E3 for 5-Year-Olds

It’s that magical time of year again: E3, when I sit, forlorn, in front of a computer screen, wishing I was there again. I have been to the Electronic Entertainment Expo twice in the past, and it was a lot of work but a LOT of fun. I like to tell myself it sucks now. You know, whatever helps me sleep at night. I need all the sleep aides I can get.

Anyway, it’s a lot harder to observe E3 at a distance when you always have small children around. Aside from needing a fair amount of attention, there are a lot of things that they shouldn’t be seeing on the screen. It’s all well and good to be a parent and play your Halos and CoDs on your own time, but maybe not so much in front of the kids, huh (although, the Halo stuff shown at the Microsoft press conference was fairly kid safe. Lot of other stuff wasn’t, though, at least in my opinion)? So yeah, that first day of conferences I only glimpsed sporadically, as I had kids to take care of (and also, because I care less about the Halos and CoD, anyways). The Sony conference was at least after bedtime, but that also meant that I was falling asleep myself through it. Whoops.

Well, Day 2 had the Nintendo event, and we all know Ninty is more kid friendly, so I openly invited Charmander to watch the event with me. You can imagine my dismay when the feed starts up with an “M” rating warning. What could they possibly be showing? I figured it would be for Bayonetta or something. Then, a Robot Chicken-esque sequence begins, and I really start panicking, but it’s also mostly benign. I mean, Reggie may have burned someone alive, but who doesn’t do that? Then there’s Reggie and Iwata having an epic Dragon Ball Z type battle. I guess the kid’s already seen that show at his cousin’s place, so whatever? Truth be told, the whole thing actually was fine for him to watch. I’ll just drop at link to the stuff here instead of nabbing and posting random pics. Without further ado, here’s my 5-year-old’s impressions of Nintendo’s event:

1. While Reggie’s exposition about stuff I forget already: “Why aren’t they showing any games?

2.Miis join the fight in Super Smash Bros: “Whaaaaaat?” Also, he always likes to point out the fire and water thing going on in the game’s logo. He’s actually the one that pointed it out to me, and made me notice that the Wii U version by itself has just the blue, and the 3DS version has just the red. I really did not see this until my preschooler mentioned it.

3. Amiibo: “Where’s the Kirby one?” You may recall that he really loves Kirby.

4. Yoshi’s Wooly World: “What is this game?” (Me: shush! I’m trying to hug this game from afar! Like, I really want to hug the game. So much)

5. Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker: “What? That guy?”

6. Zelda Wii U: He had a lot of questions about the monster, but I had no answers, soooo yeah.

7. Bayonetta: I told him to go check if Squirtle was destroying his Hexbugs. He wasn’t, and the presentation of the game was perfectly kid-safe. Am I the only one who thinks the Peach costume is hideous? Like, she looks more like Dee-Dee from Dexter’s Laboratory than the princess…

8. Pokemans: It was a lot of “Look at that one! Which one is that?” Once he can read, he will be allowed to play Pokemon. Who knows; these remakes could be his first pokegames.

9. Hyrule Warriors: When they said you can play as your favorite character, he informed me, “My favorite character is Link.” So if you think it’s ok to mix up Zelda and Link, kids, remember that there are 5-year-olds out there that are smarter than you. Mommy’s favorite character is Midna. Mommy is happy.

10. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse: He was confused by this game, because it clearly has such different mechanics from standard Kirby games. I should go dig up my copy of Canvas Curse for him.

11. Xenoblade Chronicles X: I did not pay attention to my child during this segment.

12. Mario Maker: He thought everything they were doing was funny. There was much giggling.

13. Splatoon: Charmander is VERY interested in this one. I caught him watching the trailer again on his own later on when I left the computer unguarded. He doesn’t have anything to say about it other than he likes it. He was kind of spell-bound.

14. Palutena’s entrance: He really had nothing to say. I think he was done at that point.

15. I, personally, did not realize that Miyamoto was playing Star Fox in that last shot, and feel really dumb.

Aside from this event, I let him check out some other stuff I figured he’d be interested in. We watched the trailers for the Sonic Boom games as well as the trailer for the upcoming TV show. I think we’re both looking forward to the show the most. He laughed a lot at Eggman. Also, there’s exciting Plants Vs Zombies news: first look at the Dark Ages. Charmander watched this video on my phone and kept trying to actually play the game. He was miffed by all the pausing caused by this, but he is very excited, and he won’t stop asking me when it comes out. I don’t know!!

Also, last night, Husbachu and I kind of let him stay up and watch the SSB Invitational tournament. He was sooo excited to see Kirby in it, and was cheering for him the whole time. When the pink puff ball lost in the Sudden Death at the very end, Charmander CRIED. That’s how you know it’s waaaaaaaay past bedtime.

So there you have it: preschoolers have very little to say about video game conferences.  You’re welcome.

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Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs!

As we meandered down the aisles at ze Target the other day, Charmander managed to take a break from assaulting Squirtle when he noticed this can haphazardly shoved amidst a sea of mac & cheese:

Luigi is kind of meatballs

Patty cake, patty cake, pasta man; give me pasta power as fast as you can.

Yeah, clearly, we bought it, as that pic was taken at our house, and not the store. I have a hard time saying no to junk my kids ask for when it’s related to video games, and he was so excited about Mario, so I had to support that. Also, when I was a kid, albeit an older one, the ultimate in fine dining was a can of Sonic variety of SpaghettiOs. Every once in a while, my mom would even spring for the can with meatballs, which was extra epic at the time, and kind of depressing/horrifying, now that I think on it as an adult: We were *that* poor that the can that cost 20 cents more was a burden on our budget. Also, I thought this was good food? The latter is more a commentary on my mom’s cooking, but we’re getting off-topic.

Lunch time!

That it's in a red bowl and a green bowl is actually purely coincidental.

That it’s in a red bowl and a green bowl is actually purely coincidental.

One of Charmander’s first observations was that “the meatballs taste like pizza crust”, which I think is a compliment? The crust is his favorite part. This also brings some relevant nostalgia to my day, as we used to have pizza day once a week, and it was during the Super Mario Bros Super Show that we would eat it. Meeeemories.

Hey, Pizanos!

This is autographed by Captain Lou Albano. Insert your jealousy here.

Anyways, Charmander ate about half the bowl, and Squirtle just drank his juice, but that’s actually par for the course. It was a good learning experience, though. Charmander was able to explain on his own to his brother that the squares were supposed to be bricks, and the flowers Fire Flowers. He was really confused over the Super Mushrooms and Goombas for some reason, though. He kept asking what the difference was between the big mushrooms and the little mushrooms. We *have* played Mario games in this house; I don’t know what the problem was there.

Much adventure. Such shapes.

These shapes make up like, 2% of the actual pasta, though.


Also, I gotta say that Mario was looking kind of Wario in there, but maybe that was just me. The boys were pretty disappointed that there wasn’t a separate Luigi noodle. I think I’m going to email the company and suggest that they just flip a pic of the Mario pasta on the label and claim it’s Luigi to appease my children. Another fun fact: The Year of Luigi business was very successful in raising my kids’ awareness of the character. No lie; before all the promotion, Squirtle referred to the other Mario brother as “that green guy”. It was like he was an NPC in a Mario RPG. Fun times.

I don’t think we’ll be picking up another can of this, or any other SqaghettiOs; I think it’s more cost-efficient to make actual spaghetti and meatballs, but it was an experience, so there ya go. If they make some Mario mac & cheese, though, we will be all over that nonsense.