Video Games for Emotional IQ?

Video games get a bad rep.  And no wonder, when the big sellers are shoot-em-ups in worlds where bad deeds are punished.  It’s nothing like the Mario or Sonic games that were so popular when I was a kid.

But that doesn’t mean all games are bad.  In the Fallout games, gamers make choices, and if they choose wisely, can earn Karma points.

A new game maker has come out with a game that teaches moral choices.  It’s an interesting article and worth at least taking a few minutes to read.  If we can help kids make better choices while having a little fun… why not?



J is for Joy

100_0001I’m a fan of doing things that bring me joy, but also finding joy in little things.  I think that joy is a choice every day.  Sometimes it’s an easier choice than others, but I like challenges.  Sometimes.  I mindfully look for things that bring me joy.  So what brings me joy?

1.  My dogs.  No matter how my day has been, they’re happy to see me.  They’ll give me kisses if I’m cranky or happy.  All they ask is to have their ears rubbed and to be allowed to sit at my feet.  They wouldn’t object to a milk bone or a walk though.

2.  A good story.  There’s nothing I love more than a good story.  On paper, told orally, or if it’s good enough, on TV, a good story will keep me entertained and happy.

3.  My garden.  I love playing in the dirt and making things grow.  I especially love eating garden fresh tomatoes and having too many zucchini.

4.  Hiking.  There’s something about putting one foot forward while moving through the desert that makes me happy but also makes me feel humble and connected.  Plus, it’s pretty out there, and sometimes I get to see cool animals.

5.  Helping.  I do love my day job as a counselor, and I love being able to offer people help.  They don’t always take it, but being able to offer it is enough for me.  The choices they make from there are on them.

“One joy shatters a hundred griefs”
-Chinese Proverbs

Joy is a choice.  I choose joy today.

D is for Decisions

Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. ~Author Unknown

How close should I get to this potentially dangerous baby Gila Monster?  Just a... little... closer...

Chuckwalla: South Mountain Park, Phoenix, AZ; Photo Credit Doree Weller

Good fiction should always have the main character making decisions.  The trick, I think, is having the character make decisions that fit with the character.

I’ve read books before where a decision seems misplaced, and I couldn’t understand why the character would do that.  Decisions shouldn’t necessarily be explained to death, but should fit with what we know about the character.  The one exception to that is Young Adult fiction.  I was reminded of this by JK Rowling.  Young adults need to occasionally make decisions that don’t make sense.  Why?  Because they’re impulsive, with raging hormones and under-developed decision making centers.

I remember making some decisions as a teen that I look back on now and think… “What the *BLEEP* was I thinking?”  I wasn’t.  And the logical adult part of me has trouble remembering what that was like.  Until someone cuts me off on the highway.  Then I can remember for a second or two what that was like.

But the quote makes a good point.  Experience does come from bad decisions.  Sure, there are other ways to gain experience, but most people want to find out for themselves (myself included).  Most people don’t want to listen to someone else.  They want to see it, hear it, taste it, touch it.

We all make decisions constantly, whether we’re actively thinking about them or not.  In books and movies, I love getting a peek into the thought process of a character faced with a tough decision.

Walking Dead Weekly Wrap Up

imagesThis has nothing to do with Blogging A to Z… If you’re looking for the letter “B,” just scroll down.  🙂

This week’s episode and the season finale… not what I was expecting, not at all, but it’s in a good way!

Spoilers ahead!…

In the graphic novel, the first compendium ends with the folks from the prison fleeing as the Governor’s people attack.  I was expecting something more along those lines instead of them hiding out having pretended to leave, then attacking.

I’m glad Rick decided to bring the people from Woodbury back to the prison.  That’s the kind of leader I wanted him to be.  Carl on the other hand… Is Carl going sociopath on us?  Growing up in the world like that would change anyone, but a child, without a frame of reference?  It’s an interesting story arc, and I can’t wait to see how they handle it.

The two characters I disliked are dead this season: Andrea and Lori.  But the bus brought in a whole bunch of new and interesting potential characters.  There’s a lot of possibilities for next season.

The Governor is still out there.  They won the battle, but that doesn’t mean much.  The Governor will be back, and I’m sure we all know it.  I can’t believe we have to wait until October for the next season to start!  Here’s a link to the cast and producers talking about next season.  I had no idea Andrew Lincoln was English!  His accent freaked me out when I heard it!

This is the end of the Walking Dead updates for the season, friends… I know you’re just as sad as I am.  😦

The Booth At The End

by the TV Guy

imagesThis Hulu only show details the human desire for more. They come into the restaurant and make wild requests for things they want or need. The mysterious man offers anything you want, but there is a catch. He looks into his binder and gives each one a task. The man who wants to save his sick son must murder a small girl and then his son lives. This is a weird and interesting look at the human condition and what some would do to have what they want. The cause and effect of each action having an equal and opposite reaction really comes into play with this one. This is only on Hulu but an interesting romp through the human psyche.