Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Name is Heather, and I’m a Gameaholic

I have a problem. The first step in addressing my problem is to stop denying it and admit to the problem. So here goes. I am addicted to (duhn, duhn, duhnnnn) video games.

First, there was the V-Smile, with its chunky handle, cheerful colors, and family friendly and educational games. This was our first foray into the gaming world, and the boys loved it. I highly recommend it to anyone with younger kids looking for an introduction to game systems. Contact me if you want to buy ours. We’ve so moved on.

Second, my husband came home one day with a PlayStation 2. “You know,” he said, “for the boys.” “Then why did you buy Grand Theft Auto?” I asked. At least he hadn’t come home with PlayStation 3.

Third, my son Jack started elementary school. With school-aged friends came his introduction to Gameboy Advance. They should call it Gameboy Obsess. This boy gets up at 6:00 am and goes right for the Gameboy. One morning when we were attending a wedding in Iowa, we heard him searching in the corner for his Gameboy after we had all stayed up until midnight. It was 4:30 am. We’ve set a rule that he cannot get out of his bed until his watch says 7:00 am. Sometimes we hear him sneak out earlier and are just too tired to stop him.

My 4 year old, Luke, has a fixation of his own. He likes to play the games and has his moments where he doesn't want to quit, but his obsession is with his game controller.
John bought him a bright orange, squishy, Nerf PlayStation 2 controller. It was a great idea, as Luke tends to throw his controllers when he gets angry. For the first week, I could’ve swore that the controller melded onto the spot where his hand used to be. He even slept with it, curled around it like a cat.

As the sole woman in my male-dominated household (MDH), I am sadly not immune to the video game obsession. In fact, it has hit me just as hard as it has hit my boys. I spend time on the computer looking up hints and cheats to get me the boys past a tricky level. I shop on ebay and Craig’s List for used games. I always check for new games at the toy store or Target or Best Buy, and usually come home with one. I search and search and search on Lego Star Wars for that last mini-kit. I spent at least 4 hours over two days trying to win a broom challenge (because Jack asked me to, but once I started I couldn’t stop) on Harry Potter. When I finally beat the challenge, I ran to tell Jack who gave me a high-five and then snatched his Gameboy to continue playing. I was sad to see it go, even though I had blisters on my thumbs.

Something good should come of my addiction, so I thought with Christmas coming I could share some of the games that we love that are good for young kids:

PlayStation 2: The Legos Star Wars series, Shrek Smash and Crash (the races are hard, but the battles are great), and Nick Toons Unite.

Gameboy Advance: The Legos Star Wars series, Dora Super Spies, Rescue Heroes, Finding Nemo, and Tarzan Return to the Jungle.

Most of Jack's cousins and friends have moved on from the Gameboy to the Nintendo DS. There’s a rumor that Santa is bringing Jack a Nintendo DS for Christmas, so our list of games will be expanding greatly. If anyone has recommendations for DS games for a grown woman young boys, please send them along.

6 comments:

utmomof5 said...

Too funny. We just got a Wii and I love it. We have big family bowling tournaments. That was more popular then football on Thanksgiving. I can justify playing that because I am actually up moving and not just sitting on my butt. (Like I do while blogging) Good Luck with your addiction and "may the force be with you"

Christina

Susan said...

We have yet to delve into the gaming world, although I've been tempted. As a matter of fact, I was seriously considering the V-Smile for Christmas. However, the reviews I read over at Toys-R-Us weren't great. My kids are rough on stuff... how's it going to hold up? Also, are there two-(or more)-player games or is it only one at a time? I certainly don't want to make my life harder...

the O'Neills said...

You can't go wrong with the plain old Super Mario Brothers for the DS. It is fantastic and age appropriate for all. Stay away from Spyro - confusing and not worth your time. The Lego Star Wars are great and the Diddy Kong Racing is OKAY - hard to get past certain levels once you have to start flying instead of driving, etc. Yoshi's Island is pretty good and age appropriate, but I can't figure it out. However, take this from a source that does not play the games - I just see what grabs my 4 year and 6 year olds attention. Ever since the controllers started coming out with thumb controls past the basic Atari joystick with one push button, I have been lost.

Andrea said...

I <3 computer games. Right now my hubby's gotten me hooked on World of Warcraft... Before that I was hooked on Ultima Online. Before that was The Sims (though it was the original version, not the online version).

But we do have a XBox that rarely gets played. We only own Halo, Halo 2, Dance Dance Revolution, the Sims, and another RPG that I can't remember the name of...

Loth said...

Why yes I have stayed up past 1am trying to finish Zelda on the boys' Gameboy, why do you ask? (And I downloaded a walk through too. I am sad.) And I was the first in my family to complete Shrek 2. And I really really want a Wii. For the kids, obviously.....

Kathy said...

Ahh yes, the video games. My son loves the Playstation 2. He wanted a Playstation 3 until he heard of all the quirks and problems they have. I just stick to the nerdy, girly (as my son calls them) computer games. My daughter loves www.barbie.com and oh yeah, the barbie game her dad bought for the Playstation 2! I can so relate.

www.kathy-iamwhoiam.blogspot.com