Category Archives: Gaming & Giving Back Challenge

Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 22

Offer an evening of free childcare to someone who needs to get out

I thought of this one well in advance because Christmas is coming up, and I know a couple parents who don’t have enough time to spend a few hours together on a date. It is so important for couples (especially after they have children) to remember to date!! Dating is what keeps passion in the relationship and keeps it fun. I know that the daily ins-and-outs are wonderful and they build stability

and commitment, but passion comes from alone time!

Childcare in the evenings is rather expensive. I have been paid 80-140 for a few hours of work. I hate accepting the money, but I know that I am agreeing to get paid when I am asked to work for them. I know that people consider it their night out and they budget for a babysitter. That’s why this is a part of the Giving Back challenge. Parents often avoid going out as much on dates because they can’t afford the outing plus childcare. That bothers me. I want people to be as happy in their relationships after children, as they are before. It’s so important to spend as much time with your partner as much as possible.

I provided child care for two children (18 months and 4 years old). I adore these children! …plus their parents are pretty sweet too! They insisted that I needed to be paid, but I made it very clear this was a challenge of mine. So instead of paying me, they donated $90 to the teen parent family that I am sponsoring this Christmas.


Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 21

What is your favourite video game to play? Give a detailed description of the Pros & Cons

My favourite game to play on the Xbox is Rockband. I have been playing since the first game came out. I was never a huge fan of Guitar Hero because I enjoy singing. Rockband offers that, in addition to the guitar, bass, and drums! I transferred all the Rockband 1 songs into Rockband 2 (when it was released), and just recently I transferred everything into Rockband 3. The release date was October 26th, 2010. It is by far my favourite game! I love singing.


The game play is similar to Rock Band 2. The tour is new and broken into different travelling sections. Similar to the later Guitar Hero games.

A huge pro is that the game accepts all (or most) of the songs from the other Rockband games (Lego and AC/DC included).

“Pro Mode” for guitar, drums, and keyboards seems to be successful! I haven’t played in “Pro Mode” because they don’t have it for vocals. I don’t know why! There is the option to turn your pitch correction “off” so why isn’t that “Pro” mode? What defines a Pro-vocalist? In Rockband, it is suppose to be the ability to keep the right pitch and octave. Oh well, another thing that they can look at for Rockband 4 😉


The thing I miss the most in Rockband 3 is the vocal duals. I want to challenge friends in real-time. There is the element of beating them in quickplay and seeing your overall score, but there’s something about playing with the person at the same time… I miss that.

I don’t like the controls in quickplay for leaving a band. I will “drop out” but then I am stuck in the song selection menu for a few minutes until the game either crashes or it finally goes to the main menu.

When joining a career, you never know if you will be playing your own career or someone else. I think that they should have had similar options to Rockband 2, where you could “join” another band OR invite players to your band.

I suppose the harmonies would be fantastic if I had someone to sing with. Oh wait… it’s an online game right? Perhaps I could find someone else who wants to sing! …Nope, not with the harmonies. You have to be playing on the same console. I think the reason that Rockband gave for this was because there could be lag. I don’t see how that would matter though. It doesn’t matter what the other instruments connection is. Wouldn’t it just run the same? I am not a game designer or programmer but I’m pretty sure the same coding could have worked.

Another feature that isn’t implemented in online play is the 7 person band! I know that the roadways would be small if there was 7 people playing, but if you can have 4 I don’t know why you can’t have 7. Rockband was talking about how cool it would be to play with up to 7 people. This feature is only available to people playing on the same console. I am not planning on squishing 7 people into my room any time soon! Although it would have been cool to play with online friends.

Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 19

What 5 friends on XBOX Live do you wish you knew more about?


Enemy Fire

Mr. Kukla

Shake and Bake


…so what are you waiting for? ❤ 🙂


Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 18

Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while

This was a hard decision, I didn’t know who I should call. I have a girlfriend who just had a baby. We have been chatting through text and facebook. I also have a few friends who have moved away. I suppose I could pick up a phone card and call someone overseas that I haven’t spoken to in ages! I still have to write a letter to my friend in New Zealand, perhaps I should ring her!

Nah…. my life has been a bit too stressful for the past few days and I am not a huge fan of the phone, so I texted some love to a university friend and I’m sure she smiled! I got a lovely text back too 🙂
I will call someone when I feel a bit happier!

