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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Unplugged – Caverna: The Cave Farmers (Boardgame)

Caverna box topCaverna: The Cave Farmers
Designer: Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher: Mayfair Games (in the US)
Ages: 12+
Players: 1-7
Time: 120 mins
(Review copy provided by Mayfair Games)

Videogaming has its rockstar designers like Sid Meier, John Romero, and Shigeru Miyamoto. Boardgaming has its own list of elite designers and Uwe Rosenberg is among them. Best known for two games, the popular family game, Bohnanza, and his deeper strategy game, Agricola. Agricola is ranked the fourth most popular boardgame at BoardGameGeek.com even though it released seven years ago. Rosenberg has produced a few titles since Agricola, but his newest, Caverna, returns to many of the mechanics and themes of Agricola. While it doesn’t quite reach the heights of gaming seen in Agricola, Caverna is a solid title and may be a better choice for those looking for a title where a player can make mistakes and still be able to bounce back.

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Big Hero 6: Battle in the Bay (3DS)

BIGHERO6_BOXBig Hero 6 is Disney’s newest computer animated feature film, and it’s like watching a rollicking two-hour long Saturday morning cartoon. Now you can continue the adventures of Hiro, Baymax, and the rest of the gang on the 3DS.  This game isn’t based directly on the film, but rather a continuation of it.  Battle bots are wreaking havoc on San Fransokyo, and it’s up to Hiro, Baymax, and their college friends to suit up and save the day once again in this 2-D action brawler platformer.

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Unplugged: Timeline (Boardgame)

Timeline - American historyThere are educational activities that are presented as games, and games that are designed to be educational. Far too often, the former makes its way to the marketplace rather than the latter. This results in a negative attitude toward any game marked as “educational.” Thankfully, the series of games entitled “Timeline” contain an entertaining game while also stealthily teaching history.

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Cary’s Top Ten Favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Lately I’ve been reading things about major networks taking off their Saturday morning cartoon lineup and whatnot. I don’t really know the details about all of it because news about Saturday morning cartoons just isn’t at the top of my radar anymore.  But it got me to thinking about my favorite Saturday morning cartoons as a kid, so I decided to list my top ten.  I think I did a blog like this before, but it’s been quite a while so I think it’s worth revisiting.

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Power Rangers: Super Megaforce (3DS)

POWER_BOXPower Rangers have been delighting kids and fans of campy action on television and movies ever since the 90’s! And the basis for the show has been around much longer, as it originated in Japan in the 70’s!  I can’t believe Power Rangers is still on TV, but apparently it is.  And now you can join the adventures with Power Rangers: Super Megaforce, a simple arcade action brawler for Nintendo 3DS.

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Felllice (iPad)

FELLLICE_BOXYes, you read that right. The title of this game has three L’s right in a row.  Not sure if it’s pronounced Fell lice or what, but in this game you play as a simple circular cell and try to absorb other cells to be the biggest of them all.  It’s available for download on the App Store and Google Play, but reviewed on iPad here.

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The Legend of Korra (360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, PC)

KORRA_BOXThe Legend of Korra is a popular action-adventure cartoon on Nickelodeon. The animated series is a follow-up to the equally popular Avatar: The Last Airbender show on Nick.  The Legend of Korra takes place many years after the original series and stars a young woman who has elemental-bending powers just like the original hero.  Now you can join in the adventures with Korra in a game that takes place between the second and third seasons of the show.  It’s available to download for many of today’s consoles, but reviewed on Xbox 360 here.

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Petz Beach & Petz Countryside (3DS)

PETZBEACH_BOXGet ready to start your new life in a village by the seashore or in the country. But you won’t be alone!  You’ll get to adopt a Petz pup to help you make friends and help the village grow!  Petz Beach & Petz Countryside is like a cross between two different games: Nintendogs + Cats and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.  It’s a virtual pet simulator like Nintendogs, where you use the stylus to take care of your new friends.  But it’s also like Animal Crossing in that you and your Petz help out neighbors, catch fish, bugs, and shells for museums, and buy decorations for your house and village.

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Poptropica: Forgotten Islands (3DS)

POPTROP_BOXPoptropica is a popular online game for kids, and the author who wrote the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books helped make Poptropica, so that’s kind of interesting. I’m not a fan of either, but I’m sure it’s something kids would like.  Now you can have the fun of Poptropica on the 3DS with Poptropica: Forgotten Islands.  It’s kind of a follow-up to Poptropica: Adventures on the DS.  In the new game, explore small islands and help out villagers and collect mysterious ancient artifacts in this 2-D platforming adventure.

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Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 (360, PS3, Wii U, 3DS)

PAC2_BOXOne of the most popular video game icons, Pac-Man, is still going strong after all these years. There is even a computer animated cartoon on the Disney XD cable channel, and it even has a second season!  I’m surprised at that, because the cartoon itself isn’t that good.  Last year, Bandai Namco Games made a video game based on Pac-Man’s new cartoon adventures, and despite being based on a lackluster cartoon license, the game itself was actually pretty good.  So now it’s a year later and we have a sequel to Pac-Man’s cartoon 3-D platforming romp, and while it’s more of the same, it’s still a fun little game.  They just added some characters from the end of the first season and into the second.

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