In response to "We Always Play Videogames" from The Escapist Forum: I really enjoyed this article.

I have a brother who's ten years older than I am, and gaming was mostly how we connected when I was younger. I have many great memories of the three of us and our Uncle Bill hiding out in the basement of my Grandma's house, playing our new video games on Christmas morning, and this brought them all back.

Since then, gaming has become a hobby for almost everyone in my family except my mother (I try desperately, but to no avail). But although we all game individually, I miss being the sort of cabal-feeling troup of gamers in grandma's basement.

- mechanicalsockmonkey

Now I feel like travelling across the country to play Streets of Rage with a friend I had back in the day. There's definately no gaming feeling in my family, not like that, I'm part of the first generation of gamers there and me and my brother never really enjoyed the exact same type of games. Though whenever I run out of subjects when talking to my cousins I can always bring up gaming and have some decent discussions.

This also made me wonder about the future, when I have kids, will I be playing games on the console with them in ten years time? I'd really love to see gaming bridge the age old gap between generations like that. Also: how will the balance between video and board games settle in the struggle to gather the family?

Kwil, Hyperfly:

A week ago in CoD4, everyone on the server sounded like 18+ and then a voice cuts through that felt like a 6 year old. Checking the stats revealed he was the 2nd highest scoring player in the match at the end of the round... That made me feel really really old somehow.

- Vortigar


In response to "Package Tactics" from The Escapist Forum: Wait.. you're giving your kid empty boxes? What kind of sick, sad bastard are you?

If you're going to play decoy, at least do it with real gifts.. Amazon has a whole series of mini pocketbooks of great classic or philosophical authors that you can get for under three bucks. Many of them are even slim enough fit inside a DVD case. So get your kid reading things like Swift, Thoreau, Emerson, and Kafka, or go for the movie Tie in with the pocket-sized Beowulf book, at least.

There's also a number of other options these days, for instance, you can purchase a game on your kid's Steam account and then all you need is a note letting him/her know -- which can be packaged in anything. Alternatively, Wii points can be purchased in card format for a slight premium over the on-site price. I assume that other consoles have the same ability. And even if they don't, with the advent of downloadable content, you can always download stuff to your kids console of choice and then it's just in there waiting.

If you're the sort that wants to support independant games -- or your kid is the type of kid who likes them -- most of them have a "try first" style and require the entry of a registration key-code to get the full game. Pick up a USB memory key and drop the registration key-codes on there. (Personally, I'm waiting for some enterprising console-game companies to start putting their games on memroy cards instead of CDs, just for the size factor)

But man.. empty DVD packages? That's just cruel. (And also a dead giveaway that there's a game in there.. somewhere..)

- Kwil

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