
Playstation 1
Playstation 2 (x2 one slim, one original)
Xbox360 (x2)
Playstation 3

and also a healthy amount of handhelds

Gamboy (can't seem to recall where it is)
Gameboy color (still works but I lost the battery cover)
GBA (x2)
DSLite (x6, 2 of them broken and I've never gotten around to fixing them)
PSP (my pride and joy a GOW edition)

And of course my PC and Droid phone

I don't include the kiddie consoles because those are pretty much nothing but dust gatherers now that my kids are older.

Long ago I bought a Sega Dreamcast at launch but someone sold it. My goal is to buy a Dreamcast and an original Xbox. Why? just because, and there are some games I'd like to play on both.

As far as owning games, I own a decent amount for each of the above mentioned consoles and if you include emulator roms, my game collection is probably somewhere above the 5k mark.

This might sound "braggy" but that wasnt my  intent, my point is to emphasis the importance of gaming in my life and my family's.
We have...options, many many options. something for everyone. As my kids get a little older, their skills and taste both keep evolving and its interesting to watch them come into their own in gaming.

My oldest daughter, (2)Ghanima1999 (To protect the innocent I refer to them by their gamertags) started her gaming life with a (3)V-smile, It was a good little starter console, lots of game choices, and they were cute, fun and educational. When a handheld V-smile was released, we purchased one as well, sadly it did not live long. Electronics and juice dont mix.
As she got older it was passed down to her sister and then her little brother but by then, it was about to give up the ghost so we upgraded to the (4)V-Flash for her, it was supposed to be the "middle child of sorts. It was designed for kids a little older than the V-smile but not ready for a "big" console. For her siblings we purchased a (5)V-motion, an even kiddier than the Wii motion controlled console. Neither of these lasted long, She had discovered the joys of the DS, PSP and Xbox360.
She started off with the requisite "girly" games, the Imagine series, Hannah Montana, the usual fluff. But gradually she started to branch out to games Like Soul Calibur and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles and the like.
She's 12 now, in that nightmare tween stage (buts thats a whole 'nuther game) and her game choices have grown with her. Recently we started a Co-op game of Sacred 2 and as she likes to rub in my face, she has more achievements than me in Fallout 3. She leans towards WRPGs and shooters these days.

Her sister, Waterfalls2001, is a more complex gaming animal to describe. After running the kiddie console gauntlet she too graduated to the "big" consoles. At the start she was big on playing DS games, mostly games based on animals, not so much the Nintendogs type but more the Animal Genius games (animal genius is a trivia game of sorts, you play minigames and answer questions about animals to unlock new animals and locations). Her second main game type were platformers, Mario, Donkey Kong and such. Being the tomboy type I fully expected her to soon become as big a gamer as me, but I was wrong. One day, she just stopped playing. She'd occasionally bring out the DS and play a little Pokemon and such but she never touched any other console and never expressed much of an interest in gaming.
Curious as to why she suddenly just quit gaming, I asked her one day. before I share my findings, I want to say that growing up an only child I can't say I understand sibling rivalry all that well. Her main reason for not playing games was her sister. Both my girls are extremely competitive, especially with each other and Ghani being the older one, she usually has the upper hand in games as far as skills and hand-eye coordination. This wouldnt be a big deal if she weren't a hyper-critical sore winner. With her little sister's hot temper and impatience, their game playing session always became a civil war.
Rather than deal with her sister's taunts and ridicule and never being that into games to begin with, she just stopped playing.
She's 10yrs old now and she's starting to experiment with different game genres to see what suits her. Always the animal games but also a lot of music and action games. She enjoyed playing Vanquish quite a bit and she plays Audiosurf and Toki tori every so often among others.
These days she's tentatively approached gaming again. Just like her sister I have begun co-op game of Sacred 2 with her and she plays LBP, Modnation Racers and Mortal Kombat every so often. She's rediscovering gaming and finding that, as long as she isnt playing with Ghani, she likes it.

My son, He's a typical boy, loves cars and racing games. Flatout, Burnout, Need for Speed, Blur, that's his bread and butter. He's also the only person in this house who seems to be able to play through a Lego game.
Being only 7 he's just now branching out to more complex games, such as Fallout 3 and New Vegas (he blew up Megaton and sided with Caesar...evil little monkey lol).
I wont go through it again,since I have talked about it many times  but Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts are his staple games. Scribblenauts helped him improve his spelling and reading immensely (if you'd like to read about Scribblenauts and Sapito2004 just hit up the Scribblenauts tag on the side yonder -->) and they've kept him out of my hair for many hours (kidding, he's a good kid).
Games like Fallout are still a bit challenging for him due to the amount of reading and to some degree gaming skills needed to get through much of the game. I think he picked up playing "older" games not only because he loves games but because he didnt want to be left behind by his sisters. He's getting pretty good though he can't beat me at Mortal Kombat, hehe.

One thing all my children share is a love of music. To that end we play many many music games. Mostly Lips and Singstar (I think I own like 6 or 7 Singstar games) but the family has been known to come together and rock out a bit with Guitar Hero, Band Hero and Rockband. We make my husband play drums because we all suck at them, lol.
Recently, ok this weekend, DJ Hero 2 was on sale for $20 and I asked my husband if he'd pick it up for me since he was out. He didnt understand why I would want the game but, he got it anyway. When he brought it home no one seemed remotely interested in unboxing the damn thing, let alone play it. But, I set it up and gave Sapito first crack sat it. As soon as he saw his avatar spinning he loved it, but he was dead set on playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance and so he didnt spin much. Everyone took their turns and no one wanted to stop. I discovered I'm an idiot savant of DJ Hero, no one has been able to beat my score on Bad Romance, though my husband is making it his personal mission.

My kids, like my husband know that gaming is my hobby and my passion and they take it in stride. The kids tend to tease me when a week or two go by and I haven't bought another game to add to the collection. We game together,we game solo and I encourage them to try out new games often. We talk a lot about games and gaming news. I keep them up to date on what's coming out and when etc. We play games and we discuss them .As I've said in the past, I'm pretty laid back about what games they play. I take the same approach to gaming as I do anything else related to my kids. I believe that knowing your kids, and encouraging dialogue ranks a lot higher than a games ESRB rating. Yes, I let my kids play Mature games and we talk about them. I know many would disagree with me but, that's my own personal stand on kids and M rated games, at least my stand on my kids and M rated games.

While my kids take my gaming in stride, to them I'm "mom", not "gamer mom". However, to their friends I'm the "gamer mom" and Its something that my kids are proud of (after all, you dont want your parents to be embarassing dorks, right?) but at the same time, its something that sometimes causes, not so much drama, as much as a little annoyance and sometimes embarassment. One such moment occured with Ghani's best friend. upon getting to know me, she would hang out with me more than Ghani and when her mom came to get her she asked her mom why she couldnt be as cool as Ghani's mom, because Ghani's mom games and hangs out with them.
Being a parent and a gamer also leads to a lot of other parents looking down at me, or being critical of how I'm raising my children. The stigma attached to video games is definitely a problem. Some people can't reconcile that I can be both a gamer and a good parent. But luckily being a basement dwelling, Dorito and Coke snacking gamer I dont have much interaction with other parents and that suits me and my family just fine.

(1)for those that don't remember this console or have never heard of it,this is what it looks like:

(2)Ghanima was a name I used often on gaming sites long long ago, I have since hen switched to Sihaya. My daughter has somehow inherited the name as she follows in my footsteps. Its fitting, after all Sihaya was Ghanima's mother in the Dune series.




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