POSTS WITH TAG: video games

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    In every parent’s Christmas nightmare, one family in Virginia had some explaining to do with their kids after an 8-year-old found pornographic images on his new handheld Nintendo system.

    The newly bought DS was bought at Walmart on December 23, but somehow contained 12 still images saved in a file that the kids accessed when they started using the device to take pictures of each other.

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    Super Mario Brothers was a staple of my childhood. My little brother and I once spent an entire summer completing that map in Super Mario 3 -- I know you know the one I’m talking about. Anyway, I can’t help but get nostalgic when I think of Mario and Luigi and all of their overall-wearing, brick-breaking, flame-throwing awesomeness.

    Writer and director Evan Daugherty decided to take this happy childhood favorite and reimagine Mario like it was real -- and dark and gritty as all get out. Because there’s not really anything happy about an addiction to mushrooms, or flowers that light you on fire, or a woman being held captive by a reptile.

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    Doctors in Finland are prescribing video games as an alternative to drugs like Ritalin for patients -- including countless children -- who have been diagnosed with ADHD. The concept, backed by research, involves doctors first analyzing a person's brain, discovering with parts are too active or not active enough, and then creating games for them that stimulate that part of the brain. The idea is if you spend time each day training the brain to think the right way, you can get the brain to think that way more often. 

    It's an out-of-the-box idea that seems too simple to be true -- but comes at a time when we desperately need it. 

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    We blame video games for giving kids ADD and making them aggressive, but this is ridiculous. A 9-year-old boy stowed a sledgehammer, a gun, and a knife in his backpack and toted them all to school. When he was caught, his dad blamed the video game Minceraft. In court he promised no more Minecraft for his son! That stuff's dangerous, obvi.

    Really, Dad? You're blaming MINECRAFT, the electronic version of Legos, for your kid bringing a backpack full of weapons? Let's talk about that, shall we?

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    You guys may not know this about me, but I'm a Gen X Lifestyle Expert, which means part of my job entails nostalgically recalling all the fun things that came out from the '70s through the early '90s, and I do so with love and a mild obsession. Which is why I can't understand why all the totally awesome characters that were popular with my generation needed to be glittered, glammed, and slutified for my kids.

    Do you remember the innocence of Polly Pocket, how she just bent at her midsection? The chubby cheeks of a Rainbow Brite and her entourage? Of course you do, because that was what made them adorable and innocent like us.

    They didn't look like they were on their way to go clubbing with Ke$ha. They didn't have curves and they certainly didn't don body-hugging unitards that Madonna would call too racy for an awards show.

    Now, they come with cocktails and cellphones, though it looks like some of them should come with an IUD ... or at least a morning-after pill.

    Here's proof:

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    It's the stuff movies are made of. Everyone piled into the family station wagon with the optimistic notion of seeing new sights and spending time together without the daily distractions and preferred electronic devices to turn to. However, if your family is anything like mine, after about an hour, the snacks are gone -- isn't it amazing how hungry you get when you start a drive? -- and the "When are we going to be there?" begins.

    Since you know this scenario is inevitable, don't fight it. Simply prepare for the vortex of boredom the same way you would pack your guide books, water, and extra clothes. If you have a range of games at your disposal -- some short term, some that can last for days -- you will all make it out of the car in one piece.

    Here are a few options to keep everyone engaged and amused until you get to your next destination.

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    Video games are as much a part of modern kid-dom as peanut butter and jelly. Just about anywhere you go, you're bound to see a kid or three gathered around a little box with a screen jabbering on about mushrooms or racers or some such gibberish (to you anyway). Any guesses what you're seeing there?

    Communication. Aka, social skills. Aka, video game play is no longer relegated to that loner kid in his mom's basement. In fact, if you've got a shy kid who needs to be brought out of his shell, you might want to invest in a game console. Behold the wonder of what it can do:

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  • LOL

    35 Reasons Moms Are Always Late

    posted by Jenny Isenman March 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM in Big Kid
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    I'm not going to lie to you all and tell you that I was always punctual, but becoming a parent has put a whole new spin on my excuses for being late to meetings, lunches, parties, and appointments.

    Back in the day, I was late because of normal stuff, you know, my hair didn't look just right, my alarm clock didn't go off, there was traffic on 95. When my kids were babies, it was explosive diarrhea, Exorcist-style spit-ups, and tantrums that all seemed to happen within moments of us leaving.

    Now, between me barely keeping my head on straight and my kids being out of their minds, it's excuses like this:

    Sorry I'm late but ...

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    About a year ago I wrote a mother-in-law-nup (MIL-nup), so that one could comfortably hand their sweet boy over to some son-stealing Jezebel. Clearly, I'm still bitter, but it made me realize that there should be "nups" for lots of things.

    Like email and social networking. I'm not talking about the spammers who seem quite certain I have a small penis, I'm lonely, I could use Prozac and Cialis, and I should get said drugs from Canada.

    No, I can forgive the Internets, but what I cannot forgive is the annoying emails and Facebook requests from my supposed friends and family. You guys are on shaky ground, which is why I've written this "e-nup," and I say everyone signs!

    I hereby decree that:

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    Once you survive the newborn months of baby not sleeping through the night because of the reality that they are babies who need to eat every two to three hours, you see this beacon of sleep light in the toddler years. But sometimes that doesn't happen either. There are the wake-ups and the crawling into bed with you or even you ending up squished into the princess-themed twin sheets along with your child and 47 favorite stuffed animals, feet cold from dangling off the end, arm asleep from lying on it, and not wanting to move for fear of waking your child who finally snoozed. Why is this happening, you wonder? This no sleep business. Why can't my child sleep through the night?

    The answer has everything to do with technology.

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