Nintendo Wii Review – Nintendo Wii Video Games Console

The Nintendo Wii has been incredibly hyped since release. Almost two years later, it’s still pretty difficult to get the console, and there is still buzz all around about it, whether it be positive or negative.This console started out with huge sales that it still holds today to a lesser extent, and the hype about the console made the countdown to the release unbearable (and made the time after release when you couldn’t get a hold of one even worse), and there’s still debate as to whether it’s fully lived up to all of this hype. In this console review, I’ll touch down on both sides and give you the serious scoop on what this console is all about, and I’m confident that by the end of it you will have a solid opinion on the Nintendo Wii.Back when it was called the Revolution, the Wii was just beginning to build up hype. Rumours were spread, fans were anxious, and developers were curious. As time went on and we got more photographs of a more final console and peripherals, we all sat by in awe awaiting the release of the One Console to Rule Them All. Not only was the console aesthetically beautiful, but the peripherals were revolutionary, and the console, in size, was incredibly compact (small enough to fit into some large pockets for easy transportation). All of these incredibly helped boost the console in hype, and by the time the console was finally released there were Nintendo fanboys and video game strangers all lined up to get a chance to try out this new form of intuitive, interactive gaming.A lot of them were subsequently disappointed (by “subsequently,” I don’t mean right after… Took a while) by the lack of good third party support. It was just astounding how Nintendo released console after console without a good amount of developers lined up and ready to create games for it. Of course, we saw so many titles… Mario, Zelda, and Metriod, to name a few. Sound familiar? All Nintendo.Don’t get me wrong – They’re all great games. But, the lack of variety not only brings the inevitable lack of a wide genre of games, but it also made the console seem pretty useless after a while. I mean, Wii Sports was a great game to release along with the console, but after 2 weeks or so of sore arms, broken lamps, and battery usage… It just tends to get old.As the console grew, as did it’s functionality. We got the news, the map, the weather, even the internet. And let’s not forget the voting channel. It held its own in the “game consoles do things other than gaming” department… Until the consumers realized that DVD compatibility was nonexistent. We could do so many things with our newfangled gaming console, except for watch movies. It was a large letdown – an all-around disappointment. But, we couldn’t forget the blessings that we received – Backwards-compatibility with Gamecube games, WiiWare giving us downloadable old-school games, and SD card support to save games and view pictures. But – Wait. None of this is new! Downloadable content? Not too revolutionary. Backwards-compatibility has been out ever since console sequels began, and an SD card to save games is just like a memory card or hard drive – Except that with the other consoles, their memory is more versatile.The Nintendo Wii was also lacking in one major, major area that really gave a low- blow to hardcore gamers – Decent graphics. The Wii has graphics fairly reminiscent to the last-gen PlayStation 2, and that’s just unacceptable in today’s world of HD-Everything. One game looks spectacular on the other consoles and PC, and yet falls short of par on the Nintendo Wii.That’s not to say that it’s incapable of decent graphics – Super Smash Brothers Brawl was aesthetically pleasing. But they had to put that on a dual-layer disc to fit all the data, and many of them (like my own) didn’t work because of dust build-up on the Wii’s disc laser, so you had to send in your Nintendo Wii for repair. It’s accomplishable, but at what cost?One thing that it does have is a built-in wireless adapter. While the Sony PlayStation 3 does have this, the Xbox 360, sadly, does not, and it is a very nice convenience (especially with such a tiny console ? It’s nice to not have to lug anything extra around). Again, not revolutionary, but a positive.One thing I cannot get over is the built-in storage… They supply us with 512MB of memory and expect us to be able to buy all their games from WiiWare? We need to spend even more money to get an SD card to hold all of that stuff, and it’s just tedious. It would be nice without the extra effort is all I’m saying… I mean, that amount of storage space is incredibly minuscule in today’s computing world, and I just find it horrendous.All these horrible things aside, it does have very intuitive gameplay. It fully immerses you into the game, and makes you a part of it. Of course, it would be MORE immersive with better graphics, but what can you do?The amount of lost potential on this console astounds me. They could have done so much here, especially with decent third party support, but they didn’t. I feel that a project like this would have been better left in the hands of Sony or Microsoft.VERDICT:The Nintendo Wii is great for families and parties, but it falls (incredibly) short for the hardcore gamer. It tucks its tail between its legs at the first sight of a decent first-person shooter, and the online play is… Well, there’s not much to talk about. It’s just like playing online with the DS… No chat, laggy, and not too great of a choice of games to play. Keep in mind, it IS free, so it’s not much of a penalty if you were planning on playing online just occasionally, but definitely not fit for the hardcore, every-day online gamer who wants to build a friends list and chat with buds. Basically, the console is good; not great. I’d wait for a dramatic price reduction.

