In this special episode of Andy Robertson's Family Gamer TV weekly video-game news for families guest presenter Jordan Erica Webber brings us all the news on the award nominated games. NEWS
Family Game of the Year: After counting votes we have a winner for the Family Game of 2013 Wii Sports Club Golf with 291 votes. Voting in full:
- Infants: Super Mario 3D World with 286 votes
- Juniors: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes with 195 votes
- Teens: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds with 236 votes
- Students: Animal Crossing: New Leaf with 196 votes
- Workers: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with 225 votes
- Parents: The Last of Us with 208 votes
- Grandparents: Wii Sports Club Golf with 291 votes
BAFTA has published the nominations for its awards for games in 2014. These awards are important because they put games in the same context within the arts as film and television. Of specific interest to us is the category for "Family", for which the nominations are: Rayman Legends; Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons; Tearaway; Animal Crossing: New Leaf; Super Mario 3D World; and (unsurprisingly) Skylanders SWAP Force.
Nintendo: Is closing its Wi-Fi Connection service for the original Wii and DS. This means that while you'll be able to use online channels to browse the Internet on your Wii or DS, you won't be able to play the online portions of games like Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, or any of the Pokemon games that came out on DS.
Sony: has announced that popular indie game Fez is coming to PS4, PS3, and Vita later this month. This game looks like a simple 2D platforming game, with a pixellated character who can jump and climb, but is actually much more.
Minecraft: Team is working with Warner Brothers on a "potential" Minecraft movie. Given the popularity of the Lego Movie, also produced by Warner Brothers, this could be a big hit.
Pocket Edition update 0.9.0 will include new biomes, and with them new blocks. Team member Johan Tweeted a picture that includes some of these new blocks, including some new wood types and what looks like the carpet and flowers that came to the PC version in update 1.7.2.
A new iPhone App called Kic Vidz ("KIC" stands for "Keep it clean"). This App, made by the parent of a "7 year old Minecraft fanatic", is a collection of Minecraft videos that don't contain those swear words that you hear on YouTube so often, and the videos are even grouped by categories like "Music Videos" and "Survival Games".
Skylanders: The "Skylanders Experience" activity that was supposed to take place at the Bluewater shopping centre next month has been cancelled. This activity would have let children undertake quests, hunt for clues, travel through an obstacle course, and more. Given that it sounds like it could have been a real money-maker for Activision, could it be that they're focusing their energy instead on the promised announcement of the next game later this year?
Enchanted Light Core Star Strike will be available from the 14th of March, and is a particularly cool figurine because of the way the hood changes colour from white to blue
If you're a Skylanders collector, we're doing a giveaway of the Toy Fair exclusive red Dune Bug figurine. Make sure you check our other videos for details -- we'll be giving away the first of four figurines this week. Entrants have to identify all the different Skylanders on display at the show.
We've got two competition winners to announce. The first is the winner of the big gaming bundle prize from the Family Game of the Year voting, which goes to Zoey Hopcroft. The second is for the Disney Infinity Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey, which goes to Mark Friedman for his YouTube comment. We'll be in touch the winners to get them their prizes.
FIFA 14, Gran Turismo 6, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
The Lego Movie Videogame, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, Lego Marvel Super Heroes
Tales of Symphonia: Chronicles
Call of Duty: Ghosts, WWE 2K14, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Thief, Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (PC, Wii U, 3DS, PS3, 360)
Phineas & Ferb: Quest for Cool Stuff (Wii U, 3DS, Wii, DS)
Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (PS3)
Comparative effects of TV watching, recreational computer use, and sedentary video game play on spontaneous energy intake in male children: a randomised crossover trial.
Appetite. 2014 Feb 24;
Authors: Marsh S, Mhurchu CN, Jiang Y, Maddison R
OBJECTIVE:: To compare the effects of three screen-based sedentary behaviours on acute energy intake (EI) in children. METHODS:: Normal-weight males aged 9-13 years participated in a randomised crossover trial conducted in a laboratory setting between November 2012 and February 2013 in Auckland, New Zealand. EI during an ad libitum meal was compared for three 1-hour conditions: (1) television (TV) watching, (2) sedentary video game (VG) play, and (3) recreational computer use. The primary endpoint was total EI from food and drink. Mixed regression models were used to evaluate the treatment conditions adjusting for age, BMI, and appetite at baseline. RESULTS:: A total of 20 participants were randomised and all completed the three conditions. Total EI from food and drink in the TV, computer, and VG conditions was estimated at 820 (SE 73.15), 685 (SE 73.33), and 696 (SE 73.16) kcal, respectively, with EI being significantly greater in the TV versus computer condition (+135; p = 0.04), a trend towards greater intake in the TV versus VG condition (+124; p = 0.06), but not significantly different between the computer and VG conditions (-10; p = 0.87). CONCLUSION:: TV watching was associated with greater EI compared with computer use, and a trend towards greater EI compared with VG play. Trial Registration: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612001103853.
