Posts made in April, 2011

Music Games: What the Future Holds

Music Games: What the Future Holds

It’s difficult to get a solid consensus about the state of music games in the post-Guitar Hero era. Some people insist that music and rhythm games were around long before instrument-based video games became a phenomenon, and so they’ll continue to exist in some form. Others believe that music games have had it. Still more, particularly younger players, believe that the music gaming genre went to go live with a nice man on a farm. Really though, what...

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Music Gaming’s Hardest Rocking Inventions

Music Gaming’s Hardest Rocking Inventions

Music games have thrived (or at least survived) over the years for two reasons. One, they’re gosh darn fun. Two, interacting with music and rhythm games often requires a peripheral or a gesture that goes beyond the realm of what’s typical for standard video game experiences. For that reason, even sub-par music gaming outings have a way of sticking around our memory, even as lesser traditional games slip from our brain and fade away forever. Here are...

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How to Make Successful Social Games

How to Make Successful Social Games

Much to the dismay of many video game developers, there isn’t a magic formula for putting together a successful social game. So far, that hasn’t stopped designers from trying. Whereas some developers and publishers want a lucrative piece of the sweet social game action that’s overtaken Facebook and its kin, others genuinely want to branch off into new game development experiences. Ultimately, the desire to better the social games scene is what...

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Best Video Game Music: Songs and More

Best Video Game Music: Songs and More

Even the best video game music is still stereotyped as a bunch of bleeps and bloops; just watch a modern TV show that features at least one scene wherein the characters bash at controllers and are held in thrall by the sounds of Atari’s Pac-Man adaptation for the 2600. Gamers know better. Though a game can’t prop itself up on its soundtrack alone, a quality soundtrack is typically what imprints a title in the memories of its fans. Long-time gamers in...

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10 Tips for Healthy Family Gaming

10 Tips for Healthy Family Gaming

Video game writers like to say, “The family that plays together stays together.” It’s usually said in half-jest, but there’s a thread of truth in the saying. When a family enjoys a game, they’re also learning sportsmanship, engaging in communication, and just getting a chance to sit, talk, and open up to one another. Most family therapists recommend that parents and kids wind down together with at least one “Family Game...

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Top 10 Tips for Online Games, MMO Safety

Top 10 Tips for Online Games, MMO Safety

At first glance, the Internet’s online virtual world seems like a vast, untamed frontier. That’s not a bad comparison. The ‘net is a wondrous and hugely useful tool for learning and entertainment, including playing games, but it can also be a pretty rough place for kids to dwell if they don’t stay within certain boundaries. Simply forbidding your child to go online is not an option either: The Internet is an extremely important reservoir of...

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Playing Games Together: A Parent’s Guide

Playing Games Together: A Parent’s Guide

In new running series The Family Perspective, FamilyFriendlyVideoGames.com founder Johner Riehl takes a closer look at important and noteworthy issues that relate to families and video games. Over the coming weeks, we’ll examine research and topics from a family gaming point-of-view to dig deeper into issues and research that parents should be aware of, promote healthy gaming habits and highlight positive impacts of video games as part of family...

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Biggest Threats, Problems Kids Face Online

Biggest Threats, Problems Kids Face Online

The Internet immerses kids in an online environment, but it’s still capable of putting them in the path of some tangible dangers, problems and safety concerns. Since the Inernet and world wide web are very important tools for learning and communication, it’s vital for kids and their parents to learn how to handle problems that arise instead of turning away from them. There are steps families can take to try and avoid common issues, but sometimes even...

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Will Sex Ever Be Rightly Depicted in Games?

Will Sex Ever Be Rightly Depicted in Games?

Sex. Now that we have your attention– Not every one of us is interested in the act that produces more of us, but for the majority of Earth’s population, it’s difficult to ignore the cosmic dance (rather, cosmic horselaugh) that is human mating. For that reason, sex is, ahem, a loaded topic that is approached very differently by the planet’s cultures. America, for instance, has a reputation for subscribing to puritan values. The reputation is...

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Parental Controls: Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Parental Controls: Mac OS X Snow Leopard

It’s no exaggeration: Kids today can usually navigate their way around a computer before they can successfully learn to walk across a room without stumbling. That’s why it’s important to think of Apple Macs, PCs and the Internet as extensions to the real world: Wonderful places and people abound online, but there are also a lot of scummy alleyways that aren’t exactly playgrounds. No parent can keep their kid out of mischief 24 hours a day,...

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