Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Give Back My Bandwidth! Do Your Kids Play Online Video Games?

So tonight my dear daughters, London and Maddie, are competing with me for our Comcastic bandwidth, and naturally they are winning and my blogging has slowed to a crawl. The girls are trying out all sorts of online video games. They bought two new Webkinz with their allowance this past Friday, after we went to the dentist. Don't ask me why, but ever since I bought Maddie one or two new Webkinz for going to see Dr. Dave Matthews (Crash Into Me), our Far Hills dentist, without complaining or causing trouble in the waiting room, she has somehow associated pediatric dentistry with online video games and their associated real world toys. London, who is almost eight years old, and Maddie, who will soon be seven years old, have learned a lot about computers from their Technology teacher, Mr. Gallo. Today Maddie came home from school bragging about her exploits in Microsoft Word. Mr. Gallo is in his twenties, and he is definitely the cool teacher, the subject of the first and second grade schoolgirl crush. He's cool because he introduces them to all the best kids' web sites, like Zwinky Winkies? MagNext? Tonight, I think London and Maddie are on Pixie Hollow, creating their own fairies.

Meanwhile, I've signed up them up for a free account with MagNext where our whole family will be free to play indefinitely, and I'm in the process of doing the mom-tests-it-out-first thing. I'm embarrased to say that this shopaholic can't seem to get past the virtual store, where I could purchase a special paint job, action skills, and super cool gear, if only I could score high enough to collect Magz, the online currency. While I've read on other blogs about moms who are the Guitar Hero or Dance Dance Revolution champions in their households, my two little tweens kick my bouteaux (that's French for buttocks) in all video games, from Mario Brothers to the latest craze. MagNext Virtual, an online tie-in to those magnet toys we've bought from Toys with Love for countless kiddie birthday parties, is an out-of-this-world community ball, a high tech place in space built for riding and racing, bumping and battling, safe and secure online chatting and showing off. The girls can crank their hot rods to a roaring speed, spin a star-scraping rollercoaster out of control, challenge other gladiators to hot rounds of speed and agility, and connect with their friends to play with a ton of other kids who think they're as magnetic as London and Maddie's basement girl band, the Butter Bites.

So... do your kids play online video games? What are your favorites? Are you the Queen of the video game, or do your kids put you to shame?