Author Archives: pacman

general-Internet%252BPresence%252BAdds%252BValue%252Bto%252Ba%252BBusiness.jpg

When I was growing up watching television was very different than it is now

When I was growing up watching television was very different than it is now

My family liked playing board games as well as card games. More often than not we listened to music and played a parker brothers game. We had quite an assortment of board games. My sister and I loved to play the parker brothers game of monopoly. Because the game takes a while to play we often left the board sitting out on the formal dining room table. We would set everything up and then play for several evenings in a row. My mother would get upset that there were all the game pieces and monopoly money laying around.

My sister and I are much older now. We have raised our own families and try to spend as much time together as we can. Our recreation time now is spent in the area casinos. One of our favorite slot machines to play is monopoly. We had to laugh the first time we was it. Many of the parker brothers games have been turned into slot games. I think there is a great deal of people in our generation who enjoyed playing the various board games as children. The fun part with playing at the casino is that you have the chance to win real money if the game is going your way.

My children like to play games also. This is something that we encouraged them to do as children. Playing games teaches children many things such as counting, fairness, taking turns and how to win and lose gracefully. It is also interaction time rather than sitting in front of a television set letting someone else entertain you. Now that my children are grown and married they go to each other’s homes and play board games. I am very pleased that they are staying in touch with each other the same way I stay in touch with my sister. I think that having the time together as children helped us to become good friends. We have talked about getting together with our husbands and playing a game of monopoly.

general-happy-business-people.jpg

PlayStation 3: Play All Your Favorite PlayStation

PlayStation 3: Play All Your Favorite PlayStation

When you hear people say PlayStation, you primarily think of great games on a great game console. You think of Sony as the developer of a one-of-a-kind high quality game console and you also think of a gaming console that changed the way people think about home entertainment systems.

Today, one of the most enthusiastically awaited game consoles in the market is the PlayStation 3. This gaming console promises to yet again, revolutionize the way people play games on game consoles all over the world. With features that are considered as state-of-the-art and integrated technology that are highly advanced, people will really want one for their own home.

Aside from the sleek and attractive looking outer shell, PlayStation 3 packs one of the best technologies in the gaming console world. This particular gaming console is expected to be one of the greatest gaming consoles ever developed and released in the market.

PlayStation 3 has a powerful graphics chip together with a powerful 3.2 GHz CPU and 512 MB of RAM that will make you experience a one-of-a-kind game play. Another contribution for maximum enjoyment is the Blu-ray drive. The Blu-ray disc can handle data 5 times higher than your conventional DVD. This means that game developers will have more leverage in designing PlayStation 3 games and this will result in more realistic characters with detailed and also realistic environment.

Because of this, games will far more be realistic and detailed than ever before. In fact, Playing PlayStation 3 games on blu-ray discs will make you feel as if you are a part of the game itself and not just a person on the outside world playing with some game.

PlayStation 3 can definitely give you that extra spice you want in a game.

Another great contributor in PlayStation 3 is the game controllers. The game controllers for PlayStation 3 games are Bluetooth capable. This means that you can play PlayStation 3 games wirelessly. This will give you more freedom when playing with your PlayStation 3 games. For example, if you like football or soccer, you can literally run around your room like a football or soccer player who just scored a goal while holding your PlayStation 3 controller.

PlayStation 3 controllers are also integrated with the multi-axis motion sensing system technology that will allow you to control the game in real time and with maximum precision. With this system, the game controller will virtually become a natural extension of your body.

PlayStation 3 also has a backward compatibility feature. This feature will enable you to play with your old PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games in this console. This means that your investment in your old games will not be wasted. With PlayStation 3, you can play all your PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 3 games. In fact, because of the HDMI features of the PlayStation 3, it will even further enhance your old games.

Not only that, PlayStation 3 will enable you to play your DVD movies, and Audio CDs. PlayStation games aren’t the only discs that this game console can play. It is a game console that is also a DVD player and CD player.

