Being A Dad

 
 
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There are a few certainties in life - it's guaranteed to rain after you wash your car, the sun will rise and set (one's in the East, one's in the West, I can never remember which is which) and your kid will play video games.  Some kids more obsessively than others, but the sooner you make your peace with that, the better.  

The problem is there are millions of games out there (and judging from my house, millions of game systems to play them on) and it's hard to tell which games are appropriate and which are not.  

When I was growing up (after the Civil War but before Lady Gaga) the only determining factor when choosing a video game was whether it was lame or not. Now days the same decision involves whether or not they show brain matter when you run over a guy's head with a car.  

Fortunately, there's Lego.  I have to admit, when I first heard that they were making video games out of Lego's, I just assumed it was yet another blatant money grab from a toy company.  And it probably is, but they're really cool and kid-friendly for a number of reasons:

They're cheap - Jackson has Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones and Lego Star Wars for the Wii and each were less than 20 bucks.  Lego Harry Potter just came out and that's still pretty pricey, but we'll wait it out until the price comes down.  

They're incredibly accurate, but not frightening - the Indiana Jones and Star Wars games follow the story lines of the movies in incredible detail yet even the most intense sequences when animated with Lego figures keep the thrills without the chills.  

The violence isn't violent - whenever you destroy something in a Lego game, it's just a bunch of plastic blocks exploding in different directions.  Same amount of cathartic destruction, less therapy down the road.  That's a winning combination.  

There's just enough there for us old folks - whether it's using the original scores from the movies or an inside joke only those who grew up on these movies would get, the games have the right amount of elements to keep both the kids and the rest of us entertained.  

Another bonus is the game play itself is fairly simple which is a major plus when you consider that no one reads the instructions anyway.  

Would it be better if they played outside and got some fresh air?  Of course it would, but have you been outside lately?  Running around in 98 degree heat or relaxing in the AC playing a video game.  I think the kids might be on to something here.