Hey Pixelkiners, I’m still alive after a long weekend in Boston at PAX East. While I was away, Valve announced their entry into the virtual reality game, with the HTC Vive headset. The Vive will be able to sense objects in the room you’re in, which will supposedly allow users to walk around freely. Valve makes games, so we can predict there’ll be some great gaming apps for the device; but they’re also partnering with companies like Google and HBO. Valve plans to release the Vive by Christmas of this year.

Rock Band is baaaaaaaack! After a veritable glut of rhythm games exhausted the market and effectively killed Guitar Hero and Rock Band, both franchises are being resurrected. Instead of releasing game after game like before, Rock Band 4 is going to be the one and only, and players can expect updates and downloadable content. Also, all your songs from previous versions of Rock Band will totally carry over, and the instruments are likely to be compatible as well, thank goodness. Look forward to Rock Band 4 being a new party staple sometime this year.

In sadder news, Sony is cutting support for PlayStation Mobile, the Vita app that lets indie developers get their games onto the console. You’ll still be able to play games purchased through PlayStation Mobile, but after September 10th users can no longer re-download their games if they’ve uninstalled them. Better figure out a backup.

Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars was released last week. In Tipping Stars, you march miniature Super Mario characters through incomplete game levels. When they hit an obstacle, you have to figure out how to get them past it by adding pieces like conveyor belts, steel girders, springboards, and more. You can also build full levels and earn stars as “tips” from community members who like them. It’s a good, if sometimes difficult puzzle game that’s great for creative-minded kids. Check out Courtney’s review of Tipping Stars on pixelkin.org.

While I was at PAX East, I saw some parents and some psychologists talk about screentime. The American Psychological Association recommends no screentime for kids under two years old. But the reality? Well, okay, it’s hard to avoid it. There are lots of ways to make screentime fun and healthy for kids though, so check out that article to learn what they are!

Finally, end your week on a happy note by reading Steve Lubitz’s story of playing Child of Light with his daughter and trying to keep his mouth shut and let her make the decisions. It’s an awesome example of how games can let kids make mistakes in a safe space.

Have a great weekend, a delicious pi day, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more family gaming news.

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.