When I was approached by PopCap Games to help put together a luncheon getting mom bloggers and reporters together to discuss video games and the family, I was thrilled to be part of an event with such a wonderful theme. After all, that is so much of what Connect with your Teens is about.
PopCap Games sent the guests copies of Plants vs. Zombies (Winner of Parents Choice Award Spring 2011), Bookworm Adventures and Bejeweled 3 for the computer and asked them to play with their kids (mostly parents of tweens were invited). Part of the discussion would then center on parents playing games with their tweens. It turns out that these games were enjoyed by both parents and tweens.
The discussion went better than I could have hoped for. We had a small but diverse group of people that were not afraid to share their opinions. We talked about limiting time spent on video games but also about the many benefits of video games. Many video games are educational and playing them together can bring families closer. Video Game Creation, Gamification and how schools should use iPads were other fascinating discussions that came up.
Rebecca Levey and Nancy Friedman, two mom bloggers, showed us their kids reviews of Bookworm Adventures on their new tween video review website, Kidzvuz. Another treat was having Harold Goldberg, writer and reviewer of video games, at the luncheon. Everyone attending received a copy of his new book, All your Base Are Belong To Us.
Having reporters from Parade Magazine, Psychology Today and NY Metro Parent added to the diversity of the conversation. Many of the mom bloggers noted the difference. We even had a woman who was there because she is a top PopCap player. Not only does she play on her own, but Kerry Ann King plays video games with her four kids whenever they play.
We gave out a fun quiz to see how much everyone knew about PopCap games and video games in general. Amy Kraft of GeekMom and Media Macaroni won the big prize, an iPad2 (Harold Goldberg was excluded from playing for obvious reasons).
All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon of talking and connecting over the topic over moms, parents, kids, tweens, family and video games. We all got some new perspectives, made some new friends and are going to spend more time connecting with our kids when they are playing video games.
Full Disclosure: I was paid for my work in helping to host this luncheon. That in no way had any effect on anything I wrote.
This Halloween Give PopCap Video Game Cards Instead of Candy
Future of Gaming and Mobile – Radio Interview
Video Games Have More Benefits Than You Realize
3 Ubisoft Video Game Holiday Previews