Mailvox: Game recommendations

DP requests advice:

Hello Vox, greatly enjoy your blog and articles. In ref. to your post on gaming, the article got me thinking that perhaps from a ‘reaction time’ and ‘mental sharpness’ standpoint, I should invest in something for my aging mind too.

So I am looking for some guidance (without having to ask the local teenagers) on platform and game choices. I am a 47 yr old guy with young kids (boy 8, girl 10) and obviously grew up with Space Invaders, and never really touch them since. The kids have a DS each, but no big game setup (xBox, etc.).

I have deliberately not bought anything to avoid having slugs for children, but now starting to think there may be some advantages to a controlled, limited use (and maybe some fun family time to boot).

So, questions:

1. Platform suggestion? (don’t really have the money to buy new, but perhaps last year’s model from the local pawn shop?)
2. Games? (We are attempting to bring our children up in a Christian household, so the beloved wife will not support a blood fest, but perhaps there are combat or ‘pilot’ type games that help with mental sharpness/reflexes, but keep the gore down?)
3. Any other suggestions or comments.

1. PlayStation 2. The games aren’t very different than the so-called nexgen ones, and in fact, some new games are still being released for it. You can buy one used for around $50 and excellent games for as little as $5. And, of course, download D-Fend Reloaded for playing great old DOS game like Wing Commander and TIE Fighter.

2. Madden 2008 for PS/2 is still fun and I prefer it to the newer X360 versions. NCAA Football is good too, but I don’t know what year is best since I haven’t played NTSC games in years. Some of the classic Arcade compilations are really good. Downloading MAME and classics like Ms Pac-man, Donkey Kong, and Sprint 2 is free and the games can be played on any system bought within the last five or six years.

3. Check out the emu scene and don’t be afraid to dig deep. There are tons of great games that no one plays anymore but are still great fun. Games like Pilot Wings 64 or Castle Wolfenstein aren’t any less fun even if they are technologically outmoded.