Nicole, Linda, and Stephen are joined by Geek Mom and all-around great writer, terrific human, and mom of a 7-year-old girl, Kelly Knox. We talk about news and more news. Then, as always, we talk about what we’re playing.
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- In a new research study on European kids, those who played five or more hours a week seem to do better in school and are more social. We are not surprised.
- Nicole’s not sure she likes the way the new Plants Vs. Zombies collectible card game copies Hearthstone‘s gameplay.
- There’s lots going on at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) this year. PlayStation VR has been announced. The separate camera will be required but it isn’t included in the package price.
- Werewolves Within is a new role-playing VR game that looks pretty cool. Stephen has thoughts and feelings on the “hidden traitor” mechanic.
- There’s some controversy about kids using virtual reality headsets. Are they safe? Kelly went to the Game of Thrones VR Experience with her daughter and said it seemed fine. McDonald’s tested a Happy Meal VR headset that uses smartphones (like Google Cardboard). Stephen pointed out that we don’t know how the immersion will affect kids.
- The ESRB is begining to rate mobile games, but it’s based on developers reporting on their own content and then relying on the crowd to report any issues with the rating.
- The International Game Developer’s Association (IGDA) is talking at GDC about fixing the problem with “crunch time”—the overtime developers have to work to make release dates for video games.
- Microsoft announced that they’re open to cross-platform play. Maybe some day all the gamers will be able to play together, no matter what system they have. But we’re not there yet.
- There’s a problem with gender disparity in esports. A panel at GDC addressed that, and brought Title IX into the discussion.
- A 15-year-old kid won the Hearthstone competition.
- Heroes of the Dorm is going on right now. Stephen’s a fan.
- Kelly’s excited about the Final Fantasy VII remake.
What We Played
- Kelly played Star Wars: Battlefront and Zelda Twilight Princess.
- Nicole played Pikmin 3, Plants Vs. Zombies 2 and Hearthstone, of course.
- Linda played Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved.
- Stephen played Clash Royale.
Our music is by Pat Goodwin at Novelty Shop Creative. Participating in this podcast were Nicole Tanner, Linda Breneman, Stephen Duetzmann, and Kelly Knox (on Twitter @Kelly_Knox). Look for Stephen at Engagedfamilygaming.com and on Facebook, Instagram and all the usual social media channels. Look for Kelly Knox on Geek Mom.
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