So, investing in this game console is definitely not a wasted investment at all. So, watch out for it when it is released on November 2006 in Japan, United States, and Canada and on March 2007 in Europe and Australasia.

general-applauding-business-people.jpg

The Olympic Games – A Brief (And Bizarre) History

The Olympic Games – A Brief (And Bizarre) History

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of modern-day Olympics. With so much drama, so much romance, so much pizzazz, it is hard to imagine this world-wide spectacle being anything less than perfect. But you don’t have to dig too deeply to discover a humble and oft-times peculiar origin. Truly, it has taken several decades of Hollywood magic to produce the polished sports event we take for granted today.

According to Roman legend, the original Olympic Games were founded by none other than Heracles, the super human son of Zeus, no doubt as an opportunity to demonstrate his god like strength in front of the ladies. An alternative legend tells the story of Pelops, a Greek romantic, and father of the Olympics. In a desperate attempt to win the hand of his bride, Hippodamia, Pelops challenged her father, the King of Pisa, to a chariot race. To give himself the edge, Pelops replaced the king’s linchpin with one made of wax, which melted during the race, throwing the king from his chariot and killing him. Upon winning the race, the girl, and the entire empire, Pelops declared this the first Olympic Games – forever instilling the qualities of cheating and deception upon the games.

The ancient Olympics had their own version of celebrity appearances, including Homer, Socrates, Aristotle and Hippocrates. Even Plato got in on the games, winning not one but two gold medals in the pankration event.
The original "games" really only entailed one game, a 192 meter dash known as "the stade" – which was run entirely in the nude (once again giving Heracles an excuse to strut his stuff). In fact, the word "gymnasium" comes from the Greek "gymnos", which literally means "school for naked exercise". Later additions to the Olympics included boxing, jumping, discus and javelin, which gladly did include clothing. The surprising exception to this events list is the marathon race. This famous run, including the torch, were never part of ancient Olympics, and were not added to the venue until over 1500 years later.

The ancient games lasted nearly 1200 years, from at least 776 BC to 393 AD, when the Roman emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the games because he felt they were pagan and evil. And so the Olympic Games slept for over a thousand years until 1892, when a young Frenchman named Pierre de Coubertin proposed the idea at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athletiques in Paris. His pitch failed miserably. But ever the optimist, Pierre tried again two years later, this time in front a meeting of 79 delegates representing 9 countries. The delegates voted unanimously in favor of the revitalization, and so, in 1896 in the city of Athens, the Olympics were reborn.

The 1896 games were a disaster. As the games were poorly publicized, they never received the international support needed. Contestants were not backed by their respective countries, and in fact were forced to travel to Greece at their own expense. Several of the contestants were tourists who just happened to be in Greece on holiday.

Due to poor planning, the 1896 games was held in very cold weather, though it consisted entirely of &quot;summer&quot; events. In her book <i>First to the Wall, 100 Years of Olympic Swimming</i>, Kelly Gonsalves describes the first swimming event: &quot;Not only did they battle 12-foot waves, but the weather in Greece was unusually cold and the water was a frigid 55 degrees Fahrenheit.&quot; The book goes on to tell the story of Garner Williams, an American Swimmer, who despite spending a fortune to train and travel to the Olympics, jumped out of the water after only a few moments into the race yelling &quot;I’m freezing&quot;.

Other athletes also had difficult experiences at the Olympic games. After traveling on foot from Rome to Athens, a one month journey, the Italian athlete Carlo Airoldi was banned from the games because he was a professional. As the book <i>The Olympic’s Strangest Moments</i> describes, Dorando Pietri was denied his marathon gold because an over-anxious official helped him cross the finish line.

The Olympics are typically thought of as an event of world unity, though history would have something else to say. The official Olympic flag, designed in 1914 by Pierre de Coubertin, contains five interconnected rings, the symbolize the &quot;five significant continents of the world&quot;, leaving Africa completely off the map. 1936 brought the games to pre-war Germany, an opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of the &quot;Aryan&quot; race, or so thought Adolf Hitler, who campaigned heavily to secure the games. Of course, many will remember Jesse Owens, the African American runner who proudly taught the Germans a thing or two. The win of Luxembourg’s Josef Barthel in 1952 was met with an embarrassed silence. As no one expected a Luxembourg athlete to win, the orchestra at the medals ceremony was without the score to Luxenbourg’s national anthem.

