Last month, at our annual New Years Day brunch at a friend's house, I noticed an interesting occurrence. My oldest daughter was sitting on the couch, happily playing Skylanders with the younger kids of our host. She had never played it before, but she was getting the hang of it, more or less.
This is a marked difference from even just a few years eariler, where she either would have a) not been interested, or b) found it too difficult to control and given up. I blame myself. You see, we don't have a PS3 or an Xbox 360, we have a Wii. And so she's grown up with motion control as the norm, and traditional controllers aren't really what she's used to. I'm sure she'll pick it up eventually, not too worried about that.
In a parallel development, she received the first Professor Layton game for Christmas, finished it in about a week, and then got the second Professor Layton a month later for her birthday. She's hooked, as she loves the puzzles, and the cut scenes / storyline. It's right up her 10 year old brain's alley.
It's all part of my plan to make her into a gamer, and I think it's working.
Before Christmas, the DS had been pretty much sitting in a drawer, neglected and forlorn. The kids having exhausted their interest in Pet Shop and Cooking Mama games, had moved on to playing on our i-Devices. This could not stand, I said to myself. That's not real gaming, I protested.
So I hatched a plan. First, I bought Professor Layton. Ostensibly it was for my wife, who also loves that kind of puzzle game, but I knew that my daughter would be interested. She was. Second, I got the NEXT Professor Layton game ready to give to her for her birthday. Third, I ordered a copy of the first issue of Nintendo Force, and left it around for her to read.
In the space of 8 weeks, she's gone from wanting an iPad Mini as a reward for chore points (I give stars instead of cash, redeemable for prizes... each star is worth about $0.25) to wanting a 3DS. A 3DS! Good choice, my offspring, good choice.
When I asked her why she made the change, she said, "I don't know, some of the games look interesting. Well, I want to play the latest Professor Layton, and that game with Layton X Ace Attorney... with all the finger pointing! Oh, and Animal Crossing."
If you end your reason with the words, "Oh, and Animal Crossing" I think you automatically win. QED.