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  Review: “The Fairly OddParents:  Breakin’ Da Rules” (PS2)  
Posted 2004-01-19 by Tony Walsh

The Fairly OddParents: Breakin' Da Rules (PS2)
Publisher: THQ
Availability: now
Est. Price: $40USD
ESRB Rating:E

Substance: 20%
Longevity: 20%

I'm a childless 30-something with no cable. Therefore I have never heard of the Nickelodeon cartoon show "The Fairly Oddparents." You'd think a game based on the show might offer a little something in the way of explanation, you know, to introduce us older folks to a barrel-of-laughs show like "The Fairly Oddparents." If that's what you were thinking, you'd be wrong. Because if you're 30-something, you should be able to figure out what the show's about just by sitting through tediously-unfunny cutscenes.

So here's what the show's about based on how it's depicted in the game: It's about some white kid who has a pair of white Fairy Godparents (get it? Fairly Oddparents?) that will do anything the kid wishes. The kid has real parents, but in this game all they do is leave home for some kind of sex-romp out of town. Really. The kid's abusive white babysitter comes over and starts insulting him for the weekend. Somewhere in "Fairly Oddparents: Breakin' Da Rules" is an actual storyline, but there's just way too much dialog, smug humour, and stream-of-consciousness blather standing in the way of understanding it.

Continue reading: Review: “The Fairly OddParents:  Breakin’ Da Rules” (PS2)
  Kids Domain Game Reviews  
Posted 2003-11-12 by Tony Walsh
Local media company Kaboose, Inc. has just re-launched the ad-laden KidsDomain, a family resource site that, among other things, carries game reviews. They're syndicating some of my "kid friendly" reviews, which of course are fairly vanilla and lack the biting sarcasm I deeply enjoy.
  Gone Gold: Ghoulies, Crimson Skies  
Posted 2003-10-14 by Tony Walsh
Gone Gold: Ghoulies, Crimson Skies
Microsoft Game Studios has announced Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge for Xbox has gone airbourne and lands on store store shelves October 21. Crimson Skies is, as you might imagine, about bloody aerial combat. The game is set in an alternate 1930s world inhabited by zeppelin-driving warlords and air-pirates.

Grabbed by the Ghoulies also hits shelves October 21, just in time for Halloween. This whimsical family-friendly game features a kid named Cooper (not to be confused with PS2 hero Sly Cooper) who must rescue his girlfriend from the clutches of undead hordes. Why she can't resuce herself is beyond me...
  Videogame Violence On Trial  
Posted 2003-09-18 by Tony Walsh
Is Grand Theft Auto responsible for turning two kids into killers? Their parents evidently believe so, and are suing the publishers of GTA (Take-Two Interactive) as well as Sony (since GTA was a PS2 exclusive) for a collective $100M.
[story |]

It appears that the basis of the lawsuit, which blames the game for the shootings, is that GTA served as training for the youths, who (like all young people) apparently can't distinguish fantasy from reality.

Here's a crazy thought: Who gave these kids a .22 rifle to begin with? How about suing *them*?
  G.I. Joe Meltdown  
Posted 2003-08-25 by Tony Walsh
Eric Fensler dissected a handful of animated G.I. Joe Public Service Announcements, reassembling them ultra-bizarro style for your viewing pleasure. Watch in horror or amusement as your favourite Joes say the darndest things. "Who wants a body massage?"

Check out a brief interview with Fensler here. Click the MOV-based animations to play or download: Pimp... Reggae... Body Massage... Nosebleed... Carnival... Computer... Kids Fry...
  Blame It On The Brain  
Posted 2003-06-20 by Tony Walsh
Are you shy? If so, it might mean that you're simply extra-vigilant due to hyperactivity in the amygdala. That's a part of your brain, my shy friend!

You needn't feel badly about your shyness. Inhibitions stop people from embarassing themselves. Uninhibited children "can become aggressive and antisocial in adolescence and adulthood." [source]
  U.S. Toddlers Are Tragic Lardballs  
Posted 2003-05-07 by Tony Walsh
More than 60% of Americans are overweight. Not just adults, either: "Even toddlers in the United States are obese, and they are not only overweight, but are showing early signs of diabetes and other diseases associated with being fat, researchers say." [source] I guess parents should stop letting their kids visit Planet Twinkie whenever they get a lard craving.
  Kids:  Copying Files Is Illegal  
Posted 2003-05-05 by Tony Walsh
America's Business Software Alliance recently launched, a site that aims to teach parents, teachers, and kids the legality and ethics of handling online material.

The Alliance's dogma, "Play It Safe in Cyber Space," encourages parents and teachers to:
  • "Remind kids that even when a friend offers to copy software it may be illegal to do so."
  • "Define cyber-ethics terms such as 'copyright,' 'license agreement,' and 'software piracy,' and discuss them routinely with your children. Show them what a copyright symbol ((C)) looks like and what it means."
  • "Establish ground rules. Establish the rule -- 'Don't copy.' Whether at home, at school, or at a friend's house, turn respect for copyright law into family policy."

  • Or, if you're a a little less robotic and dull-witted than the Business Software Alliance would like you to be, why not also educate your kids on the joys of "Fair Use," or alternatives to standard copyright, such as "Copyleft" or the "Creative Commons."
      Clowns Are Scary  
    Posted 2003-04-25 by Tony Walsh
    Clowny Clown makes the children laugh. And laugh and laugh. They laugh because if they don't laugh, the clown might get angry. Dear God, please don't let the clown get angry...
      Johnny B. Headed  
    Posted 2003-03-25 by Tony Walsh
    "Children around the subway heard a thud and then this body without a head was just lying there. Kids are naturally curious and there was soon a big crowd staring." [story / link:titus] When I was a kid, we would have run the hell away from any headless corpse, especially if it fell from the sky. Kids today have headless corpse action figures.
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