Disney Infinity:Andy went to the New York Toy Fair last week, and one particularly cool thing he got to play with was a new Toy Box Pack for Disney Infinity. The Phineas and Ferb pack doesn't actually include Ferb, but consists of Phineas and Agent P, which fans will know is the codename of popular character Perry the Platypus.
Also coming to Disney Infinity are some new power discs -- Series 3 -- which Andy got to have a see at the New York Toy Fair. They include a Rapunzel disc that boosts your character's health, a fireworks cannon from Mulan, and a rare fire extinguisher jetpack-style disc from Wall-E.
Skylanders: Activision wasn't ready to talk about the next Skylanders game at the New York Toy Fair as they have in previous games, but they have confirmed that a new game is coming and that they'll properly announce it later on this year. Andy did, however, get hands-on time with some new figurines including the Wave 4 figurines Trap Shadow and Freeze Blade, and Springtime Trigger Happy.
Retailer Mega Bloks had merchandise at the New York Toy Fair that could be something to do with the unannounced next Skylanders game, since retailers showcase unreleased products at the fair, but Activision wouldn't comment on the speculation.
The figurines looked like a golden lion, a robot-like figurine, an orange figurine with a horned helmet, and a blue figurine with a dragon-like head. All figurines were holding some kind of crystalline weapons or shields, suggesting those may play an important role in the next game. Could they be swappable?
Minecraft: In a recent blog post, Daniel Kaplan has said that the Minecraft: Pocket Edition team is working on changing the code of the game to allow "significantly bigger worlds" in future, as well as updating the AI, inventory, and more. From the screenshot in the blog post, it looks like we'll also be getting dogs. Unfortunately, while all this work goes on the Pocket Realms beta will be shut down on the 1st of March, to be reopened later this year.
Microsoft has lowered the retail price of the Xbox One in the UK. If you were thinking of buying one, wait a few days until the 28th of February and you'll be able to get it for £399 instead of £429. Worldwide, Microsoft is also introducing a Titanfall bundle -- you get the Xbox One, a digital copy of the multiplayer shooter, and a free month of Xbox Live Gold all for the same price as the console alone.
Rovio has announced a new Angry Birds brand called Angry Birds Stella, which focuses on the pink, female bird Stella. There'll be games, cartoons, books, toys, and more to tell stories about Stella and her friends (and, apparently, "(fr)enemie"s). The tagline? "Best friends forever... most of the time".Andy got to see figurines of some of the new characters at the New York Toy Fair.
Nintendo recently broadcast one of its Nintendo Direct presentations. Among some release dates, we also learned that Mario Kart 8 will let you race as each of Bowser's seven Koopaling minions, and that we'll be getting a new Pokemon puzzle game for 3DS called Pokemon Link Battle.
One Twitch user has created some code that lets thousands of players try to play the same game of Pokemon Red at the same time. Players can see a video that shows the emulation of the game, and type commands into the chat at the side. The code finds appropriate commands, which are those that correspond to buttons on a Game Boy like left, right, a, b, start, etc., and inputs them into the game. As you might predict, with thousands of people playing the game is not going smoothly, but the players have managed to beat a few gym leaders.
Here at Mrs. Video Game we love the research that is coming out on video games and child development. In a recent research study titled "A place for play? The influence of the home physical environment on children's physical activity and sedentary behaviour." the researchers looked at video games, the home environment, and a kids probability of exercising. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE In terms of research work they refer to sedentary behavior and PA (physical activity). That is some of the jargon you see over and over again. And while some research seems to produce a very obvious result it is important to study because sometimes they find unique and interesting results that surprise us all. What I loved about this study was that it did recognize its limitations. While it looked for solutions it did also recognize areas of need for future studies.
TV limiting devices reduced TV viewing, however, it is unknown which behaviours replace TV viewing and whether this strategy is successful in the longer term.
What I can take from this study as a parent is that the number of screens and the placement of media devices in our home does matter. Just decreasing the number of TV hours may not be important if the activity that replaces TV viewing is just as sedentary. SO ultimately, again, parents matter. Setting a good example for our kids is more important that many of us realize. Make TV viewing a central family activity and be a leader with your kids in physical activity. You may not feel like putting on leg warmers and a body suit and rocking out to Olivia Newton John's song "Let's Get Physical" but there are things you can do.
Go on a walk with your kids after dinner
Wake up 10 minutes earlier than usually and stretching first thing in the morning
Start out easy and find activities that you can do together making physical activity fun and a time for family bonding