Saturday, April 03, 2010

Plants vs. Zombies vs. Anna

So as previously discussed, we all trekked down to Des Moines late this morning and picked up our iPad. Heidi loves it - it's just the kind of eReader that she wanted. She's already loaded a bunch of eBooks she's been meaning to read into the iBook library and there they sit, complete with covers and the whole nine yards. I've been sitting here tonight using it to beta-read a novella she just finished writing which she describes as "the smutty Snow White."

When we were at the Apple Store today, I picked up one of the demo iPads and was messing around with it and played a little Plants vs. Zombies, which released an HD iPad edition today. For those that don't know, PvZ is exactly what it claims to be - a game in which you defend your home against hordes of undead zombies with nothing more than garden plants. The plants range from simple sunflowers that generate sun to help you plant more seeds, to "pea" shooters and "cherry bombs." It's actually quite a clever game, so I blew $9.99 on it in the app store. It looks a little something like this.

The minute I fired it up, Anna scrambled over to the chair to see what I was up to. She was immediately in love with it, always eager to see which seed pack we would get at the end of each level. Before too long, we were taking turns - she'd play a level, then I'd play a level - until we got to one that we couldn't pass so we called it quits and watched The Muppets Take Manhattan on the Netflix box. When I went out to the kitchen to find some food, she followed me and I knew something was up. I asked her if she was spooked by something to which she immediately replied "NO!" but as I pressed her, asking her if that game had freaked her out, she confessed that it had. She wanted to play it, but was torn between her desire to play it and her general level of discomfort with anything remotely scary. She declared that she didn't want to play the game anymore, which I will admit was a bummer, but one that I was not really going to push knowing how she reacts to things like that.

I was worried about bedtime because for Anna, that's when everything that scares her comes out. But as she was getting ready for bed, we were talking about the game again, and she said "Dad, let me see that game again." to which I replied "Are you sure? I thought that game scared you." She insisted, and we looked at it and when she saw all the plants we still had to unlock and remembered how much fun we had she made a declaration: "Dad, I'm not scared of that game. It's just a cartoon and it was fun. We're going to keep on playing it." We then talked about how ridiculous zombies are because, without a brain to tell your muscles what to do, there's no way movement is possible.

This makes me happy on two levels - the first and most important being that my daughter, who really does get scared of a lot of things like that, faced her fears instead of giving into them. And secondly, this means we get to keep on playing because honestly, it was a hell of a good time. The game paid for itself in the hour or so we played it tonight, and I think we have many more hours ahead of us.

That is, if we can wrestle the iPad away from Heidi.

1 comment:

Ortseid said...

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