Game time is family time
To get everyone playing together at gatherings of friends and family, pick up a controller and jump in. Active gaming is for all ages.
The holidays are a when families and friends gather, often across several generations. One way to get everyone to have fun together is to break out console games to get everyone moving and having fun.
It has been a few years since the Wii console from Nintendo showcased the idea that console gaming could be enjoyed by the young and the more seasoned player. The intuitiveness of the controller meant that a grandmother and her pre-reading grandchild could play a game of baseball or bowling together. Everyone had the same learning curve and within a few minutes of setup it was game on.
Music games also encourage play across generations and across skill levels. The most recent versions of the Rock Band franchise have no-fail modes for beginners and have song choices from across the many genres from country to new wave; classic rock to punk. One fun version to try is the Beatles Rock Band which allows for multiple singers and has songs that almost all of us know and love.
The new Kinect accessory from Microsoft introduces controller-free play and it will be fun to see what games are developed for this platform.
The great things about these games is that they are accessible to everyone and allow for each age group to jump in and play. What a great way for cousins, uncles, aunts or grandparents to enjoy time together even if they haven't seen each other all year. It is active fun that will build memories instead of watching the same lineup of movies or everyone retreating to their own screens (cellphones, iTouch, laptop or television).
For office parties, again the ease of use is great to get people mixing together and having fun. Very few of us can resist the microphone, guitar or Wii controller. And part of the fun is doing something unexpected, seeing your company's CEO belting out a Journey song or the accountant celebrating over a home run, which is better than mumbled hellos and an empty dance floor.
This new generation is about getting off the couch and getting in the game.