Category Archives: Gaming

#15 – Sweden’s Biggest Cultural Export is Pop

On my podcast this week:

Akash, from India, moved to Sweden expecting a heavy metal mecca. This was not quite the case. But he’s developed some rather useful apps to help these pop-music Vikings and also has a plan to change the culture here into a place where people talk to their neighbors. Good luck with that!

Wherever you listen to your podcasts, just type in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” and find the episode! Available on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, etc.

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Old tech, so complicated

We had a bunch of 10 and 11-year olds over for a birthday party last weekend. My husband collects old game systems, so we hooked up the original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System).

Unfortunately, with today’s modern televisions, the Duck Hunt gun no longer works accurately. The rest of the games could be played with no problem, but most kids could not understand how to start the games once the cartridge was in and the system on.

The kids would press A and then B on the controller, saying, “I don’t know how to start. How do you start?”

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(Reading and critical thinking – not a specialty of 10-year olds).

 

The modern family

As I’m sitting here typing this in my nice comfy slippers from my iPad, my husband plays games on his RetroPie from the bed, my oldest son is using Skype to play Minecraft with his friend across town, and my youngest son is in a virtual reality world. Welcome to the future.

My current view as pictured above.

Indestructible

My husband started the morning by showing our young boys the indestructible power of an old Commodore 64 joystick. Now, I could write about how we are low on money and I eat mostly crackers at the end of the month just to save while apparently my husband NEEDS to buy two old Commodore joysticks for the Commodore that collects dust on our shelf and is never played…

But that’s not what this is about.

No, this post is about the dangers of letting young boys know that something has been labeled ‘indestructible.’ This word doesn’t exist in a young person’s vocabulary. Instead, it is automatically processed as a challenge. I have a feeling that even though these joysticks aren’t hooked up, they won’t last long.

My son likes to tell the story of a friend who claimed his new phone case protected his phone so that the screen would never break, and then demonstrated this by throwing his phone directly on the edge of a piece of concrete where it of course the screen was completely crushed.

I think this destructive habit never really goes away in boys or men. It’s the reason fireworks sales are huge.

Once at the optometrist, a man in front of me complained to the receptionist that he was not happy with his ‘indestructible’ glasses. He said, ‘I throwed ’em on the floor, stomped on ’em with my boots and the lenses got all scratched up!’

Again, it’s not a selling point, it’s a challenge. A challenge that should be reserved for water balloons or pie. Cause at least that would make me laugh.

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Suspicious article

I have a feeling my kids snuck this article into “The Local.”

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My blessed child

Our family was playing a board game together on New Year’s Eve. My youngest son needed to draw a certain type of card for his next turn. He said:

“Please God, let me draw the right card!”

I said, “God probably has more important things to do than help you find a game card.”

He then drew exactly the card he was hoping for and yelled, “No he doesn’t!”

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Chicago Cubes

While we were in Italy, we heard the news about the Chicago Cubs World Series win on the radio. Of course, it took us a while to figure it out since the Italian announcer congratulated the “Chicago Cubes.”

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Everything was better in the …

… insert decade here.

I’m sure you’ve gotten one of these emails before, or seen a post on Facebook about how much better it was in the 1950s.

“We didn’t have to wear seatbelts!”  “Our kids could run and play in the neighborhood all day!” “Families ate dinner together!” “Kids listened to their parents!”

Besides the idiotic ‘no seatbelt’ thing, our family has all of these today, so anyone longing for this time should focus more on their own behavior rather than a particular decade.

And of course those emails never mention the horrible racial discrimination, the Cold War, polio, … the list goes on and on. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make today.

Today, I was thinking of what people might say to each other in a few more years when their memories fade and perhaps “The 80s” will be the golden decade.

The reason I started thinking about this is because this morning, I asked a friend of mine how she was doing and she replied, “I dropped my phone in the toilet.”

And that’s where the argument for the 80s starts to take shape. No one dropped their phone in the toilet in the 80s. Most people didn’t have a mobile phone and if they did, tit was too big to fit in the toilet.

Let’s see, what else could they say to glorify the 80s?

  • Our phones were shaped like Snoopy and Garfield.
  • Lots of arcades and pinball machines.
  • When you popped in a video game to your console, it started immediately. We didn’t have to wait for updates.

I’m afraid I’m stuck now, but you get the idea. However, if they really get those pizza delievery drones to work, I don’t think anyone will be arguing that the past was ever better than the present.

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Pet Rock – The Next Generation

I told the kids I had a Pet Rock when I was their age. They thought I made it up.

Then I showed them the exact one I had, on the internet (pictured here), and they laughed so hard they actually fell on the ground.

They have now collected 2 big rocks with the plan of painting eyes for them. Now I hear them discussing their rock plans in the bedroom. “Mine is lava, so it will be a fire type!”

“Sulphur floats! It’s a water type!”

And now they’ve just come out to tell me they’ve invented Rockémon and they’re going to start battling rocks.

It’s cheaper than a Playstation, I guess.

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Spara

Sweden vs. Italy

Um… today is the Euro Cup match between Sweden and Italy. So I’m assuming this article is regarding soccer, but maybe Swedes have other issues. Who knows?

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12 Angry Birds

My youngest son was extremely excited yesterday when looking over our movie list and seeing that we had “12 Angry Men.” He thought it was a sequel to the Angry Birds movie.

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Unappreciative kids

For some reason, my kids weren’t into the new board game I bought them.

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Why so stressed?

This is what my husband keeps asking me.

“Why so stressed?”

Good question.  I don’t know. Maybe it’s because:

  1. I had to repeat 2 assignments yesterday for 2 different companies who either have bad computer systems or simply can’t keep track of anything.
  2. Every day when I pick up my youngest son, his entire body, including his hair, is covered in dirt, and if that weren’t enough, he fills his pockets with sand and his shoes with pebbles.
  3. Or, it could be because while I try to eat a nice peaceful breakfast and read the newspaper, my husband flies drones around the kitchen in an attempt to land them on my head.

By the way, these are also the answers to the questions, “Why do you need a glass of wine?” and “Why do you go to bed so early?”

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They fought so you can shoot lasers

Looking through some activities to do in the U.S. this summer and I found a WW2 Destroyer that has tours. Or, since people don’t think a giant war destroying battle ship is enough for children – there’s laser tag!

I’m pretty sure this is wrong. Or is it just me?

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Cat in the Hat

My husband and kids have wanted to visit Japan for quite a while. Of course they all want to go there because it’s a video game paradise, and it would be a cool place to go, but I’ve never been completely sold on spending that much money and flying so far for a trip.

However, a travel article on CNN today might have changed all of that.

I give you…  Nitama, the new stationmaster of Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture. She has been praised for her “hat-wearing” skills.

Checking into tickets now.

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Mini Metro is the reason for my downfall

I realize that I haven’t written much on my blog the past week or two. Normally, I’m quite good at updating every day. I blame this lack of blog activity on a little game called Mini Metro.

This is why I can’t start up new games. They’re too addicting. I have to figure out how to get my subways across the Thames with a limited number of tunnels. I also have to figure out how to design a system for Osaka to manage the population boom while using the Shinkasa fast train.

You see my dilemna. I don’t have time for blogging, eating, cleaning, picking up children, etc. I’ve got to get the triangle people to the square and the circle people to the plus sign. Mini Metro needs me!

(Don’t worry if you don’t understand any of this. That means you’re better off and Mini Metro has not yet got its clutches on you.)

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