As an adult gamer, I can play anything I like, anytime I like, for as long as I like.
As a father of 6-year-old twins, I want to pass my love of gaming onto them.
Like any responsible parent who cares about their kids however, I need to balance my desire for them to have fun, with an awareness of what kinds of games they should and shouldn’t play. The conundrum is, that my kids have already figured out that nearly all of the “educational” console video games for their age group are just that – “educational”. And to 6-year-olds who know their way around all the latest and greatest age appropriate games on smartphones, tablets and PCs, educational = not much fun.
On the other hand, generally speaking, most of the video games geared to kids their age offer nothing more than mind numbing, repetitive game play, with only one redeeming quality – gratuitous fun. In my household, where the woman of the house is an educator – that doesn’t cut it. Sure, my wife and I let our kids play those kinds of titles too, but we really prefer they get more out of their free time than that.
So, what’s a parent to do when they want their kids to get as much joy out of interactive entertainment as they do, while also wanting them to get something meaningful out of the experience?
If you own a PS3, the answer is simple; you introduce your kids to Little Big Planet 2 – arguably the most innovative video game ever created for any system. It’s the one game, that more than any other, manages to offer the best of both worlds. It’s a video game, a dynamic learning laboratory and interactive entertainment sandbox all in one. Or as I’ve come to define it – Interactive Imaginative Edutainment.
On the surface, Little Big Planet 2 appears to be a platformer like any other, with it’s lovable main character, “Sackboy”. Once you dig a little deeper, you’ll discover it delivers an experience you won’t find with any other title.
It’s the braindchild of Media Molecule, the company that created the original Little Planet and like its predecessor, it’s pure, unadulterated genius on too many levels to mention here.
How so? Little Big Planet 2 allows gamers of all ages to do things that are simply unimaginable and just plain outright impossible in any other game. Things like in-depth player customization, the omnipotent power to build entire new “worlds” from scratch, the opportunity to create original games within the game itself, the thrill of constructing exciting new levels to share with other players – 7+ million by August of last year, with 5,000 new levels created every day. (And no, that’s not a misprint.)
And that’s not all. Little Big Planet 2 encourages my kids to explore their creativity and develop their critical thinking skills. It also teaches them basic principles of physics, improves their eye-hand coordination, encourages them to use teamwork and forces them to use both their right AND left brain at the same time– all while having so much fun you really have to see it for yourself to believe it.
Now that, my friends, is Interactive Imaginative Edutainment.
And it’s not just for kids. In fact, most Little Big Planet 2 players are full grown adults. That kids who are 6-years-old can’t get enough of it too, speaks volumes about what separates this “game” from all others. In fact, my kids enjoy Little Big Planet 2 so much, we use it as a weapon to get to them do their homework, do their chores and improve their behavior.
Is that wrong? Sure is, but it feels so right.
So, if like me, you love gaming and you want to spread some of that love to your progeny without the unpleasant aftertaste ordinary video games leave you with, give your kids the ultimate interactive imaginative edutainment experience – Little Big Planet 2.