GamerDad and family Welcome to GamerDad: Gaming with Children. My name is Andrew S. Bub - the GamerDad - and I've been writing about videogames, movies, and children for over 15 years now. After working as a magazine journalist, I switched gears to write about how media violence affects children, educating parents about them, and working closely with magazines, newspapers, major retailers and even politicians. GamerDad is an internationally recognized expert in this field. Games, movies and media are fun, kids and families love them, they aren't going away. So join me in cutting through the hype and lets have a real conversation about the things that matter: Video Games, Violent Media, and their supposed effect on children and families.
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Summer Fun With Nintendo and Yogurtland!

YOGURT_BOXYogurtland is a chain of frozen yogurt stores, and now they’ve partnered with Nintendo for some summer fun.  From now until the end of August, you can go to participating Yogurtland locations to get flavors based on popular Mario characters!  They decorated their stores and everything, so I took some pictures so you all can see what they did!

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Hi-C Ecto-Cooler Returns! (My Childhood in a Can)

ECTO3A new Ghostbusters movie was recently released, with a lot of mixed reactions from fans.  When I first heard about it, I said, “Hey, I’m OK with it if they bring back Ecto Cooler,” not thinking that they would.  Well guess, what?  They DID bring back Ecto-Cooler so I guess I’m OK with the movie now!  The new Ecto Cooler is sold in cans (although I’ve seen pictures of it on the Internet in juice box form as well).  Only problem with it is that it’s REALLY hard to find.  Luckily I found a movie theater that served it in cans, so I snagged a few and here’s my impressions of it.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Wii U, PS4, PS3, Vita, 3DS, Xbox One, 360, PC, iOS, Google Play)

LEGO_BOXA (not so) long time ago in a galaxy (not too) far, far away, LEGO Star Wars came out and pretty much launched the massively successful LEGO movie-based video game line.  Now the series is returning to the franchise that started it all with LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, based on the newest film.  Join Rey, BB-8 and the rest of the gang as they play out scenes from the movie in LEGO form, which also features some new gameplay modes and sidequests that flesh out the characters and storyline of the Star Wars universe.  It’s available for practically every game playing device on the market right now, but reviewed on Wii U here.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Strategy Guide

LEGOGUIDE1The latest LEGO video game was recently released, and it’s based on the smash hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie!  Now you can be strong with The Force as well with this strategy guide from Prima Games.  Let’s take a quick look inside!

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Adventures of Mana (Vita, Mobile)

MANA_BOXFinal Fantasy is Square-Enix’s most popular RPG franchise, but they have another RPG staple that’s pretty well-known as well, called the “Mana” series.  These are generally action-RPG titles, similar to Zelda.  While most people in the US may be familiar with the Mana games because of Secret of Mana on the Super Nintendo, that wasn’t actually the first game in the Mana series.  The first was actually on the old black and white Game Boy, and in the US it was called Final Fantasy Adventure.  They probably called it that because of name recognition to help it sell (and it also had moogles and chocobos in it). 

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PS Vita, We Hardly Knew Ya!

TEARAWAYFor the longest time, I didn’t own Sony’s newest handheld, the PS Vita.  Which may seem strange at first, because I loved the PSP, Sony prior handheld.  In fact, other than the Neo Geo Pocket Color, the PSP was the only other handheld I bought that wasn’t made by Nintendo!  There were lots of PSP games I loved to play: Loco Roco and its sequel, Ys Seven, Half-Minute Hero, Gurumin, Mega Man Powered Up, and many more.  But the Vita just didn’t have as many games that I wanted to play, or at least not enough to warrant purchasing one.  But after a few years they’ve built up enough games that interest me, and since I couldn’t think of anything to ask my family to get me for Christmas, I just threw a Vita on my list and to my surprise I got one late last year as a present!  So here’s my impressions on the Vita and some games I got for it (probably a little too late, but hey, better later than never).

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Unplugged: TANKS – a beginner’s miniatures wargame

TANKS box coverTANKS: Panther vs Sherman Starter Box
Designers: Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates
Publisher: Gale Force Nine, LLC
Players: 2
Ages: 8ish
Time: 30 minutes

TANKS is a new, lightweight system of miniatures from Gale Force Nine, focusing on (surprise) the tank battles of World War II. The idea is to have a fast-playing miniatures wargame to serve as an introduction to the hobby. This is the first wargame by Gale Force Nine, who produce a prodigious amount of pre-painted battle terrain, presumably usable in TANKS games as well as the more complex Flames of War game owned by GF9’s parent company, Battlefront Miniatures.

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Grand Kingdom (PS4, Vita)

GRAND_BOXFour opposing countries have turned their island continent into a war-torn battlefield, and hired mercenaries protect the land rather than chivalrous knights.  You lead a squad of these mercenaries as you take quests from a guild on this continent.  Grand Kingdom is a game that mixes strategy, RPG, and action, and it’s available for the PS4 and Vita (reviewed on Vita here).

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Unplugged: Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters (Boardgame)

ghost fightin boxIn the past decade, the idea of cooperative boardgames, where everyone wins or loses as a team, has blossomed. As dad of young boys, I enjoy playing games together where we can all be on the same side. In Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters!, players move through a haunted mansion to collect all the Treasure Jewels and escape the house before it is overtaken with ghosts. It is that rarely-seen gem of a game that can be enjoyed by kids or adults.

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Kingdom Hearts: Unchained x (iOS, Android)

KINGDOM_BOXKingdom Hearts is one of the most popular game series for developer Square-Enix, and now the latest game in the lineup is a free-to-play title on iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here).  The games successfully merge Disney stars and worlds with famous Final Fantasy game characters in a fun and colorful action RPG.  This new game is supposed to take place in the storyline before any of the others, although I really couldn’t tell.  You’ll first design and create your very own Keyblade warrior’s look and outfit, and then send them off on a touchscreen adventure!

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