Console Power & Functionality: 8/10
Console Game Variety, Game Quality & Game Prices: 6/10
Console Additional Features: 3/10
Console Aesthetics: 9/10
Console Price/Value: 6/10
Total Score: 64%

Advice On How To Buy Cheap Video Games

Is your local game shops testing console becoming your primary console? Are you subscribing to gaming magazines just so you can play the demo games included? Are you forced into a noodle diet because you just had to buy that latest game? This won’t be a problem for you anymore, I’ll list some ways on how to help you save money when buying a game.Do Not Buy From Offline StoresOne of the most common mistakes that you can do as a costumer is buying is buying a new game from an offline store(a real store). The games are way overpriced, even when discounts are included in the sale, or if you got a discount card from the store. There are some good things about the offline stores, the pre-owned sections. The pre-owned games are monitored hard before they sell them and have almost the same quality as a new game.These will also be about 20-25 percent cheaper than buying the new game and most of the time, they got the same guarantee! But if possible, check that the gaming manual is still there and that there’s no scratches on the disc.Use the Internet For the Best DealsAs a buyer, one of your first choices should be eBay or a similar site. Games on eBay are often, if not all the time, cheaper than anywhere else. Most of it is pre-owned but you can find new ones also, the same ones selling for 50 percent more in your local offline store. When bidding, try to find auctions that sell more than just 1 game, look for at least 10+ because this is where the real saving is.There might be some games that you wont find amusing for you, in this case you can just go to any real life store and sell it. When buying on eBay be sure to use PayPal, they send out coupons a few times each year, giving you a 5-10 percent discount on eBay items!There are also sites that compare the price of all the online stores, which is helpful to find the cheapest product. These can be found by Googling some.Have PatienceThe game prices will often fall a lot during the first months after the release, a 60 dollar game can be found at 25 4 months after the release, most of the time it won’t be that good but every game will fall in price shortly after released. Another good thing about this is that you can get other people opinions on the game, reviews, videos and forum posts, which can help you decide if it’s worth the price.One last tip is to check the big electronic sellers because these tend to sell the games cheaper because it’s not their main source of income.

