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Welcome to episode 4 of Gaming With the Moms! This is the podcast where we chat about all that’s new in gaming and tell great stories about families. Host and Pixelkin Managing Editor Nicole Tanner leads us through the news and a personal tale of a dad’s struggle with Minecraft. By which we mean—we forced a dad to play Minecraft and he learned a lot of hard lessons. Curtis Vredenburg joins us again as this week’s guest!

Download the episode here.

  • There’s a new Plants vs. Zombies game coming out in 2016! Is this good news or bad news? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, since Nicole was disappointed by Plants vs. Zombies 2 and their reliance on free-to-play.

plants vs zombies

  • Discussion of Rogue One, the first Star Wars spin-off film, turns into discussion of Natalie Portman’s costumes in the Star Wars prequels. I mean. What prequels? Gary Whitta, a close friend of Nicole, did some of the writing for Rogue One? And apparently Linda was once in the same room with George Lucas? Does anyone else have any more names to drop?
star wars old republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic

  • Nicole’s favorite game ever, Hearthstone, now has 30 million players. Nicole says: duh! Linda says: I need a tutorial to get started. And then Simone makes a lot of promises about future videos; we’ll see if she keeps them. Half of Activision’s revenue comes from digital sales like buying card packs in Hearthstone. That’s a big, big deal. Hearthstone is one of those free-to-play games we like spending money on. What does this say about the state of game retail?


  • There’s a new Minecraft book out! And this one actually looks really cool; it’s a guide to Minecraft for clueless parents! Simone derails this to tell you all about how not to write a novel, but the point is, this book could be a great resource for parents that are looking to connect with their kids over Minecraft! It’s called Block City; you should check it out.
castle Minecraft

My castle in Minecraft. Compare it to literally anything anyone else has built and you’ll see my problem.

  • In other news, Simone forced Curtis to play Minecraft with her and he was…confused. We discuss some of the difficulties of starting Minecraft as a non-player. Curtis doesn’t usually play games, so it was a real challenge to figure out what he needed to know to successfully play! We realize that there are a lot of things that gamers take for granted, and that getting started is super intimidating. Moving is a battle unto itself. Check out Mine Mum for some Minecraft parenting resources. Also, Minecraft really can teach kids stuff! Check out how kids learn to code from KERA. If you’re not convinced, here’s 5 reasons to love Minecraft from Yahoo! Tech.

This podcast was recorded in the studios of the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. Music by Pat Goodwin at Novelty Shop Creative. Nicole Tanner, Linda Breneman, Simone de Rochefort, and Curtis Vredenburg participated in this podcast. Thanks for listening!

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This article was written by

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.