I knew this day would come. I was looking forward to it. The day when my girls realized that they were good enough to take on their dad in a no-holds-barred game of Mario Kart on the Wii. There was a lot of screaming and whining but this time it was coming from me. I couldn’t figure out how they were able to maneuver so fast and quick around obstacles. Of course, like any good gamer will tell you; they practiced and learned the secrets of the game. I couldn’t come close. The best I can do was finish 5th. They were either first or second. I’m a proud Daddy Gamer.
This, I thought to myself, is what gaming is all about. It’s about having fun, being silly and competing. I just wished we could do this more often. I have a feeling that we will. Now, that they know that they can beat Daddy at video games. Of course, I will take a beating like this any day if it means I can spend a couple of hours being together and laughing with them.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich is my go-to backup food. It’s quick and easy to make and durable in the backpack or lunch bag for the kids and myself. I somehow feel less guilty if I make PB&J as opposed to going to a fast food restaurant.
I was feeling adventurous today and decided to take it up a notch. I found a recipe for… wait for it… Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich! I’m hoping that my limited cooking skills can handle this : )
I found the recipe on Chow.com by Lisa Lavery.
- 2 (1/2-inch-thick, 4-by-5-inch-long) slices white sandwich bread
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Place the bread slices on a work surface and spread the peanut butter on 1 slice of bread and the jam on the other; set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the 2 slices of bread filling-side up and cook until the bottoms are golden brown and the filling is warmed through, about 6 minutes.
- Using a flat spatula, flip 1 slice of bread onto the other to close the sandwich. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.
Do yourself a favor. The next time your eight year old or teen is playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 take off the headset connection and listen to the player banter via the TV speaker. I will bet that you’ll hear vigorous racial slurs, derogatory comments and wall-to-wall expletives. This applies to other shooter lobbies as well and not just Black Ops 2. Actually, it’s in many online multiplayer games including League of Legends but the offensive language does not come in the rapid fire level as shooter lobbies.
And unlike the regular media coverage, which is a joke by the way, I actually play more than I care to admit. Let’s just say, I’ve played so much that I can tell you the nuances of each map, player tendencies and what weapon is being used simply by listening. Violent? Yes. Shooters are violent. I can’t argue there. But I’m also a 40 year old adult. I think I’m better prepared to handle the sensory barrage in addition to the auditory violence I’m exposed to while playing.
You see that’s where I draw the line when it comes to kids playing these shooters. The violence that they see is really no big deal anymore. Today’s kids can switch between virtual and reality like you won’t believe. But the violence that they hear and feel from other real players is a different story. If you’re a 10 year old and have played a shooter over two hours straight, the amount of nonsense that you hear doesn’t carry well when you unplug to live in reality. As an adult, I get worked-up from time to time. Sometimes I feel that all this ADHD talk is more like PTSD from playing a multiplayer shooter. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) But I’m a gamer; not a doctor. I just like to play one on TV.
Abuse reporting: A joke
Games try to quell player-to-player personal attacks by putting in “Report Abuse” features in the game. It’s a joke. You’d feel good reporting but nothing really happens. Oh. Sorry. If they get enough, they get banned for playing for 10 minutes. Yup. That will teach them. (insert sarcasm here.)
Rather than these “Report Abuse” buttons, why not have actual live monitors. They can do random invisible checks during the game and lay down the law. Several games and multiplayer services have used this type of deterrent in the 90’s and it worked. I would think that with today’s advance networking and multiplayer technology, this type of deterrent should be a cinch to implement. Why aren’t they?
Do you have any thoughts or ideas on this?