Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Screen time...? (Sensational Giveaway...)

In an ideal world, me and my perfect mothering and my perfect children would not watch much TV, nor play on the Wii, nor get addicted to Angry Birds on the iPhone, or indeed the new Skylanders Spyro's Adventures.

But, my personal work and hobby is via a computer. I write, I blog, I Twitter, I tip tip tap on my computer at any given opportunity.

When the girls get home from school, they want to chill out and tune out for an hour or so, in front of kids shows or DVD's.

And Charlie? My boy Charlie is a gamer. Extraordinaire.

At the ripe old age of six, he is an expert.  His platform of choice is the Wii (especially since his legend mother fixed it!). He has conquered Harry Potter Lego, Sonic, Cars II, Super Mario Brothers, Toy Story and Madagascar.

The lovely husband is in IT and has always been into gaming. And even he is astounded at Charlie's instinctive ability to manipulate controls, strategize better than a chess master, and persevere with game scenarios.

I was given a sneak preview a month or so back, of the new Skylanders Spyro's Adventuress. It's a game that plays on ALL the platforms - so it doesn't matter whether you're a Wii family or one that prefers XBox or a DS or a Play Station - the game plays on them all.

It's not just a computerised game on a disk either - the concept that persuaded me to attend the preview was because of the interactive little game figurines that are integral to the game. The little heroes literally come to life via "portal of power" and whilst the human player controls the game, the little characters dramatically influence the way that levels are won and lost.

The "Skylanders" figures are an integral part of the game because they store their characters' entire history inside. But they are also small enough and certainly sturdy enough to get tucked into the pockets of little boys shorts and played with at school....

Anyway, Charlie is TOTALLY addicted. He LOVES IT! We have watched him, with amused fondness as he spends a few hours at a time engrossed with Skylanders. (Should I ration it?!)

I am glad he loves it so much. It's an early Christmas pressie to him.

But I am torn too - he loves it so much - he leaps around and is certainly not passively vegging out. Should I restrict the time he spends in front of a screen?

He comes home from school, after also spending an hour at cricket practice, and then winds down with an hour playing another game he is evidently passionately keen on. Skylanders. Where's the harm? I love that he's mad about it. I love the peace!

I have a full Skylanders Spyro's Adventures Starter Pack, for XBox 360, up for grabs as a giveaway - thanks to the makers of the game, Activision. This comes with three of the action characters (toys with brains) and also the "portal of power" and also the game itself. (RRP $99)

If you would like to win this, all you need to do is make sure you are following my blog and then leave me a comment giving me an example of your screen addiction!

Open to Australian residents only. Winner will be drawn at random. Entries close midnight Sunday 23rd October, and the winner will be announced on this blog.

post signature

This is not a sponsored post but I did attend a preview demo of the game and I was sent the game to trial out with Charlie...the opinions in this post are entirely my own (and Charlie's!).


  1. They used to call us square eyes if we watched too much TV, what would they call us now with all the screens we depend on? I didn't 'get' the PS2 or the 3 or any of the Nintendo DS things my boys are all into. I only caved in cos they maintained they were the uncoolest of all the kids because their mum wouldn't buy the items. I bought the Wii kidding myself that I would get some exercise in while they were at school. What a dope! II don't even know how to turn the thing on ... and now they want an X Box - OMG

  2. The Farmer and Farmboy adore our X-box. It has a kinect thing attached to it.

    My brother-in-law bought the kinect thing (ahem,as you can see I am up to date with all the gaming terminology). When we first got it my sisters-in-law and I decided to give it a go. As the kids had gone to bed by that stage we decided to play a game that I think was something to do with street fighting (we are all class here). The best bit was watching my gorgeous, stylish Danish sister-in-law (who is 6 ft tall with long blonde hair) king hit her opponent after a few wines. Hilarious.

    Would love to enter your competition - Farmboy would just spontaneously combust with joy if I won.

  3. I don't have any of these toys, but would happily get one if I won this prize. My son has complained that there is not enough to do at my place - unlike his Dad's home which is equipped with all the latest tricks and treasures.
    As for screen time ... I love trashy TV (think The Bachelor and Farmer Wants A Wife), and twitter and FB.
    I know that's not a game, but LOLcats is close, right?

