As a parent, I’ve often heard the comment, “I only let my children watch or play a small amount of electronics each week. It’s so damaging to their intellects.”

To which I always reply, just, you know, keeping it all inside, “Fascinating. I’ve been using video games and television as babysitters since my kids could hold their heads upright unaided. Gosh, maybe I should think about changing that tactic…when they drop off of the honors list!”

To me, casually playing video games, like reading romance books, is about escaping the daily grind in healthy little chunks.  No matter our age, we use either to sink into worlds of eye-and-mind-candy playtime, and, often, emotional energy release through role play.

In romance, the latter sometimes is called “slipping into the ‘placeholder’ role,” or identifying closely with the hero or heroine to make the reading experience more authentic, exciting, arousing or a combo of the three.

Today, romance fans and casual gamers have more in common than even their similar demographics of women, 25ish to 65ish. In majorly exciting news, soon they’ll both be able to jump placeholder on-screen and interactively in "Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box," a ready-for-pre-order new casual game which intimately follows the storyline of NY Times bestseller Marjorie M. Liu’s hit paranormal romance, “Tiger Eye.”

A casual game is generally defined as a non-violent game that can be played in drips and drabs, again and again and one which doesn’t have a "finite" ending.  

”Tiger Eye” was the first in Liu’s popular, ongoing Dirk and Steel paranormal romance series.  Because Liu wrote the entire script for the game and works closely on all game components with the creatives team of PassionFruit Games, the company simultaneously launching their venture and "Tiger Eye:Curse of the Riddle Box," action and storyline in the casual game are very much like those in the novel.

What makes Liu’s casual game different from others that you might want to play to let off some steam?  Not only does it have lots of puzzles in addition to hidden-object fun, the artwork also is very distinctive.  But more than that, it’ll satisfy your yen for a relationship between a memorable, over-the-top hot hero and a powerful-in-mind-and-body heroine you wouldn’t mind holding your place as the two build their way to HEA.

The budding and strengthening romance is enhanced by what we’re promised are sensual, cinematic cut scenes, and the whole shebang’s voice acted, fairly unusual in casual games of this one’s ilk.  Liu says she’s pretty amazed by the way it all comes together. ” It's been incredibly fun," she remarked in an interview yesterday, clearly pleased with the way the project is taking shape. "I've already played parts of the game, listened to the voice actors record lines from the book -- seen the art and storyboards. I believe this is a wonderful new world for romance fiction, and those who love it.”

But could "Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box" have an impact on hardcore gamers?  Last night I mentioned to my gamer son -- who’s familiar with Liu from her work writing Dark Wolverine comics – that she’s got a romance game out in pre-order.  “We can play together!” I exclaimed.

He said he’d be happy to give over the laptop so I could have a little casual-gaming relaxation time to myself.

Yet again, behold the power of romance.

 

How cool do you think it'll be to have a romance-novel game, and will you pre-order or buy it?  How much time spent playing video games is too much? How much time reading genre fiction like romance, sci-fi, etc., is too much?


Michelle writes daily about romance fiction at BN's Heart to Heart and RomanceBuytheBook.com. Catch all Michelle's UB romance posts here.

Comments
by Moderator becke_davis on ‎12-15-2009 09:17 PM

My kids, who are both in their twenties, have saved their game systems for nostalgic reasons. She has Super Nintendo and he has one of the more recent Playstation incarnations. I can imagine my daughter checking out the TIGER EYE game, although she rarely plays video games any more.

 

My son's toys and games are mostly languishing on shelves at home and at his apartment. When we went up there for Thanksgiving, he had a sudden urge to watch the movie, ELF. He had no extra batteries, though, and the DVD remote wasn't working.

 

You could have knocked me over with a feather (well, the feather from a really big bird -- an emu or an ostrich, maybe?) when he got the movie going by using his guitar from the Guitar Hero game as his alternate remote control. Very strange!

by Joan_P on ‎12-15-2009 10:25 PM

Hi!

 

I guess too much time on video games and/or genre fiction like romance (now my "weakness") is when your house falls into total disarray, you become unkept and loose your job... eh, maybe that's too much! Yes I'm exaggerating but my point is that you need to keep a balance. If my kids play games and/ or read for so long that they don't exercise much (or whatever other piece is needed to keep a balanced life), then it's "too much".

 

I could so stay up all night and read but I have to get up in the morning, so I'll say good night and blog ya later :smileywink:

 

Joan

by on ‎12-15-2009 11:44 PM

Well I'll have to take a look at it. But... You guys are aware this isn't the first romance game. It's a submarket, but it out there.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎12-16-2009 01:38 AM

Becke, I'm continually amazed by the young'ns strange and wonderful ways with these things called gaming systems.  : )  You do give me hope. And I happened to know your kids turned out pretty well despite your corrupting them with video games. But there's a really positive side to kids being able to use gaming technology, too.  It's like TV for kids; you gotta know where to find the good stuff and take advantage of it. 

 

Joan, you wrote: I guess too much time on video games and/or genre fiction like romance (now my "weakness") is when your house falls into total disarray, you become unkempt and loose your job...  Funny thing is, I managed to turn all that into an occupation. My goal is to drag everyone else along with me so they can stay jobless at home and spend the day with me here.

 

Hi, TiggerBear!  You're correct. The creators are clear that "romance casual" games have been developed by companies around the world for a long time. This company is attempting what they believe is the first strong push at the influential US gaming market and the female gamer. But the difference which they and Liu believe will become apparent with TE: COTRB is how closely story and play elements of the game are related to the novel.  With Liu scripting it and being part of development -- and her having an insane love for the genre as well as a good understanding of mechanics/needs of the art, etc involved -- the romantic aspect of the game becomes more vital to storyline and action.

by jackcounterman on ‎12-16-2009 04:05 AM

This is an interesting conversation.

