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The Average Gamer 12.18.12: Top 5 Family Games

December 18, 2012 | Posted by Dan Watson

Welcome back to the Average Gamer.

This is a tough week for everyone I am sure. I want to take a moment and just say how sorry I and everyone from the 411mania Games section truly are for the events that took place in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday. This weekend, I felt very guilty that I get to spend my weekend doing normal things when humans a quarter of my age will never get to experience life again. So far, there has been no mention of video games, music, movies, wrestling, etc. being used as an excuse for someone who was clearly mentally ill. I know there is going to be a push for control laws but this should be an opportunity to shed light on a much larger issue, mental illness. So many still hide depression, bi-polar disease, etc. because of the stigma attached and they shouldn’t. Gun control is not the answer in my opinion. Look at the city I live near, Chicago, there is extreme control over hand guns and automatic weapons but all that is doing is taking weapons out of law-abiding citizens’ hands.

In not so depressing or political conversation, the Vikings won and have fallen into the playoffs. The funny thing is that even if they win the last two games of the year, they can be knocked out of the playoff running by the Giants. Chances are the Vikings lose this week to the Texans but I guess you never know.

In the gaming world, this weekend was double experience points for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. I spent some time with that as well as with the Walking Dead game. This may ruffle some feathers but, I am entertained but not understanding all of the hype behind the game. It is a good game and the concept of seeing how you chose against others is great as well as the idea that what you do affects the game going forwards. However, there are so many cut-scenes and so few gameplay moments. It’s a good game, just not game of the year I guess would be my overall thought on it.

Top 5-Non-Gaming

Top five things I hate receiving for Christmas

5. Boxers, Socks, etc. I hate opening these items in front of family or friends. Who is even standing in an aisle thinking, hmm this is a good Christmas idea? It’s terrible.

4. Books If I want a book, I download it now or buy it. I dislike when people pick out a book they think I will like because they liked it.

3. Work or School Accessories Christmas is a fun gift giving event, don’t give me something I need. Give me something fun and unnecessary.

2. Anything I have to return I recently read a list of ways to give money as a gift. Highlighted was buy a bunch of garbage items and make the person return them to get their money. That is a terrible, terrible gift. Do not ever do this unless you truly dislike the person. Those lines are worse than Black Friday lines.

1. Clothing that is not my style It is terrible when you open something that you would never wear and the person says I thought this would look good on you. You are basically telling me that what I think I like to wear is ugly and should not be worn.

Family Time

With the holiday season already upon us for some and coming up for others, I wanted to take a moment and point out some games that are great to play with family and friends. Please feel free to toss your favorites down in the comments section.

5. Board Games turned Video Games

Monopoly, Scrabble, Connect Four, etc. are all games you can play with an actual board but why not go to a faster version that people cannot cheat or argue rules with? Monopoly especially is a great game. It is cheap to pick up and allows you to play on different maps. There are a few different retail versions of Monopoly out there, but I prefer the first one for the Xbox 360.

4. Dance Central/Just Dance/ Any dancing game

Want everyone to have a good time and laugh a ton? Pick a dancing game and create a tournament out of it. Everyone has to participate and look foolish. My advice is just don’t video tape it though as it will not age well for anyone involved. I prefer using the Kinect so that people don’t ask where to point a controller or hurt anyone seriously.

3. Rock Band/Guitar Hero

For a total family experience set up Rock Band and form a few groups. See who can out-perform the other group. Make sure to pick songs that are enjoyable to hear over and over though as sometimes it gets old quickly. The same can be done with Guitar Hero. With either game, to make sure there is no major disadvantage make sure to set the difficulty accordingly to each person’s skills. A long-time gamer going up against someone who has never played and it being on easy for both doesn’t make much sense and won’t be fun for anyone.

2. You Don’t Know Jack/ Apples to Apples

Trivia games are always fun, but it’s even more fun when it is strange trivia that no one knows. Toss this game into your console and have some fun with it. See who can guess the most answers right or score the most points. Apples to Apples on the other hand will create fun for hours. Everyone has different views and opinions and this game makes reading your judge that much more fun. The version on Xbox live is a ton of fun to play with family that cannot make it to the party this year.

1. WiiSports

The Wii is the go-to console when it comes to family games. WiiSports is a perfect game to play with people of all ages. Bowling of course is the most known and easiest to play. It shouldn’t take long for large groups of family members to want to give it a shot. It may be old to most of us but non-gamers are going to have a ton of fun and may even go out and get one for the family. Boxing should be avoided though as combining a Wiimote and Numchuck are not good ideas with people who have never played before.

Well ladies and gentlemen, that is it for this week. I am going to be gone for the next week and will be back on January 1 with my first column of the year. Have a happy holiday and be safe.

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Dan Watson
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