November 29th, 2010

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

My family’s favorite pastime these days is to shoot, stab and grenade each other on a video console game blasted across the TV in our living room. The guy with the most kills wins. It’s sick and twisted.  And yet . . . it works. My tweens, teen and hubby are dancing and laughing their way to the couch every chance they get to play the multi-player option of “Modern Warfare 2” (XBox 360 or Playstation 3 for ~$48), one of many games in the “Call of Duty” series.

I don’t play this game or any other video game; I hate them all. They’re a gi-normous waste of time. They’re entertaining our children to death, and they’ll ultimately bring about the end of civilization as we know it. Oh, and I suck at video games. So I can’t comment on actually playing the game, but I can tell you about its impact on the home.

Our living room is directly adjoined to our kitchen. This means that while my gang is busy with its little war, I can see and hear them—and the game. Now, “World at War” is rated M for “blood and gore, intense violence and strong language.” That sounds so serious, but honestly, as far as killing games go, this one’s not bad—at least, not the multi-player portion. It’s not horrifically gory, although there is “blood” spatter on the screen when there’s a kill. It isn’t laden with Scarface-worthy dialog. And, surprisingly, it’s not over-the-top loud—no obnoxious cars, no bad music—just the pitter-patter of large guns, groans from the dying and ringing from grenade blasts.

As far as what I hear from my living room warriors, I hear the tell-tale sounds of people having fun! I mostly hear laughing, imitation screams, occasional bargaining (i.e., “Don’t kill me! I’m just getting my care package!) and a lot of amusing questions:

“Why are you always killing me?”

“Woe—wait! I just threw a grenade at your head, and you didn’t die?!”

“Is that fair? I mean, she can’t shoot me when we’re talking about the rules, right Dad?”

If you’ve got youngsters at home, this game is not for you, and I know what you’re thinking: “I will never allow my tweens or teens to play an M-rated game!” Hey, if you’re able to pull that off and walk away with your kids still talking to you, kudos to you sister! But you might find, as I’ve found, that as your kids grow, you continue to pick your battles. One minute you’re choosing to ignore your daughter’s choice of the silky blue Ariel nightgown for your jaunt to the grocery store, and the next minute, you’re choosing to ignore her choice to shoot people in cyberspace for fun. That’s what I’m doing now. The members of my crew voluntarily unite and have a blast shooting each other’s digital counterparts. I know how that sounds, but I’m sticking to my guns: “Modern Warfare 2” is a winning family-bonding-killing game!

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)