Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A young gamer's life guide: Part 2

In this series, we're (when I say we, I mean me) discussing how to correctly raise your beloved child on the wonderful medium of video games. From simple platformers to intense first-person shooters, this guide will force your child to thank you for the rest of his maladjusted life.

The Second Game (ages 4-8)

Street Fighter II (1991)

HADOUKEN!!! (You will get to know this word)

Now, before you start waving your arms around in protest, this is a cartoon. There's no blood, gore, excess violence or anything untoward in this awesome fighting game. Just a bunch of unrealistically proportioned global stereotypes smacking the shit out of each other with unrealistically proportioned fighting moves. In a word, magic.

In a worldwide fighting tournament where anything is possible , your child will progress through the ranks of fisticuffs (and er...footicuffs) to gradually reach the final battle against tournament organiser and villian M.Bison (who, despite making his home in Thailand, looks about as Thai as Jerry Seinfeld).

Hand-eye coordination is the key skill here. In order for your child to succeed, they will want to improve on their ability to time their attacks & defenses so they can win and generally feel like a hard bastard. Which is what they will crave the second they start playing.

On right - legend. On left - potential pedophile.

Also for the first time, your child will be forced to choose a character to portray. This will prove to be a valuable insight into your child's psyche at this young age. There is no need to influence their choice, just wait, see and react accordingly.

RYU OR KEN: This is fine. Your child wants to hedge his bets and play the percentages. And they will generally succeed. Thumbs up.

GUILE: Your child already has been exposed to the US of A through thousand of television hours, and this choice is a result of that. Blind patriotic optimism will drive your child's decision for the rest of their days. Beware and try to guide them back to normalcy.

BLANKA OR DHALSIM: This is interesting. Your child is experimenting, which naturally should be encouraged. They wish to test unknown waters so their future life could lean towards ground-breaking science or perhaps an emerging artist. Or maybe a serial killer who eats faces.

CHUN-LI: Your child is female.

ZANGIEF: Immediately stop what you are doing and berate your child for hours on how being a loser is not the way to live your life. Otherwise, they will fail at everything they do and end up being that middle-aged drunk who makes people laugh at parties but is universally pitied and reviled.

Overall, this game will help your child immeasurably while they have bags of fun at the same time. As an added bonus, you can play with them and raise their self-esteem by allowing them to kick your arse.

Where to get it: Hold off for now. By the end of the year, the game's original developers, Capcom, will be releasing a new and improved High-Definition version of Street Fighter II over Xbox Live Arcade (yes, so get an Xbox 360) and it looks just amazing. Other than that, you can jump on to eBay and buy an old Super Nintendo or Sega Megadrive and then get the original game cartridge. And if you manage that feat, then you deserve a pat on the back because your are officially an AWESOME PARENT. It's also available on Game Boy Advance.

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