We are SO glad to have Nicole back from her grand tour of Ohio and Chicago! She went to her 20th high school reunion in Ohio (NOT her 75th as Courtney said last week). Nicole’s adorable 3-year-old daughter Ana heard Simone’s laugh on last week’s podcast and spontaneously mocked her. “Yes, Simone, you are being made fun of by a 3-year-old.”
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- Minecon happened last week. With a thing called Builder Bowl, the Immersive Educational Initiative is getting kids to build educational content in Minecraft. At Immersion 2015, a conference in Paris (yes, Paris, France!), there will be a championship round. Finalists will build an “historical educational opportunity” in Minecraft (think: a recreation in Minecraft of an historical event or site).
- Computercraftedu made programmable “turtles” to help teach kids programming concepts.
- Minecraft is getting a new story mode that might include a dragon!
- A big Reddit debacle occurred over the weekend. Somehow this reminds us of the T. Rex and its short little arms. Anyway, the Reddit thing involved a dispute over a firing and arguments over what’s acceptable speech on Reddit. Should Reddit have stronger rules about harassment and hate speech? We’re on the fence. What we know for sure is that we’re glad child pornography and revenge porn are illegal and therefore some of the few things that don’t appear on Reddit. And we won’t miss the reddit devoted to making fun of overweight people.
- The National Museum of Natural History held an intergenerational game-making workshop. It was sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons. Yay for grandparents and grandkids making board games together.
- Pewdiepie made $7 million last year making YouTube videos while he plays video games. And some people see the need to criticize him for that, so he’s put out a video explaining his rise to fame and riches. Simone thinks he’s a lovely, down-to-earth person, and a very cute guy. And he works hard. And he’s cute. Just so you know parents, Pewdiepie does swear in his videos. But Captain Sparklez doesn’t. (Neither does Pixelkin!)
- Sega apologized for putting out bad video games. Courtney runs down her issues with one of the worst games in recent memory, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. “There were almost no characters to talk to and when I could talk to them they said ‘Come back and talk to me later.’ So, thanks for nothing.”
The Infamous Screen Addiction article in the NYT
Nicole is mad about Jane E. Brody’s “very long, very alarmist piece about how screen time is ruining our kids.” We discuss the parent-shaming that goes on in the world, and we wish it didn’t. Moderate screen time seems okay to us—and with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Parents and children can share a screen just like they can share a storybook. We don’t think there’s enough research on this phenomenon that some people are calling “screen addiction,” and we wonder if it’s a good idea to send kids to controversial boot camps for it. Nicole offers a great counter-argument when she cites the American Psychological Association’s report “The Benefits of Playing Video Games.” This balanced and thoughtful report was explained in layman’s language on Pixelkin by psychologist Kelli Dunlap.
What We Played
- Simone is playing Alphabear, a great word game by Spry Fox.
- Courtney played an awesome new board game called Snake Oil.
- Linda tried to play Batman: Arkham Knight but didn’t get very far because the Batmobile is hard to drive. The game is pretty and has good storytelling but unlike earlier Batman games that were rated T, it’s rated M.
- Nicole played Does not Commute by Mediocre and Sleep Furiously, a grammar game that she talked about on Pixelkin. Also Divide by Sheep, which sounds very creepy-cute. And of course Hearthstone.
This podcast was recorded in the studios of the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. The music is by Pat Goodwin at Novelty Shop Creative. Nicole Tanner, Linda Breneman, Courtney Holmes, and Simone de Rochefort participated in this podcast. Thanks for listening and if you liked this episode, please rate us on iTunes!