New but Gold?

I posted a message about Old but Gold games and consoles some time ago however over the past month we’ve been experimenting with what percentage of time we spend on each game console (I have to say that the kids are restricted in how long they can play them so they don’t spend too much time on any!).

I spend 40% Wii, 30% XBox 360, 20% N64, 10% SNES

Nikki sends 70% Wii, 30% Nintendo DS

Kids spend 50% Wii, 20% Xbox 360, 20% Nintendo DS, 10% PC

Most popular game in our house at the moment is the new “Animal Crossing” game for the Wii, the rest of the family are totally addicted to it and I like the social ‘hooks’ it gives you to keep you playing it. It’s not a game that goes anywhere (i.e. no story as such) there are no specific tasks and it feels more like Second Life than a game as such EXCEPT that there are games within it, for example we were in the fishing competition last weekend and Nikki won the cup!

The thing I find most fascinating about it is the way you get pulled into the social etiquette. Simple example, Bethany (eldest daughter) had a bit of a run in with one of the villagers who was a bit rude to her, she complained about him to the council and then he went around for weeks in a huff and eventually left the village. There are other things like this – how you respond to people, what you say about their clothes etc. changes the way the game plays out. There are also events and special dates (New Years eve was great …and no I wasn’t on it at midnight!). The world changes over time and things you plant or do affect the environment.

All these things keep you in the game, some may call this boring but my kids love it so “old isn’t quite so gold” anymore in our house!

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About willwoods
I'm Head of Learning and Teaching Technologies in the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University.

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