It’s Not All Fun and Games When it Comes to Our Children Vs Video Games

The advent of video games, though traced back to 1958, commercially became available in 1972 when Pong hit the market. If you remember this game, it amounted to two players trying to hit an electronic ball back and forth to each other. We’ve come a long way from the drab, slow moving screens of the ’70s.

If you have a child at home between the ages of 8-18, I don’t have to tell you that playing video games is consuming more and more of their time. In the 1980s children played about 4 hours a week (this included time away from home at the arcades), in the 1990s this time had increased at home (arcade time had gone way down) for girls to about 4 ½ hours and for boys about 7 hours a week. In the 2000s girls were averaging about 5 hours a week, boys 13 hours a week. Can you imagine, as we start a new decade, what those hours per week will rise to?

Even though video game use is obviously increasing, it’s not that statistic that has me the most worried. Instead, it’s the tendency towards violence, sometimes extreme violence that is showing up in these games. I know there are benefits to video play; it’s challenging, sometimes educational, and always entertaining. The amount of violence being portrayed in this “sport”, however, is going to quickly outweigh those benefits. Some experts say that up to 89% of these games show some form of violence and over half of them show some character being seriously injured or killed off. More and more children often name these violent games as their favorites while parents usually can’t name their child’s favorite video game at all.

As parents we need to become more involved in the games our kids are playing. Studies show that playing videos with violent content can lead a child to more arguments with their teacher, more physical fights, and most of all the kid simply not being aware of their own behavioral conduct (more aggressive conduct I might add).

The experts are going to continue to argue for years to come over exactly what should be rated as violent content, how much game playing with violent content is too much, what age groups should be restricted from this aggressive content, and the list goes on and on. We as parents know our children. We need to know what games they want to purchase and play at home and more importantly what video games they are playing at a friend’s house. We need to do our research and act as a filter between our kids and this negative form of media before our children become desensitized to this violent behavior.

Our kids need us to be parents in this instance, parents with a firm grasp of what this form of entertainment can do for them, both positively and negatively. Parents with a firm hand when the negative pieces start to overshadow the positive ones.

3 Fun Camping Games For Adults That You Have To Play

Once the sun is down and the bonfire is lit, the fun and games are ready to begin! Star gazing, having a cold beer or singing a song in unison around the campfire usually suffices, but if you want to up your campfire game and everyone’s not ready to go to bed yet, try these super fun camping games for adults – it will surely make your camping trip even more memorable!

Two Truths and A Lie

This is a classic fun game that encourages everyone to participate. It serves as a great ice breaker if you’re just hanging around the campfire at night. This is best played among individuals who don’t know each other too well (think camp neighbors who decided to hang out together).

Each participant will think of of 2 facts about them (it could also be something they’ve done) and write those down in a piece of paper. Be creative about what you write – the stranger and the more vague the fact is, the more fun the game. In addition, come up with a lie.

Take turns to state these 3 “facts” and have everyone guess which of the 3 is the lie!

Wink Murder

Another classic game that is perfect for playing around a campfire. This one is best played by a large group of people – the more, the merrier!

Everyone sits around in a circle and will be asked to close their eyes. The “leader” (someone who won’t be playing) will walk around and choose the “murderer” by tapping them on the shoulder. If you get a tap, then you’re the murderer.

Once the murderer is chosen, the leader will ask everyone to open their eyes. The murderer then proceeds to “kill” victims by winking at them secretly and discreetly and they must do so without anyone from the circle noticing.

If you get winked at, you’re out. One can only win if someone who’s still in the game catches the murderer wink at someone.

Famous People

This is a fairly easy game with simple rules but is extremely fun to play. Basically, someone will begin the game by saying a famous person’s name out loud. The next person in the circle must think of another famous person with a first name that starts with the first letter of the previously mentioned famous person. If it’s your turn and you can’t think of an answer, you’re out.

Play these fun camping games for adults at your next outdoor adventure for more enjoyment!

Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A RedoHome improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.Your family has grown and you need more space.Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:Adding or remodelling a bathImproving the kitchenAdding a new roomLandscapingAdding a bedroomAdding or enclosing a garage.If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.Home Maintenance versus Home ImprovementsIt’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and MoneyIt should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.