We have now passed that developmental milestone where the kids can out-play the Old Man on the Xbox 360. They each got a new 360 game under the tree last month, and both of them have finished the “Brave” game from start to finish. I know that as children of the Gadget Generation, mastery of a gaming console is practically encoded in their DNA, but it’s still amazing to see how quickly they figured out the Xbox controller and the game mechanics without any prior instruction (and in Lyra’s case, without being able to read the on-screen directions.) This is especially remarkable because our gaming console prior to the Xbox 360 was a Nintendo Wii, which has a controller that’s completely unlike the two-handed/dual-stick multi-button affairs for the Xbox and the PS3.
(I tried a first-person shooter on the console once and couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. As a PC gamer, my hands and muscle memory are calibrated for mouse and WASD keys.)
It’s absolutely amazing to see the strides that gaming consoles have made since the days of the Atari 2600. Playing Iron Man or Batman:Arkham Asylum on the Xbox 360 driving a 47” screen with the audio coming from a Bose home theater speaker set would have reduced 12-year-old Marko from 1983 to an incoherently blubbering pile of gamer bliss.
Now I just need to get the kids their own World of Warcraft accounts and teach them tanking and healing, so we can do our own little in-house instance groups on Saturday evenings.