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Game on Mom: Balancing Screen Time

Greetings, Geeks!

Welcome to 2016. To start the new year with a bit of a bang, I am starting a regular column (something completely new to me)! Game on Mom will be the place where I explore some of the challenges I face as a new mom with gaming and technology. I plan to publish a topic here once a month. For my inagural topic, I discuss screen time and young children.

I wasn't even officially a mom when the barrage of information against technology began and since then it has felt like a full frontal assault. For those of you without children, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests children under two be exposed to absolutely no screen time. None. No TV, no smart phones, no tablets. 

Screens are a regular part of the modern, developed life. I made the realization early on that my fascination with my phone and the other screens in my life (like the one I am typing this column on) was going to translate directly to my child. How could I expect her to avoid screens when so much of my life as a gamer, writer, and teacher is devoted to "screen time?" 

I felt like a hypocrite immediately. The phrase, "Do as I say not as I do" kept ringing through my head. I didn't (and still don't) know much as a new parent, but I knew that I didn't want to ask something of my child I could not ask of myself. 

So I cautiously entered the world of limited screen time. A single episode of Mister Roger's Neighborhood a few times a week right around her first birthday. I feel guilty putting that in writing... that is how ingrained it has become to believe screen time is bad. 

I watched a relationship blossom between her and Mister Rogers, a show I remember fondly from my own childhood. Granted, I have the privilege of being able to hand select the media my child is exposed to and starting with one of my favorites as a child was certainly enjoyable on several levels. She looked forward to "chatting" with Mister Rogers and it slowly became part of our routine. She began to show an interest in letters and numbers and farm animals and music. 

Granted, a lot of these interests would likely have emerged without Mister Rogers leading the way, but honestly, seeing her react to the gentle man in the red sweater that I loved as a child was one of the first among many moments, I am sure, of me falling in love with being a parent. The childlike wonder of Mister Rogers is the first of many shared experiences we now have. 

Have I faced challenges with screen time? Absolutely. Finding balance is difficult for adults and nearly impossible for a toddler. But it is a challenge that I am taking great reward in since I see it as a metaphor for much of living in the modern world: actively deciding which distractions are the best for you. 

To discuss:

Are you a parent? What are your thoughts or experiences with screen time? If you're not a parent, what you do think about kids using screens or watching TV?

For next time:

Ugga Mugga and I Love You  Lessons from Daniel Tiger. 


December LIVE Hangout โ€“ Farewell, 2015!


RESCHEDULED! This event was rescheduled to Friday, January 1st at 2pm Pacific! Links remain the same!

Greetings Geeks, 

Finally. 2015 is coming to a close and the staff of Game on Girl are having a final blowout to say farewell to what has been a difficult year. We will all raise a glass, an alcoholic one, and toast to the great moments, the hard moments, and any thing else that comes to mind on Sunday, December 27th at 2pm Pacific. Come join us for the fun, say hi, and help us wish this year away. 

Looking forward to geeking out with you this weekend. 

Until then, game on!



Episode 152 - November LIVE Hangout

Come on... Don't you want to know what we are talking about here?

Hey Everyone, 

Just in time for your U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, we have a new episode and a new hangout to share. For our November hangout, we reunited The Secret Geek Shame and talked about our favorite and not-so-favorite new and returning TV shows and games. Lots of time spent discussing the latest with The Big Bang Theory and Fallout 4. There was some discussion between Rhonda and Ryan about some sportsing events which adds a whole new level of gaming to Game on Girl. 

As always, we love to hear from our viewers and fans. If you have a topic you would like us to discuss at our year end hangout on Sunday, December 27th at 2pm Pacific, let us know in the comments here. We all have some words we would like to share with 2015 (aside from the many Rhonda already shared here). Come hang as we drink a fond farewall to this heartwrenching year. 

Until next time, game on!

Regina, Rhonda, Mark, and Ryan

Episode 152


Punch 2015 in its Fat Face

There’s something I’ve preached since we began GoG – consistency. There’s nothing that kills branding more quickly than being inconsistent with your output. For any of you fans still here, you’ve seen a lot of inconsistency from us this year and we apologize. We don't want it this way.

From the very beginning of 2015 things were wrong. The first hit was when Regina had to leave the podcast. Understand that it has been a year-long mourning process for us both. Grown-ups have to make hard decisions and it’s one she and I made together. We ache in how much we miss it.

But it was merely a shadow of things to come. It was only February and everyone I encountered all seemed to agree that 2015 sucked.

The struggles since then have been personal and unrelenting. Disappointment, grief, loss, and frustration have mounted non-stop since Father Time weighed us down with 2015. The stress has done nothing but increase without a way to relieve it.

I adore GoG. I love writing on the site, I love speaking at cons, and I love interviewing the amazing people in our community. How much more downcast we are that all this stress has weeded its way into the things we love and is gradually choking it out.

I’d like to give 2015 a manifestation so I can shoot it to hell; I’d like to stand over it as it respawns and troll it dead over and over again; I’d like to fire a rocket launcher at it and do a dramatic, slow-mo walk toward the camera as it crashes, explodes, and disintegrates in the background.

Now, some of you well-intentioned folks may think I’m not counting my blessings because I could have been in Paris during the attacks, or in some country where women have no rights, or where some women are still mutilated. But as I like to say, it’s not a contest. Your grief doesn’t trump mine. When you want to be a loving community, to take care of your fellow man, "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep."1 You have to go through the grieving process in order to heal, so give me my cry.

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.2

The hope is that the holidays will allow me to find a bunker, lay low, and let my regenerating health shield repair the damage. I hope the same for all of you. I think what I’m saying is I’m giving myself permission to take the rest of the year off and risk the marketing impact it will have on the site.

I’m here to say I’m sorry if your year sucks and I wish I could punch 2015 in the face for you. But Father Time is in control and, even though we may shatter 2015 with liquid nitrogen and a shotgun, the damn thing thaws and reconstitutes like the damn T-1000.

I, for one, am going to party on December 31, 2015 as Father Time, the ass-hole himself, has to come out and kill 2015 for good. And I’m putting 2016 on notice right now. My friends, family, and I are toughened. We can handle trolls and terrorists and terminators and we can handle you. You are not going to troll me out of the game I love to play.

And if you hurt my friends, <fill-in with horrible things>.


1Romans 12:15

2"Love Without Limits," Keith Krell, April 13, 2012


Episode 151 - October LIVE Hangout - ZOMBIES

Hey Everyone!

We had a great time for our October hanging talking about all things undead. We talk about games, movies, TV shows, fast versus slow zombies, and if one of the most famous science fiction creatures is really a zombies. We also chat a bit about whether zombies have had their day and are on the way out. If you haven't read Rhonda's article about that, check it out

Our next LIVE Hangout will be Sunday, November 15 at 2pm Pacific. We're looking for topic suggestions. Let us know if you have a topic you would like us to tackle. 

Until next time, get your zombie on!


Episode 151