Over the years, several attempts have been made to improve the Olympics. Both motor-boat racing, and bicycle polo were introduced, and later removed from the games. Hollywood was literally brought in to add some pizzazz in the 1960 Winter Games. Walt Disney was elected head of the organizing committee over opening ceremonies, which included special effects, ice statues, and the releasing of 2,000 white doves.

Scams, politics, wins and heartbreaks: these words apply equally as well to the modern day Olympics as to ancient. If the Olympic games have taught us anything, it’s that society never changes, even after thousands of years. If Pelops could visit our games today, while he might be impressed with our bright fireworks and Hollywood illusions, I think he would feel quite at home with the true game on display: human nature.

general-stock-photo-business-people-team-and-diagram-isolated-over-white-background-71632099.jpg

I first got into role playing games back in the 1980′s when the Dungeons & Dragons craze took the country by storm

I first got into role playing games back in the 1980′s when the Dungeons & Dragons craze took the country by storm

There are a couple of different ways that we go about finding new role playing games to try. First, we always search online to check out the latest titles. Most software companies now make their demo versions of their new releases available as a free download. This is a great way for my friends and I to test out the hottest role playing games without having to shell out any money first. We can then see if we even like the game and its features before deciding whether or not to pay for the full version. I have to say that we often end up liking the role playing games that we test out, so I hope these software developers continue to market demos like this.

Another way that we check out new role playing games online is to visit a few websites that promote online gaming. Online gaming is hugely popular these days because you can play with or against people from all over the world that are interested in the same role playing games. Unlike the old Dungeons & Dragons game, which required players to be in the same physical location, online role playing games only require that you have a good Internet connection in order to join in on the fun at any time of the day or night. This is cool because when I want to play with my friends, I just send out an email or IM to let them know what time to log on. If I want to play with some other people for a change, I just go ahead and log on by myself.

As a dedicated enthusiast of role playing games, I hope that they continue to develop into better products with more great features to enhance the experience for players. Meanwhile, I’m still very happy with the state of things right now and feel that this is a great time to be a fan of role playing games.

general-business-people-icons-set-vector.jpg

Scandals of the Winter Olympic Games

Scandals of the Winter Olympic Games

The Winter Olympic Games are highly anticipated as they bring the best athletes from all over the world to compete. While there is plenty of publicity that surrounds the Winter Olympic Games, some of it isn’t the type of attention that organizers want. The Olympic Games are to be a symbol of peace among countries and good sportsmanship. So when scandals emerge about cheating it really affects the overall perception that people have about the Olympics as a whole.

These types of scandals have been going on since the early days of the Winter Olympic Games though. In 1948 it was discovered that someone had tampered with the bobsleds of the USA team. It is a good thing it was discovered before the event because those responsible had loosened the bolts that hold the steering mechanisms in place. This would have resulted in a serious accident occurring. Those responsible for this act were never caught though and it left the 1948 with some uneasy feelings in place.

Germany did very well in the 1964 Winter Olympic Games. However, two people were stripped of their gold medals as it was discovered they were categorized as professionals. In 1968 it was discovered that East Germany had been heating up the runners on their sleds in the luge competition in order to beat the competition.

Even if you don’t follow figure skating, chances are you know the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan story that unfolded during the Winter Olympic Games in 1994. At one time these women had been friends on the ice but that quickly changed when Kerrigan was hit in the knees with a metal baton during a practice session. As a result she wasn’t able to perform and Harding was given her place on the Olympic team.

It was discovered that Harding’s ex-husband and friend had planned the attack. Harding admitted she knew afterwards but that she didn’t report the information. Kerrigan was able to perform at the 1992 Olympic Games and she walked away with the silver medal. She had the support of the entire world behind her it seemed due to what she had been through in order to even perform at the games.

