15 – The Family Gamers Podcast – Families Playing Video Games

Did you play video games with your family when you were a kid?

Anitra didn’t… the closest was “Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive VCR Board Game”. With her friends, a lot of Mario and Zelda.

Andrew played a lot of Goldeneye (N64) and Mario Kart.

His mom introduced him to Infocom games like Zork. Anitra mentions a game set on a train – that’s “Border Zone”. By the way, you can now find many Infocom games playable online.

What we played recently:

We introduced our children to Star Wars (episode 4: A New Hope, of course.)

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Families play video games together!

Couch co-op has really been on the rise over the last few years. The Wii really brought console gaming to multiple generations; previous to that, a lot of multi-player games were PC-based, so LAN parties were a big way to play together, but the barrier to entry was a lot higher.

Games that make good “family” games that cross generational boundaries tend to have a short learning curve, often with physical movement instead of simply using controllers: this includes many Wii and Kinect games, but even Rock Band or Guitar Hero (stick your least coordinated relative on singing). Speaking of singing, there are several singing games (Lips, Karoke Revolution, Rock Band). How about dancing games? Just Dance, Dance Central, and several others.

How about micro-games like WarioWare? Kids also really like the games that have a familiar tactile element, like Skylanders, Disney Infinity, WiiU amiibos, or the LEGO Dimensions game.

Families with teenagers may play first person shooters together, like Call of Duty or Halo.

We talked a lot about LEGO and their intellectual property. The Traveller’s Tales LEGO games are great couch co-op for 2 players (examples: LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Harry Potter).

Even some handheld games now can be played multiplayer. There are several for the DS/3DS. Nintendoland (for the WiiU) is also a series of minigames designed to be multiplayer. How about iOS games that are multiplayer? Words with Friends, Cards & Castles

Lastly, a few more console co-operative games: Rocket League! Lovers in a Dangerous Space-time! Never Alone!

There is portable/tablet gaming that is head-to-head or pass-and-play: Fruit Ninja.