Posts made in April, 2011

Parental Controls: Windows 7, Vista, XP PCs

Parental Controls: Windows 7, Vista, XP PCs

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 Windows 7-, Windows Vista- or Windows XP-equipped 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...

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Top 10 Virtual Online Worlds for Kids

Top 10 Virtual Online Worlds for Kids

The free-to-play PC game market is tremendous, and the majority of the free online games available are virtual worlds that are tailored for children. It’s great that kids have options, but which of the available massively multiplayer online (MMO) games manage to dish out the most fun while providing a safe environment in which youngsters can interact and make friends? Here are ten popular online worlds that any kid would love making his or her own. (Note that...

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Marketing Social Games, Casual Gaming Hits

Marketing Social Games, Casual Gaming Hits

We’ve all heard the horror stories: Conversion rates on game purchases are shrinking; cash advances are dwindling; and social networks (e.g. Facebook) and online portals are fast-flooding with countless look-alike offerings from an increasingly overcrowded pool of international developers. But cheer up. Despite the doom and gloom permeating the industry, even those swift to label traditional games “dead” will quickly confirm: There’s always room...

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10 Best Games, Franchises for Kids

10 Best Games, Franchises for Kids

When a video game is described by a reviewer as a “kids’ game,” it’s usually meant as an insult. The term “kids’ games” conjures images of overly-simplistic gameplay, bland, licensed characters, and titles that are intended from the start to entertain very young children. The problem is that our predisposed ideas of kids’ games aren’t unjustified. Many games for children are rotten. But it’s important to...

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Top 5 Weirdest Music Video Game Cameos

Top 5 Weirdest Music Video Game Cameos

We all know that the union of music and video games has granted us wonderful games, and not-so-wonderful games. What fewer people realize is that, when combined, music and video games are also capable of handing out some super-weird cameos. Take, for instance, the appearance of these musicians who were thrust headfirst outside their boundaries and into a digital world. Insane Clown Posse in Backyard Wrestling and Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood...

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Safety Tips for iPhone Gaming

Safety Tips for iPhone Gaming

If your child is old enough to know that your iPhone does not go into their mouth, then he (or she) is old enough to indulge in a little iPhone-based gaming. iPhone games are diverse, affordable, and are a fantastic distraction for a fussy kid who’s stuck with you in a long grocery store queue. But if you and your child are mostly familiar with console games that are bought at retail, there are a few key differences you both ought to know. (Note: When someone...

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8 Ways to Save Money on Video Games

8 Ways to Save Money on Video Games

Good news: Video games are fun. Bad news: They cost money. Good news: Unlike many pastimes, you can indulge in gaming without winding up in the poorhouse. In fact, their affordability is one thing that makes video games an ideal family activity. What’s more, the video game industry is extremely competitive. Games distributed at retail have to compete with free-to-play online games and downloadable titles that are available for mere pennies. It’s easier...

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The 10 Worst Music Games of All Time

The 10 Worst Music Games of All Time

God gave rock ‘n’ roll to you. Also, video games (or maybe the credit for that goes to Atari founder Nolan Bushnell and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto). The union of video games and music is a sacred bond that has since spawned the rhythm game genre, one of the most successful gaming and entertainment categories of all time. But like any marriage, the long and fruitful relationship that music and video games have enjoyed together has been anything but...

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Should Hollywood Stay Away from Games?

Should Hollywood Stay Away from Games?

The Weinstein Company recently announced the assembly of TWC Games. The new division will reportedly brew up video games based on popular Weinstein Company TV and movie properties including Scream, Halloween, and Hellraiser. The venture has been met with some skepticism. When we talk about games based on movies (or vice-versa), we cringe automatically. “Sorry, but TWC is doomed from the start,” writes James Brightman from IndustryGamers. Given the piles...

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Will iPhone, iPad 2 Save Game Developers?

Will  iPhone, iPad 2 Save Game Developers?

If you work in the video games industry, chances are you’ve been answered with a gasp of delight upon telling an acquaintance about what you do for a living. Perhaps your new friend returned with, “Oh, that is so cool!” Or, “So you get to play games all day?” And then you get to smile and correct them. Is working in the games industry fun? Sure, oftentimes it can be enormously fun and challenging. But a job is a job, and it was decreed...

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