Gaming Brings People Together

Happy Thursday!

Some of you may know that I run the Sunday school program at the church I attend and grew up with. Last Sunday was the first day back after summer break and we did a fun exercise to catch up with one another and find out what we have in common.

I downloaded a puzzle template that had 12 pieces on it and cut out each individual piece. Then I gave the kids a piece and made them talk in one-on-one groups. They had to discover two things they had in common with each other (so they could each write something different on their puzzle piece).

They each did multiple pieces so that they had a chance to talk to everyone in the class, including the teachers.

I did this exercise with them in an attempt to get to know them a little better. These kids range in ages, but the group I had was mostly in upper elementary or just started middle school.

I sat down to talk to one boy. Even though he’s been coming to Sunday school for years, he didn’t seem to want to talk. I was his last person and by then I think he was just done with the exercise.

I kept asking him, “What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite food? Season? Holiday?” He was giving me nothing and whatever he answered, I said the opposite.

Finally, he said he enjoyed Pokemon.

I had known this but completely forgot about it. I said I liked it too and he was eager to write “Pokemon” down on his puzzle piece.

Then I asked about Minecraft. I don’t know why that game was the first to pop in my head, but it was. He said he used to, but hasn’t played it in a while. Well, that’s great because I haven’t played it in a while either. So I wrote “Minecraft” on my puzzle piece.

Once everyone was done, we colored our puzzle pieces to make them stand out and look unique since I’ll be trying to tape them together.

I drew dark green squares on my Minecraft piece and colored the background a light green. Just as I finished that, the boy came up to me, proudly I may add, and showed me his Pokemon piece. He had decorated it to look like a Pokeball. I proudly showed him mine and we laughed how we decorated our pieces to look like the games without knowing that’s what the other was doing.

After class was over, we ended up talking a lot about Pokemon Sun and Moon.

It was a good class, probably one of the best I’ve had in a while with that group (and when I say that, I mean they’re good kids, but they’re all growing into teenagers and it’s driving me crazy).

I just love connecting with other people who have the same video game interests as you do. It’s something fun to talk about and you really get to know other people that way.

Have you ever connected with someone else through video games? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Advertisements

ThinkGeek: Gifts for Gamers

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

Guys, I found something really cool and I just had to share it with you all.

 

think-geek-gifts-for-gamers

I found this cool website called ThinkGeek. It has merchandise from various different things such as books, movies, and of course, video games.

They have a category for Pokemon, Minecraft, Mario, Zelda, and much more.

They sell a wide variety of items such as shirts and jackets, collectibles, cookie cutters, bags, jewelry, lamps, rugs, mugs, pc gaming accessories, and so much more!

I have yet to buy anything from the site (I said “yet”) so I have no idea how good quality it is, but it looks pretty good. The prices aren’t that bad, either, I have to admit.

Also, they have stuff on that website that I haven’t seen anywhere else, which is cool. It’s like a whole new world.

Definitely check it out if you get the chance. I plan on working on my wishlist in prep for my birthday… Which is about eight months away. But, it’s never too early to start.

Have you heard of ThinkGeek? Did you ever get anything from there? Let me know in the comments below!

Connect with us:
Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Friday Favorites: What’s Your Favorite Escape?

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone! I hope everyone has had a lovely Veterans Day, and that the rest of the weekend continues to be nice!

This year has certainly been… interesting, to say the least. There have been plenty of disasters, with some saying the latest is the presidential election, but there have been plenty of happy things too.

One thing that I love about video games grants us is the ability to escape reality for a little while. Want to save the world from a king who had been touched by the goddesses? Want to travel across the land to be the very best? Want to travel through pipes and ride dinosaurs to thwart a giant turtle? You can do all that and more in video games, and it’s glorious.

With that said, I definitely have favorite games to escape reality, with the notable ones from this year being the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Minecraft on the PC, Fire Emblem Fates, and plenty of others. Most of my favorite escape games tend to give me the power of the main character and help save countries, people, the world, something that I’m still trying to figure out how to do for our world.

While there are still plenty of games on my to-play list, I was curious as to everyone else’s favorite escape games. What lands do you travel to when reality becomes just a bit overwhelming?

 

Creepers (and Skeletons) Be Creeping

Double Jump Kris MiiOctober is flying by, isn’t it? We’re already halfway done!

Rachel did a post about us getting Minecraft recently for a couple of our computers. While we haven’t played too much with it, we’re both enjoying it. This post is just about my perspective of the game.

Minecraft was never a game I was interesting in playing when it first appeared on the market. In fact, I thought it looked utterly ridiculous. I enjoy games that have compelling stories and characters with goals to head towards, with a healthy dose of exploration. Minecraft seemed to be all about exploration without an end in mind. I mean, sure, there were some boss characters that you could defeat, but there were so many loops and hurdles to go through in order to get to said bosses that it didn’t sound that enjoyable.

We only got mildly interested in the game due to some of our favorite YouTubers doing a Let’s Play series of the game. With the goal of defeating certain bosses, the YouTubers gave themselves the challenge of one life — once you died, you were out of the game. No respawns. It brought a sense of suspense, and it was helpful that the YouTubers are hilariously entertaining.

Anyway, while our XBox 360 version of the game wasn’t that great, we’ve been enjoying the computer version. And, surprisingly, Rachel and I aren’t falling into our usual co-op roles.

Usually, when Rachel and I play a game together, I’m the one diving into the fights, taking care of enemies, and moving forward. Rachel loves to collect the treasure and money, being sure that we leave no stone unturned (or, in the case of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, no pot unbroken) lest we miss something while exploring.