Hosting the Winter Olympic Games is quite an honor, and one that brings plenty of attention and revenue to the area. In 2002 a scandal was discovered involving bribes paid for Salt Lake City, Utah to host the Winter Olympic Games. These bribes includes numerous ski trips, real estate deals, and cash. Even though the scandal was investigated and several people resigned from the Winter Olympics Committee, the games still took place in Salt Lake City, Utah that year.

The area of figure skating was plagued once again in 2002 at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. It is believed that some of the judges had been bribed to give high scores to the Russian team in exchange for their team getting high scores in another event. Everyone agreed that Canada should have gotten the gold medal. Eventually they were given the gold but the Russian team was not stripped of theirs.

Coaching is an essential part of any good Winter Olympic team, and the reputation of these coaches is very important. Tim Nardiello is a coach for the USA team but he has been placed on leave. There are allegations of sexual harassment that have been filed by several females under his direction. The issue is being carefully investigated and the results of that will determine if he is reinstated as a coach for them or not.

Officials have worked very hard to make changes to how scores are calculated for the Winter Olympic Games. This is to make sure the weight of only one judge doesn’t affect the overall outcome of the results. They also continue to test all athletes to make sure they haven’t been using drugs to enhance their performance. The reputation of the Olympic Games is on the line each time such scandals arise, and with the power of the media these days you can be sure it will be National news.

general-business-people-hand-together-29597168.jpg

Cheat codes for Xbox games

Cheat codes for Xbox games

If you are a fan of video games, you are probably one of many people who want to get cheat codes for Xbox games. In fact, in the gaming community, it has almost become an obsession for some people who want to get cheat codes for Xbox games as well as cheat codes for other video game systems. The cheat codes that you can find make the game easier to play and allow you to advance through different levels without having to play the normal way. Some people don’t find this fun while serious gamers feel that obtaining cheat codes for Xbox games makes the game a lot more fun.

There are all sorts of ways that you can obtain cheat codes for Xbox games. One way is to join an online community with other gamers who have already gotten the cheat codes. They will post the codes for you to use and are almost always eager to share what they have learned. There are lots of web sites that are dedicated to giving out cheat codes for Xbox games as well as other video game systems. One of the super sites that many gamers use is Super Cheats located at www.supercheats.com.

The most popular cheat codes for Xbox games as displayed on the website include Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas and Fable. Space prohibits us from giving you the codes to too many games, but here are three that you may want to try on your next video gaming adventure:

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

If you want to keep your weapon after getting busted, type in the code “Date Barbara”
If you want to keep your weapon after getting killed, type in the code “Date Katie”
To get a pimp outfit, type in “100% with Denise Robinson”
To get a police outfit, type in “100% with Barbara”

Fable

Barrow Fields Demon Door:
Open the Demon Door to get Will Master’s Elixir by being obese with a full health bar. Do this by quickly eating red meat, apple pies and drinking beer.

Rose Cottage Demon Door:
To obtain Will User’s Bright Suit give the Demon Door a rose or a cheap gift.

3D Hunting Grizzly

Unlock Large Bears:
During game play enter the code ‘~tom Large Bears’.

For faster bears, enter the code F1 + F2 + F3 + F4
To find hidden bears’ locations, enter in “GHBEARS”

Of course, this just scratches the surface when it comes to cheat codes for Xbox games. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of ways that you can beat the game when you have the right codes. So, if you want to move ahead quickly, look for cheat codes for Xbox games and enjoy the play even more!

general-business.jpg

Introducing The PSP!

Introducing The PSP!

Having a portable Play station of your very own is a very pleasant thing to have. Just think of this you will be able to move it as easy as you can without any of the hustle and bustle of carrying heavy electronic devices.

As far as portable Play station is concerned, it is a well-accepted pastime for both grown person and children. All boundaries recognize that PSP (Portable Play Station) is also available as a part of the well-sold video games machines.