  4. Well I am a woman of the future. Have been a gamer for the past 20 years. I am not ashamed of it either. It has been my saviour for stress relief constantly.

    My first ever playstation game was in fact Spyro the Dragon. It was brilliant and I loved it and the second one. But by the 3rd they were slipping and after they sold the rights to Spyro the new company really dumbed it down. A Tragedy in my book.

    NOw I play Ratchet and Clank - brilliant stuff - next one is out next month and will be my xmas prezzie.

    Insomniac makes the coolest games.

    Adults of the world - don't knock it, you can't imagine what a great stress reliever it can be to lose yourself in these fantasy worlds.

    Lucy when I was a kid we were outside all day running around - kids these days dont have that as much so playing a Wii game gives him physical and mental exercise so don't stress it.



  5. Internet for me. Even when I'm watching TV, I've got my iPhone and I'm tweeting, chatting on facebook. Love my internets.

    My husband is a gamer, as evidenced by the fact we own all three of the major game systems (XBox, Wii, Playstation).


  6. When the kids first got DSs I used to borrow theirs, a lot. The family even considered getting me one for myself.

    Then there was the minor addiction to Farmtown but I'm over that now. Now I just hang on the lounge playing Words with Friends and Veggie Samauri.

    Please help me get a new hobby.

  7. We are definitely a Wii family, although I do limit the kids to using it only on the Wii-kend and school holidays. I love the Wii, but am amazed at my children's prowess - I'm quite the amateur compared to them. My other not-so-secret vice is the internet (obviously) and I am rather fond of the odd escape-the-room game.

  8. I have tried to play the games my kids & now grand kids play but still can't master getting the characters to walk in a straight line. Major embarrassing fail.
    My 7yo grandson, who has an autism disorder, is a whiz at all sorts of games and finds playing them helps him wind down and refocus much to his parents relief. If I'm a winner the prize will be a gift for him.

  9. Oh my screen addiction...other than addicted to reading blogs our family are very game obsessed. I played world of warcraft (standing and rocking - clicking that mouse) during my first labour! Our kids are still little but the oldest will be starting school next year and loves the Wii. She loves Beatles Rockband on the XBox 360 and will sing Lucy in the sky with diamonds to anyone who asks her what her favourite song is. I've been eyeing off Spyro for a couple of weeks now - sounds awesome.

  10. I have always been a HUGE gamer and I still am at the age of 46. My curent game is WOW (World of Warcraft). I currently have four level 85s which is the max level.

    My son is more of a gamer than my daughter and they prefer first-person shooters that I am not really do at. Running one direction but firing in another fries my brain cells.

  11. Hello! I am in the USA so count me out of the giveaway but thank you for sharing such an interesting toy. I have a 7 month old boy that is already showing signs of screen addiction. I say this half jokingly and halfway concerned. His dad plays tons of video games and so I will have to find some way of coming to terms with the whole situation and making the best of it, thanks again for sharing this.

  12. I'm not in Australia, but think this particular video game sounds like a great option for boys (that doesn't involve violence)! We love Wii time here, especially in the winter.

  13. My 8yo would love this! He is a huge xbox player and also spends a lot of time playing his games.

    I like playing car racing games with him because they are the easiest for me!

  14. We're big sing star fans as you'll see on the blog tomorrow :)

  15. Wii, PS3, iPod, Leapstar explorer, Xbox, laptop... my four year old can navigate his way around all of them... better then me!!

    Love the idea of this new game.

    for me - laptop - blogs, and my 13 yo has just introduced me to World of warcraft. I'm a sexy elf. :)

  16. I am a long time follower of your blog! My screen addiction is only the computer. However, I also have a 6 year old son, as well as a 5 year old son, and they too are totally addicted to video games on the xbox 360. At the moment its all the lego games - Star Wars, Harry Potter, Batman. So, I would LOVE to be in the running for this please, because if I win I will be the coolest Mum around ;-)

  17. My kids would love this especially my nine year old she inherited my love of gaming which started with frogger on atari to sega to nintendo to playstation i love to complete a game if i start it and am quite frustrated when i can not i dont get to play much these days with my 4 keeping me busy but we play the wii together.


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