Small Talk: Food, Family, Friends... Four Player?

by Tim Turi on Nov 26, 2009 at 06:10 AM

The holidays are here again, and we’re all likely going to be surrounded by our families at some point within the next month or so. With that in mind, there comes the burden of being a responsible gamer around children, your grandparents, and loved ones in general. In many cases, this may mean halting the Modern Warfare 2 frag-fests in exchange for something a little more family-friendly. We here at GI discuss our Thanksgiving Day rituals and what games make for the best all-ages gaming while digesting a whole lot of turkey.
Though I’m the lone-wolf gamer of the immediate family, sometimes I like to bring them into the fold. I’ve found some decent success with Guitar Hero. My dad is actually able to plug away at some of the classic rock to be found within, and he usually appears to be enjoying it to some extent. I’m beginning to wonder how my family may respond to New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I like the idea of playing with my nieces, nephew, and parents. As long as I’m not stuck being Yellow Toad. Thoughts?

Kato: I don't game at all with my family at functions. I have one relative who’s into games, and we talk shop a lot, but family affairs are more about eating and talking (and watching sports). I guess I feel like it’s okay to disappear from the family and play games when you’re ten years old, but not so much when you’re 34.

Tim: What about 24? Is that an okay time to slip away and play games? Hmm… I might be in trouble here.

Ben: With family in town I'll probably have to set Assassin's Creed and Left 4 Dead 2 aside for most of the weekend, but I think I'll still be able to get some game time in. Rock Band has always been a great multi-generational game, but my parents seem more excited to play The Beatles: Rock Band than they have ever been about a video game in the past. I think I'll crack open New Super Mario Bros. as well and start some post-Thanksgiving diner fights.

Joe: I know that Ben meant to say dinner just now, but I like the Back to the Future-style image of Ben and the rest of the Reeves family brawling in a ‘50s diner.

Jeff M: "Hey McFly, I thought I told you never to come in here!"

Nick: "Make like a tree and leaf. It’s make like a tree and leave, you idiot!"

Bryan: Biff actually says “Make like a tree and get outta here!”

I meant diner. My family goes to Denny's for Thanksgiving

Jeff: I’m with Kato on this one. As much as I might want to duck into the basement and play games, I have plenty of other days where I can exercise my antisocial tendencies. Tomorrow I’ll be sitting at the grownup table, eating turkey and silently gloating when I hear everyone else gripe about their lame jobs. I really do have a lot to be thankful for.

Ben: If you have some younger cousins in the house this weekend don't forget about A Boy and His Blob. Actually even if you don't have kids in the house this weekend don't forget about that game. Sure it doesn't have multiplayer, but the little puzzle/platformer is a lot of fun to watch. Plus, the art style looks great, making this a good title for showing off your Wii.

Joe: I won’t be able to play anything on Thanksgiving Day since I’ll be out of town. However, we did just get builds of Bayonetta and Darksiders in for review, so I’ll probably be barricading myself in my home with an apocalyptic horseman and a sexy librarian-looking witch.

Tim: Joe just admitted Bayonetta was sexy!

For those of you that don’t traditionally attempt to get your families involved in the gaming festivities, what would you be willing to try? A music game? Mario? A system-link Left 4 Dead 2 marathon? Also, don’t forget to bring your DS or PSP to thanksgiving. Nothing says family bonding like “hold on, I gotta save.”

It’s everyone else’s turn to chime in. Happy Thanksgiving!