It was on the later part of July 2005 when Sony Corporation learned how to deal with the fast approaching competition against video games rivalry. Because of this, they had introduced a more earthenware white portable play station. In fact, a follow up release of this happened. During September 15, 2005, Sony Incorporated made another launching in South Korea.

What is it about the games in PSP?

The PSP are equipped by for playing games rather than having a multimedia outcome. PSP has a two shoulder push buttons. You can use it in starting the games inside the play station.

A descending plane panel is the one to use in this new games but not the old and habitual way of using the analog stick. Through this, you be able to control the games and buttons. You can also be able to use the panel in getting the analog input and a four directional pad.

The graphics and potential of the PSP lies somewhere among those of the original Play station and Play station 2, but PSP are portable and easy to carry around with. At the same, most of the available games are less difficult than games presented in the PS2.

The graphics nevertheless, have a propensity to be a great deal nearer in features to PS2 compared to the features in PS1.

This is provably the great component that the PSP because of the fact that it has a small range of monitor, joint with information that unlike PS1 has the PSP graphics can be able to execute a texture filtering.

How powerful is PSP?

In terms of powers PSP use a battery for power and endurance. Aside from the fact that it is rechargeable, it also offers that will you are using it, the battery continuously charges. PSP battery has a manual variety of system.

The life of the battery will surely depend on how brilliant and colorful the game is. It also depends on how long you will use the PSP. On the other hand, the volume level can also affect the battery.

On some points if you happen to choose, the game, which consumes more in the energy of battery of course you, will easily be drained. To be precise having more complicated games will completely use the power of your battery. Simple and uncomplicated games do not consume as much as the complicated games.

Now, several companies are now proposing to have a much powerful type of battery. These are similar to the cheap but long life batteries we hade in our cell phones.

However, some critics find it hard to deal with the PSP systems. Critics usually say that they perceived that PSP are lacking of quality games. They were condemned as high-priced machines compare to the old versions.

However due to the loyalist and devoted players, PSP still run in video game business world. The industry formulated it to produce more versions of PSP.

general-black-business-people-pf-378x337.jpg

Choosing a Video Game System: Which One Is Best for Kids?

Choosing a Video Game System: Which One Is Best for Kids?

In the old days, choosing a video game system for children wasn’t all that hard. After all, parents didn’t have to worry about games carried by systems like Atari (there was nothing threatening about Pac-Man or Space Invaders). Today, however, with the proliferation of games with mature content available on games supported by the major system manufacturers, parents want to know which system carries the most kid-friendly games, ones that the young ones will enjoy and one that parents will not regret spending money on.

Let’s start with the Sony PlayStation 2, the best-selling game console on the market today. There are literally thousands of titles available for this system, which cater to every age range. There are approximately 600 games for the PS2 that have the "E" rating, meaning that it is suitable for players ages six and above. However, many of these games are too complicated for young children to play. Games that children ten years old and above can enjoy are rated E10+, while those that are rated EC (Early Childhood) are of course, suitable for the very young. The PS2 carries about a dozen E10+ games, including movie-based titles like Shrek Super Slam for PlayStation 2 and Chicken Little. EC titles that little ones can enjoy include Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet, Eggo Mania and At the Races Presents Gallop Racer.

Nintendo’s GameCube console continues to be popular because it carries titles that are popular with children. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) lists 263 video game titles rated E for the GameCube, and these include some of the most popular and beloved among the children of today and years past, such as Sega’s Sonic GEMS Collection, Nintendo’s own Mario Party 6 and Mario Tennis. The Legend of Zelda series and several Pokemon titles are available exclusively on the GameCube as well.

Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox 360 video game consoles likewise have many, many titles that are rated E; the Xbox with approximately 270 games and the Xbox 360 with so far about a dozen — but count on the number of Xbox 360 titles to increase since it’s a new release. Some games published by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox and the Xbox 360 and which have the E rating are Astropop and Feeding Frenzy. However, remember that most game publishers release crossover titles, or games that are available on multiple platforms. For instance, Eidos Interactive’s LEGO Star Wars (rated E) is available for the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox; Activision’s Madagascar (rated E10+) is available on the same platforms, while Global Star Software’s Dora the Explorer (rated EC) is available on the PS2 and Xbox, but not on the GameCube.

