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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Cary is Looking Forward in 2015!

KIRBYCLAYHappy New Year, everyone!  At this time of year I like to take a look at games I’m looking forward to playing and reviewing in the coming year.  I know that as the year goes on, there will be other announcements and things.  But here are some that I’m looking forward to right now that I know of.

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ShakePop (iOS)

SHAKE_BOXShakePop turns your iOS device into a quick reaction game, similar to Simon or Bop-It.  First, you choose from a selection of characters, each with a different voice.  Then you follow their commands as quickly as you can.  You may have to tap the screen, swipe it, pinch it with two fingers, double or triple tap it, flip it, and more.  You get a point for each command you follow correctly, and the timer goes faster after a while.  If you miss a command or don’t input it before time runs out, you lose.  It’s available for iOS devices, but reviewed on iPad here.

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FitStar Yoga (iPad)

YOGA_BOXStart your New Year fitness goals off right with FitStar.  It’s a free-to-play fitness app for iPad that provides workout videos and charts your progress.  I reviewed the original game about a year and a half ago, and now they have a version of it with Yoga exercises and poses.  Find out if it’s worth paying money to subscribe to in this review.

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Cary’s “Best Games of the Year 2014 Awards Show!”

PACSMASHIt’s that time again.  What I like to do this time of year is write about the best games of the year.  Keep in mind that no outside opinions went into the making of this list.  It’s just my own picks.  And if a game is missing from my list, it either didn’t appeal to me as much, or I just simply haven’t played it yet.  Can’t play all the games out there, you know!  Plus I do apologize if this list leans toward the Nintendo side.  I don’t have an Xbox One or PS4 yet, so you’ll just have to deal with it.

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Super Mario 2015 Calendar

MARIO1Happy New Year!  Every year for Christmas I get a new wall calendar to hang up at my work. And this year it was video game related so I thought I’d share it here.  It’s a Super Mario 2015 Calendar!  Last year I got a Zelda one because the Mario calendar then didn’t look quite as good.  There were both Mario and Zelda calendars this year, too, but the Zelda one looked about the same as last year’s, and the artwork in this year’s Mario calendar looked a little better.  Click here for a closer look.

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Spoiler Alert (iOS, PC)

SPOILER_BOXOnce upon a time, Chili Pepper Knight set out to defeat the Death Bunny and get Princess Tomato.  In this game, you start out at the final boss, defeat it, and rescue the princess.  But once the credits roll, they stop and go backwards, and you have to play the whole game in reverse!  While this is yet another continuously running platformer, Spoiler Alert is one of the most original games in the genre ever.  And one of the few that actually held my interest all the way through.  In this game, you’ll run backwards right to left, un-defeating every enemy and un-collecting every coin you come across in order to avoid time paradoxes.  It’s available on iOS devices and Steam, but reviewed on iPad here.

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Fairy Fencer F (PS3)

FAIRY_BOXA long time ago, an evil deity of darkness and a Goddess of light fought an epic battle, but both sides lost.  Weakened with swords skewered between the two, both darkness and light fell into a deep sleep and nobody won the battle.  Eons later, in the human world, the swords and weapons from that great war that missed the targets fell to the earth.  These weapons are called Furies, and only a select few can wield them.  These people are called Fencers.  Each weapon is infused with a fairy that can help Fencers use magic and special attacks.  But these fairies aren’t just little girls with wings.  Some of these fairies can be critters, big burly men, and even robot mechs!  These Fencers and their fairies seek out other Fury weapons, and even fight amongst themselves for them.  The story in this RPG starts out with Fang, a lazy young man who just pulled out a Fury sword containing a young girl fairy whose goal is to revive the light Goddess and save the world.  They’ll meet all sorts of other crazy characters along the way with their own goals and objectives. Will they be able to save the world?

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Pokemon Art Academy (3DS)

ART_BOXNintendo’s Art Academy games on the DS and 3DS make clever use of the stylus and touch screen to teach art and painting basics to budding artists.  They’re one of the best educational games I’ve ever played.  And now they’ve got another one out with kids and the young at heart in mind, especially ones who are Pokemon fans!  In Pokemon Art Academy, you’ll learn drawing, coloring, and cartooning techniques as you doodle many different kinds of Pokemon from the popular game series.

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Reader Review: Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit (PS Vita)

SENRAN_BOXSenran Kagura is a beat ‘em up game series starring a group of busty female ninjas.  I think it may be an anime series, too, but I’m not sure.  And now the crazy characters are starring in their very own…cooking rhythm game?!?  Well, since I’m not an expert on this stuff, plus I don’t have a PS Vita, I had my friend Leroy review this.

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Unplugged: The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade (Boardgame)

Kembles boxBoardgames have turned into video games (see Civilization) and video games have made their way into a boardgames (Doom, Starcraft, Age of Empires III). To my knowledge, The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade is the first boardgame designed to capture the nostalgia of playing an old arcade scrolling shooter. Yes, in the game each player controls a fighter pilot desperately trying to defeat enemy ships and collect powerups while avoiding enemy fire. There is even a boss battle at the end, don’t expect to get through the game without using up several of your (albeit unlimited) lives. As a boardgame, Kemble’s Cascade may not quite appeal to the typical strategy boardgamer, but to gamers who remember the arcade shooter genre fondly it manages to recreate much of the experience in boardgame form.

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