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    How many times have you thought: "I'll just plop the kid down on the couch, let him watch TV, and I'll finally have a moment to breathe"? It's easy, after all. They're entertained and you get to enjoy some peaceful moments. Sorry, Mom, but you might have to find a new way to get some me time.

    Even though we're constantly surrounded by TVs, computers, the Internet, video games, and our phones and tablets, their negative effects far outweigh the good.

    From developmental delays to health and mental illnesses, too much time spent in front of screens has been found to cause lifelong harm to children. Especially when they consume far more than the recommended two hours daily.

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    More than 60 emergency responders, including a SWAT team, swarmed a house in New York after police received a call from someone claiming to be a 17-year-old boy who had just killed his mother and brother. The caller contacted police over Skype yesterday afternoon to say he was Rafael Castillo and that he had not only murdered his family members, but was prepared to shoot even more people. The caller even provided police with his address.

    But when cops responded, they discovered everything was just peachy keen. Rafael's mom was alive and well -- making coffee in the kitchen -- while his brother had just returned home from lunch. And where was Rafael? Doing the one thing that gave police some idea of who may have been behind the vicious prank call that cost its department $100,000 -- he was playing video games. 

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    Flappy Bird is an eight-bit bastard. It’s the newest smartphone game that everyone is talking about (and playing!), but if you think it’s going to involve some sort of strategy like Angry Birds or Candy Crush, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

    Your fingers tap control the tiny flight bursts of a hapless bird (graphically, I think my 5-year-old could draw something more complex). Your goal is to maneuver the tiny creature through a small passage between drainpipes protruding from the top and bottom of the screen.  

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    Zombies, creepers, and spiders, oh my! If your kids are like mine, you've probably suddenly become a Minecraft family. However, if you're like I was, you probably have no idea what the heck the kids are doing in their virtual world. Never fear: The Minecraft FAQ is here.

    Minecraft isn't new, but it's now reached the mainstream and is probably popular in many houses around the world. As kids grow out of Flash games and pounding the remote control against the TV, they will quickly discover the magic and addictive properties of Minecraft. I'm here to help you understand this new threat.

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    Is anyone else in love with the recent trend of awesome proposals posted to YouTube?  I’m going to say it’s because these guys want their ladies to feel supremely loved and adored, and has nothing to do with getting mad social media props, but then again I’m a hopeless romantic.

    One of the latest vids to go viral has a sweet geeky angle. Robert Fink is a 3D artist in the games industry, and his girlfriend Angel is a web designer. Both share a passion for gaming, so when Robert decided to propose, he developed a video game just for her!

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    In case the massive hype over the XBox One and the Playstation 4 both being released just in time for the 2013 holiday season haven't clued you in, this is going to be a hot year for video games. More than half the population now cops to playing some sort of video game -- be it on a console or on their computer. So where do you even start this Black Friday to get everyone on your list squared away?

    Here's a look at some of the hottest games for everyone in the family -- from Call of Duty Ghosts for the adults to Skylanders Swap Force for the kids -- so you can grab the best deals.

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    The following is a post from our sponsor, OraTV.

    Well, it’s that time of year again. Who are we kidding? It’s been that time of year ever since Halloween wrapped up. Happens every year -- some of us just wanna unwind from the hassles of trick-or-treating, but instead we’re subjected to the two-month-long holiday that is Christmas and all the headaches that go along with it.

    Our apologies to those who enjoy the same 12 Christmas songs getting piped into every store EVERYWHERE. And don’t get us wrong -- the week leading up to Christmas is awesome. It’s the time we pull down the blinders and let ourselves enjoy the halls being all decked out in boughs of holly or whatever.  

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    The new XBox, called the One, is a heavy-duty gaming machine that is sure to be on a lot of Christmas lists this year. The games are going to be incredible - graphics have gotten much better even since the last console generation. However, the One has a secret, rarely-discussed feature that could change the way you watch TV. 

    The secret is the Xbox's TV viewing feature. It works by connecting to your cable or satellite box and adds a few cool features to your boring old DVR.



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    While the rest of the world fighting over the last PS4 and the Xbox One on store shelves, why not take a breather with some family-friendly board games? These are five of my favorites and we've found that they make great birthday and holiday gifts for families who are tired of screen time.

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    In a few short months Moms and Dads around the world are going to hear an endless refrain of "Buy me this." And we'd better be ready.

    "This," in this case, is either the new Xbox One or the new PS4, two game consoles that are about to bop onto Christmas lists thanks to amazing graphics, cool games, and some heavy advertising hype.

    So what are these new consoles? And should you upgrade?


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