How the Xbox saved summer

This summer has really sucked. I mean it. This has been the worst summer that I can recall. So many factors came together and worked in evil harmony like a group of super-villains to make this summer the suck summer to try and forget. Vacations were planned, but never taken. That awesome invitational boardgame event that I had planned to attend? Wasn’t able to go. Money, work, health? All bad news.

What really bothered me about all of this was that I felt like my kids deserved a better summer. I don’t feel obligated to provide some grand excursion every summer, but I do feel like a summer isn’t really a summer without some kind of family trip. This did not happen this summer; however, the summer was saved from total disaster by a small plastic box.

We have never been a video game family, but one day my wife brought home the new Xbox 360 with the Kinect tuner. I argued against it, but she felt it was important for various reasons that the kids have something fun this summer. I think it was a good call on her part. What I thought would divide the kids has brought them together. What I thought would be a huge waste of money ended up being a pretty good value for the amount of entertainment we’ve gotten out of it.

The Kinect is pretty amazing. Just yesterday we downloaded the new Fruit Ninja game for it, and it’s a blast. Watching my kids jump around and laugh while they slice up virtual fruit is a bargain at $9.99. The regular games are fabulous as well. My kids are five years apart, and yet they have a great time playing something like the LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean game. I haven’t really played any console game since Final Fantasy VII, and I’m blown away by these new games like Gears of War. It’s crazy when I think back to the Atari games I had when I was my daughter’s age. We also use the Xbox to stream Netflix and ESPN. It’s an entertainment suite.

I still love my boardgames, but I have to admit that my wife made a good purchase.

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