You can never get bored in NYC. It’s really just like that poster I used to have hanging in my wall as a teenager – that gave you a reason to party every single day of the year. (yes, I really had this poster lol – didn’t you?) Maybe that’s why I moved to NYC – to always have something to do, to look forward to, to accidently run onto the street one day.
This week defined that. I found out about the Activision Family Game Summit literally two days before the event and decided to squeeze it in since I would already be in the city and Maximo-free.
I was a little late due the rain, and walked in right at Duck Dynasty’s Korie Robertson was talking about family, and games. Funny – I’ve seen the show a few times and can relate to their country-style of living. I am pretty sure my uncle Phil’s beard can compete with theirs.
Overall it was a fun preview of all the games coming out this year. Even though Maximo might be too young to play, his parent’s aren’t. And being in the technology industry, it is important to me to be ‘one step ahead’ these days. Parents can’t just wait till their kids are 7-8 and go, “oh honey! That’s a nice game you have there? What are you doing? Be-heading people? What’s that called?!”
No – kids are getting smarter everyday and play with technology earlier and earlier – even if you don’t want to admit it – it’s there. So the best idea is to be proactive, and understand the POSITIVE side of technology and video games.
All of the video games presented were family-friendly. And honestly, I was surprised how many are actually DESIGNED to be puzzles and exploration – not violence and gore. Here are my favorites:
Who doesn’t love Angry Birds? I first downloaded Angry Birds when I was commuting via subway into the city everyday. There is no better way to pass the time than flinging birds.
Then they came out with seasons. And then Star Wars. And NOW you can play the Star Wars on the XBOX! We were testing this out last night – and I actually got to be the Chewbacca bird (YES!!!!) and they leave no detail out – having Princess Lea’s braids, storm trooper pigs and even the Death Star movie music playing as your flinging yourself after Darth Vader.
If you’re looking for a game on your Christmas list that is fun for the entire family and will entertain at your holiday parties – this is it.
Ok I can’t hide my excitement about this one. I was a tomboy growing up and I even had a TMNT birthday party theme (more than once). Yes. Swear. So when I saw that the TMNT are STILL a big hit with kids these days – I was pumped! I will say as a parent that I am happy to see these types of cartoon characters still being used – the good guy vs. bad guy. They fight crime but never really kill anyone. A lot of superhero’s (such as Batman) follow these codes, and honestly it’s a great way to teach children how to handle situations without being overly violent. If you have a boy growing up and wants a cool ‘boy’ game (or a tomboy like myself!) I highly recommend this game. The graphics have really improved since I remember playing TMNT on Nintendo.
And I’m not just saying that because I finally filled a childhood dream by meeting Raphael in person.
I have never heard of SkyLanders before and apparently I am out of the loop (hence why it was a good idea I went to this summit!) Apparently it is the #1 handheld game for kids. Hmmmmm I was curious to learn why?
The two producers walked out on stage to demonstrate and chat, and mentioned that they are both dads. Besides being the coolest dads ever to their kids, they also gave me as a parent understanding that they create these games around their own kids. This means the game is mostly puzzle-solving and is one huge playground for the kids to explore and discover. There is some combat fighting, but in a fun way – kind of like you would learn in karate class.
They also have these cool swap-ability characters that let’s you switch out the top half and/or the bottom half of each character to change and try different super powers. What a fun way to learn and experiment.
Watching this on the big screen, I learned I wouldn’t be opposed to Maximo playing a game like this, and it gave me comfort as a parent that not all video games are scary and dangerous.
Some others that made the summit:
- SpongeBob SquarePants has a fun new exploration under the sea
- Wipeout the show is now a game! I can’t deny I really want to try this one out.
- Duck Dynasty is coming out with it’s own video game soon! You’ll get to play Si in real life – I can ONLY imagine. LOL
Are Video Games Right For Your Family?
As a parent, it is important to just stay involved and know what games are available and what your children are interested in. There are lots of family-friendly options – just be sure to look for the “E” for everyone sign on the box.
This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of these links you will help support TOTS: Family. I was not paid to write this review but was given products t try.
Stephanie Barnhart is a writer and founder of Football Food and Motherhood.com — a comprehensive guide to pregnancy and motherhood survival in NYC – while staying fabulous, of course. Stephanie proudly hails from Astoria, Queens – and you’ll find her and her 16-month old sidekick roaming the streets of NYC finding you the best (and cleanest) changing tables, playgrounds and more. She is an Expert Mom for MommyNearest.com, has been featured in the New York Times, NY Metro Parent and PARENTGUIDE News. Stephanie also is a tech-for-moms contributing writer on www.kidzcentralstation.com. She is also a speaker to parents on the dangers of social media and cyber monitoring and owns her own social media company, Socialminded Media Group.com.