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Journal Journal: Preparing Kids for Cube Life

Just Like Work!

What better way to prepare your kids for the "real world" than give them a little dose of it at home? That's right, treat your kids the way YOUR Employer treats YOU!

Let's start with restricted "physical" access. Employers place the monitors outward for a good reason - they want to make sure their employees are working instead of spending hours playing solitaire. So, to mimic this setup simply remove computers from bedrooms and place them in the family room where you can see what they are doing. Have the monitor facing out into the room - just like work! For an added effect build tiny, depressing grey cubicles, it will make them want to get outside and play!

Restricted website access. That's right - can you surf for pr0n at work? Well, maybe if you work for Playboy, but most of us can't - why should your kid be able to look at nude chicks when you are not even allowed? Turn on parental controls - and learn how to use them. Of course, the odds are your kids are smarter than you and can turn them off, that's why Rule 1 is so effective.

Monitor site passwords. That's right - your employer can read your email anytime they please, why should your kids have it any different? Spot check on occasion to make sure they are not planning a columbine style attack or talking to MySpace predators.

Restrict time usage. If you don't get your work done at work you can't play on the computer either. Why? because you are fired! Computers are for work, so only allow them for fun if they do the work first! After homework is complete allow some MySpacing or on-line gaming for 1 hour. After the hour is up restrict entertainment to solo game play (no Internet access) or T.V. You don't have time to monitor them for 3 hours any more than your employer has time to watch you.

Have a problem with it? Take it up with my boss.

Journal Journal: Brain Age

What's your Brain Age Dumbass?

That's how cracking open Brain Age and scoring an 80 makes you feel.

My "brain age" is currently 43 after 5 days of playing - it started out at 80 - as did many others from what I can tell from Google. I swear I have an IQ of 130 - TAKE THAT Brain Age! How can my brain be 80!??? You just gotta believe me! :)

Yep. Brain Age makes you feel insecure... Pure Genius.

Anyway, the goal is to get your Brain Age to 20 - the best. Now, I remember being 20 and I have to tell you I wasn't that smart - my brain was practically swimming in PBR - so getting back to 20 seems sorta counterintuitive to me. And another thing - what happens if you play the first time and Brain Age IS 20? Does it unlock all of the games? But I digress...

With Brain Age players are drawn in by the overarching theme of self improvement - which they can see in CHART FORM. Grown ups love charts. Brain Age is collection of tests (NOT so cleverly disguised as "games") that are time based. The player answers as fast as they can and then their "Brain Age" is calculated. These are NOT IQ tests, they are high-speed reading, drawing from memory, fast math problems, and Stroop tests. (12th grade reading, 7th grade math by my guess) - the trick is to answer as fast as possible with high accuracy.

After each test it tells you how fast your brain is: walking speed, running speed, driving speed, etc. and shows a little character moving across the screen. As I mentioned, you can also review a chart to see your progress. Yay charts!

Anyway, the game, like Nintendogs and Animal Crossing, is designed to be played a little each day if you want to get to the fun games - as they start you out with ONLY 3 games (math, reading and stroop color tests) So, if you play everyday you unlock a new game. I've unlocked 5 more so far. Playing each day is really an ingenious plan to get the player to make Brain Age part of their daily routine, hooking them into game.

It's laughable how simple this game is. I also do not think it would have done well on the Internet - it's too crappy looking, but it's perfectly acceptable for the DS platform. The game utilizes features that are unique to the DS - touchscreen writing and word recognition. I found the text recognition to be lacking - but maybe that's just MY handwriting.

Nintendo is clearly targeting adults for this application. And parents probably like it for their kids too - though I doubt kids will like it as much as it feels a lot like school...right down to making fun of you whenever your performance suffers.

I give it a C- art and an A+ for game design, whether you like it or not, it keeps you coming back. Enjoy! Dumbass.

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