Tag Archive: video games

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


This past weekend saw the first games of the new indoor soccer league for St. Anne. It comes at the perfect time of the year when it is too cold to stay outside without snow to play in. Kids get to learn new skills and have a great time while beating end-of-winter doldums.


Image by karpati

Image by karpati

I saw kids having fun, kids kicking and passing and getting the game, even at the youngest levels. I loved sitting in the stands and watching the kids have a good time. The parents, grandparents, and friends seemed to get it as well, learning to clap at the appropriate moments and cheer for good plays.


While only a couple of kids forgot not to use their hands, others demonstrated their ability to do a header – using their head to correct the direction of an airborne ball – that made people gasp.


I know there are experienced players and newbies all mixed together. I would hope that kids new to the sport learn something from the kids with more experience. I hope that those new kids have something to give the more experienced ones.


But let me warn parents, grandparents and spectators on one thing. This could develop into a wonderful new addiction if you only let it.


This weekend, we made the effort to see a new movie on DVD and luck was with us when the kids found Wreck-it Ralph on the shelf at the grocery store. We have been waiting for weeks to see this movie because every time I went in, the movie was out.


Continuing the trying something new theme, I made calzones instead of pizza. It is good to mix things up every now and again.


Poster image from IMDb.com

Poster image from IMDb.com

The story is about a character in a video game who has come to the conclusion that he no longer wants to be the ‘bad guy.’ He has come to realize that the bad guy is never revered, he is only reviled. And so Ralph begins a journey to become a ‘hero.’


We parents know how that journey may end, especially after Ralph finds himself helping a little girl in a race game set in a land made from candy. But there is a bigger danger than Ralph even knows about, and it will take an outside force in the form of sexy warrior, Calhoun, and Fix-it Felix in order to get rid of that problem.


I am not sure what I loved more – the various color schemes and character styles mixed together, the pace of the movie, or the sincere angst of the lead character. It all worked well together, creating believable character development.

Granted, you have to believe that characters from one video game can move into another game with minimal problems. You have to believe that people can change, grow, and learn that maybe the skills they have can be used for good or bad.


The biggest test for me with any movie is would I watch it again. The immediate answer to that is a big yes. And let’s just say, I might have a little crush on Ralph.


Who wouldn’t want to spend more time with a character you really like, especially when they are a new discovery?


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.


Making the Generational Grade

Lately, I have had a strange thought rumbling through my head.

I am constantly hearing about the “Greatest Generation” and how they did it so much better than this current generation. (BTW, thanks Tom Brokaw for coming up with this term).

picture bu J Durham

They came of age during the GREAT DEPRESSION in which people really did without. And then the men of this generation went off to World War II, THE BIG ONE. When they came back, it was off to create a economic state and society like we had not seen in a long time.

As I have talked to people older than myself and wondered what was it about that generation, it hit me. Hit me like a red balloon to the face.

When the GREATEST GENERATION sought to achieve it was for no other reason than they knew what hunger was and failure was not an option. I mean the type of hunger that does not go away with a quick snickers bar because you couldn’t afford a snickers. Survival was tough and nasty. So you did what you had to do.

Women above a certain class couldn’t work in the 1930s because it was unseemly. If you worked outside of the home, things were bad and you were the hired help. That is until the men went to war and the factories needed people to staff it.

So you found ways to survive. Grow extra food, do mending and ironing for people. Young men joined the CCC. If you were a kid you might have had to quit school and get a job. Then came the war. The men went and factories were humming.

The greatest generation rose to the challenge with victory gardens, gas rationing and sugar rationing. Nylon hose came into being because silk was needed for parachutes. Once soldiers came back they had to deal with housing shortages.

They also had the GI Bill which gave them the opportunity to go to school. So they went and became smarter in order to figured out how to make things better and smarter. The fifties were an alleged halcion age.

There are social issues that are pushed under the rug because who wants to deal with that when what this group of people survivied was incredible.

It makes me wonder what is wrong with the slackers of today – my generation and the ones that have come after. Do we not create anything, make the world a better place. Or do we just sit on our butts playing video games all day long.

Wait, didn’t the generations that grew up during  the 60s and after invent video games? Bill Gates, who is in his fifties, came up with the computer system that revolutionized the world. There have been star athletes, incredible movie stars, inventors, advertising geniuses from that point onward. The President of the United States, his wife and the chief Justice of the Supreme Court are in their late forties and early fifities.

What we do not have is a gravatizing event that has made us appear deeper and more aware. We have not had a major event that has lasted for years that has made a major impact on our lives or forced us to suffer as the GREATEST GENERATION has.

What about 911, you say, and the war in Iraq?  Let me ask this – what did you give up in return because of those events? Gas may be higher but we still have it whenever we want. Same with food and water. Our generation has not faced those same hardships in the same way.

But does that mean our generation is not valid? Does that mean we are all a bunch of layabouts? Or does it mean that we have not had to struggle because our parents never wanted us to struggle in the same way they had. They worked hard so we could have a better life and the same for our kids.

Which doesn’t mean we haven’t had our share of problems. More time on our hands have meant more self-reflection and looking at issues that were not right and were not fair. Our generation has also had to deal with the rise of Autism, Asthma, food allergies and new technologies that prolong life.

Image by ardelfin

My generation had to deal with the after affects of the summer of love, civil rights, assasignations of various leaders and the end of the cold war.  We called out addiction and abuse; we painted pictures of what was wrong in our world and tried to end it. Heck, we made people go outside to smoke their cigarettes.

My generation will not be known as the GREATEST GENERATION. We will not suffer years of economic depression and war effort or the rebuilding that took place afterwards. But don’t count us out because of it. We did learn a few things from that generation and those lessons are being put into use right now, although without the cool Glen Miller soundtrack.