What about parental control options? Among the four systems, the Xbox and the Xbox 360 have the most efficient parental lock functions. Parents are able to set limits on the games and films to be played on the systems. If you set the system to play only E-rated games, kids won’t be able to play DVD’s or games that have Teen, Mature, or Adults Only ratings. The GameCube also has a parental lock feature, albeit a less effective one. Users note that all it does is tone down certain effects that might be troubling for children (for example, the amount of blood seen in games) but do not block the playing of games at all. It doesn’t even screen or bleep offensive language. The parental control function of the PlayStation 2 is even worse — it doesn’t allow parents or anyone to restrict access to video games at all. The most parents can do is to set the PS2 to prevent their kids from watching DVD movies with inappropriate content.

When it comes to price, the GameCube comes out tops. Available for only $99, it’s significantly cheaper than the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, whose prices range from $150 to $199 (or more if bundled with game titles). The Xbox 360, being the newest of the bunch, is the highest-priced. For $299, you get the system and a wired controller. For $399, you get a wireless controller, a headset that players can use to talk to other people online, a 20 GB hard drive that is loaded with game-related videos and music, and a remote.

Parents should go out and try each system personally as well as look at the different titles available for them before deciding which one to buy. Factors such as number and age of users at home, game title availability, and budget should also be considered. Each system has its own pros and cons, and families will differ in their preferences: some will be content with the limited but popular games of the GameCube; some might prefer the wider offering of the PlayStation 2 or the Xbox; others might opt for the high-tech features of the Xbox 360. But all things considered, making the right choice will provide hours of wholesome, fun, and worry-free entertainment for the little ones and for their parents as well.

general-Business_people.png

Nintendo wii consumer reports

Nintendo wii consumer reports

Nintendo Wii is a fifth generation and the latest video-game console that was released recently on November 14, 2006. A couple weeks after its launching, Nintendo fans are already naming the craze "Wii-mania". Read on why:

For a $250-console, you’ll experience a different type of excitement especially brought on by the Wii remote, the innovative controller that manipulates most of the motions of players in Wii games. Nintendo is quite successful on this one since children and adults alike are sure to enjoy the physical attributes of playing using the controllers, according to Nintendo Wii consumer reports. Plus, the Wii Sports compiles sports games, which may lack in depth, but are action-packed and fully utilizes the Wii Remote so you will know how to use it in other more complicated games.

Nintendo Wii consumer reports also acclaimed the wrist strap attached to the Wii Remote, which prevents future accidents in case the player gets so engrossed with the games and loses a grip. The Wii likewise includes extra features created for younger players, called Miis. Nintendo Wii consumer reports praised the good parental controls in Wii as well as the many other games customized for children.

You can keep your Nintendo GameCube discs. Nintendo Wii consumer reports expressed admiration that the Wii is backward compatible allowing you to play your favorite GameCube games and other previously released Nintendo games on a new console and innovative controllers.

The Wii console (including rear connectors) is only 8.5×6.25×1.75 inches in dimension, which makes it one of the smallest game consoles ever made. This makes the console easy to stack on a component rack, or stand it next to your TV although you’d have to allow some space for the sizable power brick. The system runs quickly and quietly according to Nintendo Wii consumer reports.

There are online websites that offer full reviews not just for the Wii game system but the Wii games both first and third party. Gamespot.com and IGN.com feature previews and reviews of the latest Wii games as well as other news that concern Wii. Another aspect that could account for Nintendo Wii consumer reports are the videos that display game previews, so it gives you an idea of how the Wii games look like.

