Connect For

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For the past couple of months, playing videogames hasn’t been about unlocking achievements or defeating bosses (or re-re-re-defeating bosses as is the case with Division 2). It’s been about connecting.

During quarantine, it’s been the best way to connect with some of my closest friends to check in on one another on a regular basis.

But lately, it’s been a way to connect with my 9 year old son. His favorite game is Overwatch and for the past few Saturdays we’ve both sat on the couch and just played, taking turns, handing the controller back and forth.

Right now we talk game strategy (he tells me what I’m doing wrong) and favorite characters (I like Orisa, he likes Genji). But playing videogames today seems like the equivalent of going fishin’ with your ‘Pa back in the day (at least I think so, I’ve never fished).

As he gets older, it feels like playing games will be our chance to sit next to each other and talk. I least I hope so, because it may be the easiest way to get him to open up about the small stuff, the life stuff and the important stuff.

A lot of important events are happening right now. More than ever I want my son and I to connect so we can talk through them. If videogames are the way we do that. Awesome.

A quick Valorant Q&A:
What is Valorant, is it like the Dean Martin song?
Valorant is a new squad-v-squad first person shooter game released by Riot Games (League of Legends) this week. Check out the cinematic trailer.

That looks cool! Should I download it?
Well… That depends. This newsletter is for people over 40, so… no. Probably not. But hey, it’s free-to-play so knock yourself out. CNBC says it is “poised to be the next billion-dollar franchise.” (ed. note: Ugh.)

You don’t sound super reassuring.
Look, I can only speak for myself here, but in researching the game, the thing that came up was the need for “pixel-perfect accuracy,” which I don’t have, and millions of people have been playing the beta for two months already so I’m already behind, and the game makers are going after the competitive market and not interested in casual players.

As Dean Martin might have sung: Valorant, oh-oh-OH-oh – no.

DIY: Make a Switch dock smaller
Because of its portability, the Nintendo Switch was one of the best purchases our household ever made. Throw it in a bag when you go on a trip and the kid(s) are occupied the entire flight/drive/whatever. The dock that connects the Switch to the TV, however, isn’t as portable. So some enterprising folks figured out a way to make a smaller one. Pocket Gamer has the DIY details if you’re feeling sinister crafty.

Speaking of the Switch, Nintendo’s president said that the platform (which doubled its y/o/y sales in March, thank you coronavirus and Animal Crossing) is merely in the middle of its lifecycle. So if you’ve got one, it’s going to last a few more years. (via the unfortunately named TweakTown).

By Odin’s beard!
Pre-ordering the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on Amazon, will get you a cool $10 discount on the game, due out this holiday season.

Rick and Morty had a pretty epic season finale this past week (the fight choreography on that show remains top-notch). Anyhoo, it was also filled with a bunch of videogame Easter eggs. Looper breaks it down for you.

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