New kid in hallowed company

February 17, 2011
By

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

justin_bieber

Bieber? Really? I worry for the well-being of our youth.

I was temporarily filled with hope for the youth of today when I saw a report saying more than 75 per cent of their entertainment searches are for music.

Sadly, that hope disappeared like a sock in a washing machine when I read further into the Norton Online report and found that the No 1 top “entertainment” search was Justin Bieber.

Really? Justin Bieber?

That qualifies as entertainment?

Even more surprising is that John Lennon ranked No 2: so are we to assume there are children out there who do have halfway decent taste in music but they aren’t Googling quite as often as those who have Bieber fever?

Lennon was a top term here in New Zealand as well as Australia, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore and the US, so well done Kiwi kids.

Although, I’m not even sure how Lennon can end up in the same list as that Bieber child and his floppy hair.

I see his fans were none too impressed with him missing out of the big gong at the Grammy Awards, launching a web attack against Esperanza Spalding after she took the best new artist title.

They got stuck into her Wikipedia page, editing it to include some not-very-complimentary comments, and also took to Twitter to make the odd death threat. As you do.

Oh well, they’ll be relieved that he got something at the Brit Awards so at least the world should be safe from marauding, sad little kiddies who want to cry and stamp their little feet because the Bieber didn’t win.

I’m sure that will come as something of a relief for us all.

But enough of my ranting about musical entertainment, how about some gaming entertainment?

The second annual Xbox LIVE Arcade House Party kicked off yesterday, which means there will be a bunch of new downloadable games launched on Xbox LIVE every Wednesday during the next month.

This week it was Hard Corps: Uprising from KONAMI for 1200 Microsoft points but during the next month you can look forward to Bejeweled Blitz Live!, Beyond Good & Evil HD, Torchlight and Full House Poker.

And while we’re on the subject of Xbox LIVE, songs from Missy Elliott, Rick James, Chic and Amerie were made available from Monday for Dance Central, the Kinect controller-free, body-tracking, fully immersive dance video game.

Wow, I feel exhausted just thinking about that description.

Dance Central is a top-selling game for Kinect for Xbox 360 that features routines for all levels of expertise (including those who have trouble not tripping over their own feet) along with a 32-song soundtrack that covers a wide range of dance music.

And now for something completely different: are you a Monopoly player?

We have a well-worn Monopoly board at home that has seen plenty of action but it’s nowhere as fancy as this one on show at the 2011 New York Toy Fair. It’s very smart but I’m not convinced it would be any fun: it shakes the dice for you, tells you what to do every step of the way and (I reckon) is just a little to smart for its own good.

I prefer my board games don’t speak to me. Besides, I like shaking my own dice.

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