I agree in most of the points. I let my kids playing videogames as I let them reading books or watching movies.

But I don't allow them to play if they haven't finished their homework or have to study for school.

And I prefer sometimes they read or play soccer or any sport instead or playing video games. But, yes I like them to play video games.

 

About this, the problem comes when they choose the video game to play. I don't let them playing too violent or sex games so I like controling what they play.

the perfect solution for all of us is this: we play together so I can control what they play and they have fun playing with daddy and don't mind too much what they play.

 

Ok, and now I'd like to share what we play. We like playing in the computer, some games like WOW or Heroes of Might and Magic. But now we're playing this 

www.planet51online.com because we watched the movie and had fun and laughed.

If anyone is interested, in this link you could check how the game looks 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgjl6QiGhhw

 

Hope it worths for everyone! thank you, and bye!

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎12-16-2009 09:10 AM

Hi, Jack! Thanks for the info. My kids and their friend mentioned that movie at dinner just the other night, so I'll definitely check that out.  One of my problems is that I don't always know what is popular in terms of the movies kids like.

 

Your point about being in control is a great one. I hear lots of parents say they're completely cutting out video/electronics because they fear or think the things're stoopid making, or those parents who throw their hands up and say somethng like, 'well, they're tweens now, and they're gonna do what they want anyway."

 

Huh? there's always a happy medium, just as sure as there's going to be some head-butting and dipllomacy. But in my book (or house, at least) we adults always have the right and responsibility to draw the boundaries, especially on issues like sex and violence. But we also talk about why we draw 'em, and follow it up with so much talk about it that our kids are usually saying something like, "why can't you be like other kids' parents and just let us learn this on the streets?"

 

My husband and I use WhatTheyPlay.com, which generally has good info re games the kids would like.  Our son may use the phrase, "But you can turn off the gore-spray feature" to sell us on why he should be able to play a certain game. But we actually like to know what adult and hard-core gamers think of a game because some of them can be trusted to give good insight into whether ratings are spot on.

Your point about 'being there' is a good one.  Although I'm a total dweeb when it comes to video games, so the honor of playing them w/the kids goes to my husband. Except for Rock Band, where I'm pretty competent on the bass because, well, I'm just so cool.

by on ‎12-16-2009 05:19 PM

Hi, TiggerBear!  You're correct. The creators are clear that "romance casual" games have been developed by companies around the world for a long time. This company is attempting what they believe is the first strong push at the influential US gaming market and the female gamer. But the difference which they and Liu believe will become apparent with TE: COTRB is how closely story and play elements of the game are related to the novel.  With Liu scripting it and being part of development -- and her having an insane love for the genre as well as a good understanding of mechanics/needs of the art, etc involved -- the romantic aspect of the game becomes more vital to storyline and action.

 

True for US the first close to the book. Japan nope, 15 years too late. Although Ms. Liu spent quite awhile in Japan, I sure she's seen the best way to do it by now over there as well as how not to go about it. I think it might be nice to play one without subtitles.

by Joan_P on ‎12-16-2009 07:22 PM

Michelle said,

 

"Joan, you wrote: I guess too much time on video games and/or genre fiction like romance (now my "weakness") is when your house falls into total disarray, you become unkempt and loose your job...  Funny thing is, I managed to turn all that into an occupation. My goal is to drag everyone else along with me so they can stay jobless at home and spend the day with me here."

 

Would you pleeeaaassseee adopt me!!! I'll be no trouble... I promise! I'll just hang out and read Lisa Klaypas all day... quiet as a mouse... really!

 

:smileywink:

 

-J

by 1lovealways on ‎12-18-2009 02:37 AM

Hi All!

 

A romance-novel video game sounds fun!  It sounds like a different concept and totally apart from what's on the market right now.  I don't know how long playing it would be too long, because I don't have kids.  I'd give myself about 1 1/2 hours of playing time.  I'm not a gamer. That's my sister's department.  We have games on our satellite and she stays in the game section.  Me I lose interest real fast, so the time limit I previously gave is about all I can take.  As for pre-ordering it?  No, I wouldn't, because I might change my mind after I'd pre-ordered.  I'd rather give myself more time to think and then decide.  So, I buy later.

 

As far as time limits regarding books, there's not any for me.  If it's one of those good ones that I just can't put down, I'll read it in a day. That's the fastest I've ever read any book.  It's like the book has control of me.  I just get sucked into the story and I'm literally unable to stop.  The only time I stop is when it's necessary and for food and water.  Then I'm right back at it. My time is my own, since I'm disabled, so I'm able to do what I want,  I do have time limits for myself on certain thing, but shamelessly not where books are concerned. I have stayed up reading until the very wee hours.  My sister knows my fetish and by now she knows it's useless to even contemplate going there about books   :smileyhappy:

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎12-21-2009 10:13 AM

Hi everyone, my kids are grown and out of the house, whew. But in there own homes they still play video games, it's come a long way from the old Ataris and the first Nintendos. I have never found anything wrong with a little escapism for kids. They grow up so fast today, they're involved in so much out side of school and home and I always MADE my daughter play a little with no value involved except for having fun, wether it be playing outside, watching TV or playing video games, kids have to have some down time or they'll be burn outs before they're out of their teens.

I however have never been good at them, I don't have that coordination that you need and could never get off level one with the Mario Bros.

Deb

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