This level’s too hard

10 Jan

paul_lbpYou know there’s been just a bit too much gaming going on when your 3 year old staggers through in the middle of the night, barely awake and muttering “this level’s too hard for me”. Between the 5 of us we now have 3 laptops, 1 Macbook, 1 Webbook, 1 desktop PC, 3 DS, a PS2, a PS3, a Wii and a PSP. I think it was bit pants of Santa not to bring us an XBox 360 tbh. Three people in this house get very agitated when access to all this tech is curbed (work it out – I’ll give you a clue –  chromosomes). Sometimes I am the bitch doing the curbing, sometimes it’s the broadband company, sometimes it’s an irritating IP conflict I will get to the bottom off someday and sometimes, just occassionally, at mealtimes, I like us to use the table for eating at. If I could just figure out a way for it all to break at the same time I would be delighted, and I might get to see Grey’s Anatomy… not on +1.

I see so little evidence of enjoyment around me when they are engaged with all this “stuff”. The biggest disappointment has been littlebigplanet_007Little Big Planet. Not the game itself, the game is a thing of beauty and genius and seemingly endless creative potential  limited only by imagination, you can play alone or collaborate and cooperate with others… and it is so simple to use. It has spawned online communities of players and designers who share and compare and play together. So why can’t my children play LBP together in the same room? It worries me that the male creature in particular will play online with strangers and really enjoy the experience, slightly less enjoyment when he plays online with someone he knows in the flesh, and all hell breaks loose when he plays with with someone 3 feet away. How screwed up is that? If he’s playing with someone he is unable to influence he is happy to go with the flow and play the game for what it is, if he knows the person he clearly has expectations of how they should react to him and when they don’t it frustrates him. When there is physical proximity with the other player it is unbearable, mainly for me having to listen to it, but it can’t be much fun for the other party either and I fear he can only cooperate and collaborate with people from a distance, preferably a whole other country away. This cannot be healthy.

chewitRemoving the game doesn’t work, whilst walking through the village last week Sprog 1 and 2 (with Sprog 3 piping up now and again) argued about who did what and how it was meant to be done… it’s ridiculous. No other game has had such a disastrous effect on family harmony and I can’t find any reason to blame LBP, it’s a non-violent thing of pure delight. I love it to bits, I just hate my kids when they are playing it.


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