Happy New Year to one and all from Doctor Arkanoid!

Or as the Japanese would say ‘Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!’

How was your Christmas? Was it festive? Was it peaceful? Perhaps it was something like this:

This Christmas, many families became the proud owners of a new video game console. Perhaps it was a Nintendo Wii, a Playstation 3, or an XBox 360. Maybe Santa stuffed a Nintendo DS, a Playstation Portable, or an I-Pod Touch into a stocking or two. And if you were especially good this year, perhaps a bright and shiny Mac or PC was hiding under the Christmas tree! For gamers young and old, “…it’s the most wonderful time of the year…!”

A new video game console in the home can be a big thing. The children are ecstatic because now they can play games they heard about or experienced somewhere else. Some parents are just as happy about this prospect as their kids. In other homes, a few mums and dads are thinking ‘what have we done?’. For many parents, a video game console is a Pandora’s Box full of wonders and a few gremlins as well.

Care and Feeding of Your Game Console


When it comes to the care and feeding of a new game console, the good doctor has some helpful advice:

Put the game console in a place where you can see what’s going on when your children are playing. The family room and living room are good spots.

Play video games with your kids! In the last five years, one common observation from several Canadian media literacy surveys pointed out that many parents don’t play video games with their children. Playing together is not only a good social activity, it will help you to understand video games better.

Read the Instructions! Take a few moments to read the information included in the package, particularly the troubleshooting and technical warranty sections. Put the instructions away for safekeeping.

Keep the box and all the assorted bits and pieces for your game console inside it so you won’t lose them.

The PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360 have parental control features in their set up panels. Learn how to use them. This document gives you information about setting up parental control features ESRB PTA Parents Brochure .

Put the game console in a place where it won’t be accidentally injured by happy feet, happy parents, or an overly happy pet! There’s nothing more awful than breaking your game console right in the middle of the action.

Make sure that game controllers are always kept in a safe place so they won’t get damaged or lost. If your controller uses batteries, don’t forget to turn it off when you’re finished playing. Keep your batteries regularly charged up.

Keep your game console and your game controllers clean. Grease and sticky fingers can result in poor performance.

If your games are on a DVD, always keep the game disc clean and smudge free! Keep your game discs in their game covers when they’re not being used.

PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360’s have external power supplies. Keep these devices unplugged when you’re not playing games. They also generate a considerable amount of heat after a while.

Tips of the Trade

Here’s some more useful advice about getting the most out of your video game console.

The first thing I suggest is that you buy USED GAMES as often as you can for your game system. Why used games? They’re cheaper. The only thing that’s different about a used game is that someone else played it before you did! There are plenty of used games available at game shops, thrift stores, and even garage sales.

Here’s another helpful suggestion. Buy a used or re-furbished video game console if you really want to be frugal. You can still buy PS1, Nintendo Gamecube, and Microsoft Xbox game systems for a good price, including the library of titles available for them.

Instead of buying a new game, you can always rent one from your local video store. Renting is a good way to see if it will go over with your family. In Canada, you can find new games for rent at Blockbuster, Rogers, and other stores.

The Internet is a gold mine of useful information about video games. But there’s also plenty of hype as well. The biggest problem people face is finding a web site they can trust. This blog features links to places that offer good solid information about video games. If you find a site that’s helpful, send along the link and I’ll share it here.

You can also buy used video game hardware and software from web sites such as Amazon and E-Bay. Sometimes you’ll find some game gems for a great price on these websites.

One web site I recommend for viewing new games that will be released is Game Trailers.com . This site features video footage of new titles and it’s a great resource.

I hope this article is helpful. Please let me know what you think. Stay tuned for more scintillating features!

Doctor Arkanoid

© Anthony Gurr and Doctor Arkanoid – Revelations From the Inner Sanctum!, 2009.