What’s disappointing in Wii according the consumer reports is the lack of depth in the graphics. While PS3 may have a resolution of 1080p and can very well load HD DVD discs, Nintendo Wii only has a 480p resolution and cannot play DVDs. However, if it’s the fun of the games you’re after, Nintendo Wii dared to dabble and bring life back to an otherwise dying industry.

general-cutcaster-photo-100556636-business-people-on-chart-background.jpg

Choosing a Video Game System

Choosing a Video Game System

In the old days, choosing a video game system for children wasn’t all that hard. After all, parents didn’t have to worry about games carried by systems like Atari (there was nothing threatening about Pac-Man or Space Invaders). Today, however, with the proliferation of games with mature content available on games supported by the major system manufacturers, parents want to know which system carries the most kid-friendly games, ones that the young ones will enjoy and one that parents will not regret spending money on.
Let’s start with the Sony PlayStation 2, the best-selling game console on the market today. There are literally thousands of titles available for this system, which cater to every age range. There are approximately 600 games for the PS2 that have the "E" rating, meaning that it is suitable for players ages six and above. However, many of these games are too complicated for young children to play. Games that children ten years old and above can enjoy are rated E10+, while those that are rated EC (Early Childhood) are of course, suitable for the very young. The PS2 carries about a dozen E10+ games, including movie-based titles like Shrek Super Slam for PlayStation 2 and Chicken Little. EC titles that little ones can enjoy include Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet, Eggo Mania and At the Races Presents Gallop Racer.
Nintendo’s GameCube console continues to be popular because it carries titles that are popular with children. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) lists 263 video game titles rated E for the GameCube, and these include some of the most popular and beloved among the children of today and years past, such as Sega’s Sonic GEMS Collection, Nintendo’s own Mario Party 6 and Mario Tennis. The Legend of Zelda series and several Pokemon titles are available exclusively on the GameCube as well.
Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox 360 video game consoles likewise have many, many titles that are rated E; the Xbox with approximately 270 games and the Xbox 360 with so far about a dozen — but count on the number of Xbox 360 titles to increase since it’s a new release. Some games published by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox and the Xbox 360 and which have the E rating are Astropop and Feeding Frenzy. However, remember that most game publishers release crossover titles, or games that are available on multiple platforms. For instance, Eidos Interactive’s LEGO Star Wars (rated E) is available for the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox; Activision’s Madagascar (rated E10+) is available on the same platforms, while Global Star Software’s Dora the Explorer (rated EC) is available on the PS2 and Xbox, but not on the GameCube.
What about parental control options? Among the four systems, the Xbox and the Xbox 360 have the most efficient parental lock functions. Parents are able to set limits on the games and films to be played on the systems. If you set the system to play only E-rated games, kids won’t be able to play DVD’s or games that have Teen, Mature, or Adults Only ratings. The GameCube also has a parental lock feature, albeit a less effective one. Users note that all it does is tone down certain effects that might be troubling for children (for example, the amount of blood seen in games) but do not block the playing of games at all. It doesn’t even screen or bleep offensive language. The parental control function of the PlayStation 2 is even worse — it doesn’t allow parents or anyone to restrict access to video games at all. The most parents can do is to set the PS2 to prevent their kids from watching DVD movies with inappropriate content.
When it comes to price, the GameCube comes out tops. Available for only $99, it’s significantly cheaper than the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, whose prices range from $150 to $199 (or more if bundled with game titles). The Xbox 360, being the newest of the bunch, is the highest-priced. For $299, you get the system and a wired controller. For $399, you get a wireless controller, a headset that players can use to talk to other people online, a 20 GB hard drive that is loaded with game-related videos and music, and a remote.
Parents should go out and try each system personally as well as look at the different titles available for them before deciding which one to buy. Factors such as number and age of users at home, game title availability, and budget should also be considered. Each system has its own pros and cons, and families will differ in their preferences: some will be content with the limited but popular games of the GameCube; some might prefer the wider offering of the PlayStation 2 or the Xbox; others might opt for the high-tech features of the Xbox 360. But all things considered, making the right choice will provide hours of wholesome, fun, and worry-free entertainment for the little ones and for their parents as well.