Book Review – Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents

Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents is an indispensable tool for parents and professionals who want to have important knowledge to make wise decisions about video game use in the lives of children and teens. One of the most exasperating challenges about trying to communicate about the negative effects of violent video games is that well-intentioned adults often say: But the verdict is not in yet on whether violent video game play is all that harmful. Video games are too new to have acquired any compelling data. Anderson, Gentile, and Buckley comprehensively slice through this, and other inaccurate and misleading arguments, that have been used to prevent parents, professionals, and policy-makers to deal productively with this critical issue.Divided into three parts, the book can be picked up at any juncture to enlighten the reader on the complexities of interpreting the research and in understanding violent video game play in the context of bio-social and developmental factors. Part 1, The Introduction, provides a background on the history of violent video games; a well-documented summary of the effects of exposure to violent media entertainment, with clear definitions of physical, verbal and relational aggression, and important considerations of three types of research methodologies. This section also describes The General Aggression Model-a model developed by Anderson, Bushman, Carnagey, and Huesmann (p. 40) to integrate ideas from earlier models and to help distinguish between variables and processes that operate in immediate contexts and those that operate over a long-term. Part 2 explains and discuses three new studies that “were designed to address knowledge gaps in the video game research literature.” (p. 59) Part 3, General Discussion (What Does it All Mean?) provides critical links between theory, practice, and public policy, providing even more reasons for urgent action at both micro and macro levels.The authors begin with, and consistently keep, a refreshingly honest and clear approach. For instance, Anderson and his colleagues call “a duck a duck” and discuss the c-word-causality-with academic rigor grounded in common sense.Critics of violent media research like to remind us that we can never establish causality. But the authors refute this argument eloquently by helping us understand the probabilistic nature of causality:”The old Logic 101 principles regarding the establishment of a factor as being necessary and sufficient cause of an effect simply don’t apply to most modern science (Anderson & Bushman, 2002c). We know that smoking tobacco causes an increase in the likelihood that one will contract lung cancer, but not everyone who smokes gets cancer, and some who don’t smoke get lung cancer. The probabilistic nature of modern science is largely due to the fact that multiple causal factors are involved in most medical, psychological, and behavioral phenomena. And for this reason, the old necessary and sufficient rules simply do not apply. Thus every time people argue that violent video games can’t be considered causes of aggression because they have played such games and haven’t killed anyone is committing a major reasoning error, applying the ‘sufficient’ rule to a multiple cause phenomenon.” (p. 21)The authors go on to systematically explain aggression in terms of contextual factors over time, heightening this reader’s awareness of the profound contribution violent video games are making to increased aggression. Reading about the General Aggression model, in particular, brought me several ‘a-has.’ The model is based “on the assumption that human memory, thought, and decision processes can be represented as a complex associative network of nodes representing cognitive concepts and emotions.” (p. 41)The General Aggression Model is a powerful tool because, like our work at the PCI, it takes into account multiple environmental factors when attempting to determine causality. I am drawn to the elegance by which it clearly addresses the complexities of living systems. In fact, the authors point out the General Aggression Model can be used to incorporate variables within what we call at the PCI, The Child’s and the Parent’s Growth Sphere. The authors cite the work of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological levels (p.45), providing a comprehensive framework for understanding the impact of violent entertainment that many parent educators, and certainly PCI Certified Parent Coaches, will immediately grasp, helping them to better explain to parents the inherent risks of children and teens playing violent video games.Extreme acts of violence such as the Columbine shootings are never isolated from past and present bio-social interactions. The authors point out that habitual aggressive tendencies are most likely to develop in children who grow up in environments that reinforce aggression, provide aggressive models, frustrate and victimize them, and teach them that aggression is acceptable and successful. (p. 47) As our society becomes more violent, as more children are bullied, as more are victimized, as the news keeps amplifying these incidents, it only stands to reason that increases in aggression will continue as the world “mirrors back” violent mental models. Fortunately there are many ways to intervene so as to disrupt this cycle, but they all require a focused intent and an open willingness to make consistent choices that many parents can’t make because they don’t have the necessary information and that many professional don’t make because it is too difficult to help parents to make choices that are considered “weird” or “different” from the mainstream.After finishing the Introduction section most readers will sit back and say to themselves: What in the world are we doing to our children? How can we stop this madness?Luckily the book answers these questions.The next section discusses three important studies. If the language is too technical, the authors have provided an “in a nutshell” explanation of each study. By reading the one-two page brief, readers can understand what happened and consider the implications. I love the questions that the authors include: “What worries us? What gives us hope?” For instance in one study, what worries us is that no one is immune to media violence. Yet, what gives us hope is that Again, parents are in a powerful position. Setting limits on the amount and content of screen media appears to be a protective factor for children. Truly, our work with families can be the most transformative work we do. For every child who grows up not playing violent video games means that the larger social structure is impacted by more peace and sanity and that the next generation will have greater possibilities for bringer even more peace and sanity to the family, the community, and the world.Reading Section 3 helps to think about important consideration and once again, the urgent need for action. After all, the authors are first and foremost researchers and have at their fingertips it seems ways to connect the dots so that the reader cannot but help to be motivated to do something! For instance, they distinguish between old and new violent media. I did this as well in my book, Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill. However, since 1999 when that book was published, violent video game entertainment has gotten much more sophisticated and certainly more available to younger children. The questions and points raised by Anderson and his colleagues in considering the differences and issues between older and the newer forms can help the reader understand the processes involved, in the challenges, as well as in the solutions. This entire section, to me, is like taking a retreat and reflecting on important issues in order to determine one’s priorities. One can get renewed commitment and feelings of energy for the issue by contemplating the compelling ideas the authors discuss.I am very grateful that they refute the catharsis argument-that playing violent video games can help youngster “get out” their aggression. Nothing could be further from the truth. Citing brain research-we do know that repeating experiences is one effective way to learn them-the authors squelch this myth. They also point out that aggression is not a drive, but learned behavior, and that violent video games cannot help “vent” because catharsis carries with it feelings of pity and fear. In other words, the player must also identify with the victim and understand the entire narrative. Players are identifying with the murder. With such a reinforcing metacognitive script, there is no catharsis.It takes a book to explain this issue. It takes long sentences, technical ideas, and complex ideas. It takes well-thought out, impeccably conducted research studies. Therefore, the suggestions given at the end of the book are sound and good ones. But they are the “what” of the situation, not the “how.” These suggestions have been given for over fifty years now and so few can make them a part of their lives. For instance, telling parents and grandparents: Don’t allow access to violent video games, is absolutely important. Yet, in our work with thousands of parents as educators and parent coaches, we know that most moms, dads, grandparents, and care-givers are not doing this even though they are well-intentioned and love the children. The reasons for this are as complex as the effects of violent video games. I would encourage these researchers to begin here with the next research imperative: Since we know violent entertainment is harmful, what works to assist parents, grandparents, and care-givers to make the daily, tough secondary choices that align with their fundamental choice to limit the harmful effective of violent media entertainment?Copyright Gloria DeGaetano, 2010. All Rights Reserved,