Minecraft, though? Here I go mining underground to explore the caves and see what kind of materials I can find for the crafting table and furnace, while Rachel is outside beating up skeletons and zombies. I thought I would be the one protecting our base while being ready to be blown up by creepers while Rachel takes care of the shelter, but it’s been the other way around. It’s definitely an interesting twist in our usual roles, and it signifies our growth, if you will, in playing games.

While I hope I’ll get used to the controls enough to jump into fights more often, switching up our usual roles is rather entertaining.

Friday Favorites: New Games

Double Jump Kris Mii

Since starting this blog, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t play as many games as I thought I did. I mean, I’ve been gaming since I was old enough to pick up a controller, but my gaming tends to be limited in my favorite franchises. The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, with the occasional Mario, games dominate most of these posts.
In recent years, video games and everything that’s associated with them (story, art, characters, software, etc.) became more important to me, and I’ve been trying to find different games to try. Below are some of my favorite “newer” finds.

4. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Alright, so this series isn’t exactly new, but it’s definitely a gem. We had found it on the Wii’s Virtual Console and, having never heard of the series, had decided to give it a go. Gaming wasn’t exactly a serious pursuit at that point, but it was a key game in opening up my mind to everything gaming could be — the writing, the characters, the stories themselves are amazing, and were an inspiration to keep following this art form.

That, and this series was played not only with Rachel but also with our elder sister Lisa. Lisa’s not a big gamer at all, but to be able to share this series with both my sisters will always make it special to me.

3. Assassin’s Creed

I haven’t played this game yet, but it is there on my to-do list. This game series always seemed interesting to me and it was bought on a whim when Rachel and I were looking for more games for our PlayStation 3. Hopefully it’ll be a great game and open some more doors for us, genre-wise!

2. Batman: Arkham series

I was supposed to play the first game of this series a couple of months ago, back when Rachel and I were challenging each other to play a game that the other hadn’t played before. Because our XBox 360 died, I still haven’t been able to give this game a shot. However, Rachel has played it, and it was definitely not the kind of game I would ever think of my sister playing. Seeing her try out the combat-heavy, dark-themed Batman game was awesome — like the Phoenix Wright series, the Arkham franchise opened our eyes to new games and styles of play.

1. Minecraft

 

Rachel touched upon this game already on this blog, and this probably won’t be the last time you hear about it from us, haha! When Minecraft first came out, I honestly thought it seemed a bit silly and didn’t see much of a point to it. Sure, there are some people who can create some fantastic pixel art with the block style of the game, but it wasn’t until Rachel and I watched some streams of the game from our favorite YouTubers that we got interested enough to try it.

Of course, our first go-round with the game, the XBox 360 version, wasn’t that great, but after getting our desktop and then a gaming laptop, Minecraft was always one of the first games we wanted to try out. The game has been great so far, even if it is just Rachel and I trying to survive (and failing at times) in the world!

What are some of your favorite newer games?

Adventures in Buying Minecraft

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

Show of hands, who plays Minecraft? I know it may not be as popular right now, but it is a pretty big game, and Kris and I just downloaded it.

 

I’m sure most of you know by now that Kris and I have a soft spot for YouTubers. One of our favorite guys does a Let’s Play series of Minecraft Hardcore with six other YouTubers that we love to watch. There are a couple of seasons and they just announced that a new season if coming soon. We’re very excited!

We always wanted to download Minecraft, but we found it for the XBox 360 one day instead. We bought it for $20 and played it only a handful of times.

Now, our XBox broke and the game is stuck in there forever.

Either way, I wasn’t a huge fan of that version. Even though I had never played the game before, I think the controls were a bit much. I had a feeling the game would definitely be easier on the computer.

However, my laptop isn’t as young as it used to be. We bought a desktop a while ago and thought about downloading it on there. But we wanted to be able to play together so we held off for a bit.

Now that we have our new gaming laptop, we caved and downloaded the game.

We just got it a couple days ago so we’ve only played it about three times, but we love it and we wish we got it earlier.

We’re not very good at it and have no idea what we’re doing, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll figure it out eventually.

So, that’s our latest gaming craze at the moment. I’m sure we’ll be trying to play Minecraft whenever we get a spare moment.

Do you play Minecraft? If so, how do you like it?

Virtually Endless Possibilities

Double Jump Kris MiiSee what I did in the title there? I’m very punny.

Virtual reality video games are rising on the market, and imagining what beloved franchises can do with the technology is amazing. What kind of games do you hope for on the virtual reality market?

 

The other day I found a video showing off Minecraft on Samsung’s Gear VR. The video itself wasn’t anything too special — it was a video showing exactly what we would see on a computer monitor or television screen, and watching it from a monitor didn’t really help — but it did get me wondering as to what kind of games I would like to play in virtual reality.

Pokemon and the Legend of Zelda were automatic additions to this “VR Wishlist” I was writing in my head. Exploring the vast worlds in those franchises would be heaven, with Pokemon having the cities and wildernesses to trudge through, finding and battling Pokemon in exciting fights. Seeing the gorgeous landscapes of Hyrule across your vision before taking sword in hand to defend it is every Zelda fan’s dream!

Other franchises I was thinking of included superhero-centric ones, such as Batman. As I learned today, Batman: Arkham VR is actually a thing. As a kid, growing up to be Batman was one of my dreams, and being a detective in gritty Gotham sounds exciting with the help of VR!

…Until, of course, we see Killer Croc come charging at us from a dark alley or something.

Not too keen on the idea of traversing through the Legend of Zelda’s Water Temple with VR either… Or encountering a giant Dragon-type Pokemon in a dark cave…

Huh. Well, I suppose the point of virtual reality is immersion, right?