I did do a couple nice deeds however. I gave a homeless man a coupon for any drink/any size at Starbucks. I gave a LEGO Rockband code to an xbox friend so he could have the songs on Rockband 3. I smiled at a bunch of strangers and offered to do additional childcare after work tomorrow 🙂

Good night

Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 17

Who are your top 5 friends on XBOX Live? … and why?

I like having friends on Xbox that I actually play with, and a couple that I chat with. Lately I’ve been popping into a game for 30 minutes or an hour, because I have been super busy with real life stuff (imagine that!). I think that my top 5 Xbox friends on live would be:

  1. lll KiRa lll: because he is the love of my life and almost as nerdy as me (but he lets me win at games).
  2. Nickeagle: because he is loads of fun to play Rock Band with, and I can’t wait for him to get Rock Band 3. We have been playing on Xbox live together for over a year! Ps. The new Harry Potter Movie is fantastic!!
  3. Mephisto9112: I’ve never met anyone quite like him. He is soft spoken, and loves to rock out… plus he has some pretty sweet videos on YouTube. Check them out when you get a chance!
  4. Kari Rose: I adore her! She is witty and sweet… and often very quiet! I worry that I might annoy her with my blabbering about music and killing zombies ❤ Our friendship has been building through other means (twitter, blogs, and pen pals) but the occasional game is loads of fun! We still need to kill some zombies! I haven’t played much Left 4 Dead 2 since Rock Band 3 and Fable 3 came out!
  5. Hippie Bubbles: What would I do without a million and one party invites! He is loads of fun to talk to, although I can’t remember the last time we played a game together? Perhaps some Rock Band 3 or Left 4 Dead 2 is due!

…plus I have to add that Lowieee is becoming a favourite person! I adore our messages back and forth and I look forward to playing games with her! I am actually considering purchasing Blur so I can race with her, but I am afraid of making a fool of myself. I can’t drive in video games! I spin in circles and go backwards! Maybe she will teach me 😉


Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 15

Play & Review an arcade game from the XBOX dashboard for at least 30 minutes.


I’m not usually a fan of the arcade games on Xbox or PS3 because I like to be stimulated with pretty graphics and other people online. However, it is one of my challenges to play and review an arcade game. I had intended on writing about Plants vs. Zombies because I played it and it was fun and addictive, but I’ve decided to write about Braid.

I was chatting with someone at work about video games and fun arcade games. He suggested that I might like Braid. At first I thought he was saying Brain, so I looked up the Brain Challenge game and found it to be rather boring! Sure people that like crosswords and Sudoku might like it, but it’s not for me. I asked if that was the game and he told me it was BraiD. Ah ha! He said that each mission was at most 45 minutes and that it was a puzzle type game, similar to Super Meat Boy (which is amazing!) and Portal.

So…I downloaded the demo.

It starts off kind of weird. I didn’t know if the game had started or if I needed to go into the main menu and actually “start” the game. I think that’s an interesting feature!

There are a bunch of different worlds with an assortment of levels and puzzles in each one. The trail actually gives you a lot of gameplay. I would highly recommend downloading it. It’s FREE! The game itself is only 800 points so if you have some microsoft points … it seems like a good investment. I am going to buy it 🙂

Braid is the kind of game that you can do a level and feel successful about finding all the puzzle pieces. It seems simple enough but actually requires thought and planning to get the trickier pieces.

The music is pretty cheesy, but good cheesy. Sort of classical Irish music!

The gameplay is clever! It’s simple enough graphics but you have to interact with the environment and creatures to help you progress through. Use the different options and controls you have in order to complete the puzzles. This includes holding X down to rewind a bit if you need to pick up a key and jump (hint hint).

Have fun!

Gaming & Giving Back Challenge: Day 14

Smile at 15 people today. Did they smile back?

I wonder if I look like a gibbled idiot when smiling at strangers. Perhaps it is easier to say “hello” while smiling. Why on earth did I create this as one of the challenges!?

But wait. If I say “hello” to strangers, they might consider that an invitation for conversation. I don’t necessarily want to have 15 chats in one day with complete strangers. Smiles are good.

This challenge was a lot harder than I could have anticipated. In order to ensure that my smile was received, I had to look at the other person. Making eye contact with strangers and smiling is very odd.

Within the rush of morning and evening travelling, people are often watching the ground in front of themselves or chatting on their cell phones. There are not a lot of people who just look around while they are walking. I wish that I could say I am always looking around, but I’m not. I am usually texting while walking, or chatting to mom on the phone.

For the most part, people smiled back! I got a couple complements for my TokiDoki rain boots and I wished a few people a good day! If I was able to give a smile to someone, they gave one back 🙂