Letters to Holly

Tuesday, July 19

Let's Talk Game Systems

If you're looking for a game system to build eye-hand coordination, X-Box or PlayStation are your options. The Nintendo Wii is a motion controller with some buttons. It's a wand. Both X-Box and PlayStation offer body-motion control systems, but they also have the multi-button controllers too.

There are 12 buttons and two control sticks on their current controllers. You can swivel the sticks with your thumbs, and they also depress as a control option. There are wireless versions that provide vibrating feedback which parallels game action. The controllers recharge via USB connections to the systems. Here, the systems are equal.

So let's say you buy the system I have, the PS3. In addition to the eye-hand development, the system will connect online to allow Internet browsing and Netflix streaming. The PS3 is designed to be an all-in-one, providing photo, audio, and video playback on your TV. You can jack your laptop to it and stream your files. It's swank.

But to take advantage of the eye/hand development, you'll need to pick the big games, the biggest franchises in a variety of genres: sports, first-person shootes, role-playing, etc.

I recommend three games right now: Red Dead Redemption (a cowboy game), Uncharted 2 (an Indiana Jones adventure type, and I recommend this one for the humor and variety) and InFamous2 (a superhero game). These games make you use as many as four buttons at one time, meaning your thumbs and index fingers will be in play in various combinations within seconds of each other. This builds up your skills the most.

Almost any game offers a control tutorial to get you started so you could walk into any game with no previous controller experience and be fine. You'll go from random button-mashing to specific finger combinations within minutes, and you won't even look at your hands within half an hour. We had fun with Katamari Damacy, and that game also offers multi-button control but not on the split-second control change like the three games I mentioned above. You can download free demos through the PS3 and rent games from local outlets including, probably, the closest grocery store.

So, you gots options. Let's start from here.

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The boy is back at daycare, and his extended time away did him no favors. He was quiet and nervous as we walked in the door and a crying wreck before I left. It's not easy, but I think I honestly can weather this better than Your Sister. She's still new at leaving him, and she hasn't dropped him off at daycare. She's at work today for a full-day school meeting.

Picture of the Day
My Buddy.
My Buddy.
My Buddy and me!


holly said...

thank you for your sharing your insight, experience, and recommendations. i'll probably invest in something this week and start the dexterity boot camp in prep for upcoming surgery-heavy rotations this fall.
you are the best. THE BEST!

Gregory said...

Blockbuster used to rent systems. See if that's still an option near you.

holly said...

i'll have to bite the bullet and also buy a TV, too.
i'll look into demoing a system at the nearby gaming store.