REVIEW – ‘Little Player’ Magazine brings age appropriate gaming to kids

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When I was a kid, my brother and I would wait anxiously every two months for a new ‘Nintendo Power’ magazine to come to our mailbox. And every time that glorious publication made its way to our home we were excited to read the new articles, insights into new games, and interviews with people in the gaming industry. The internet was around, but wasn’t widely used, so magazines were the way to go.

As I grew up, I started reading other publications, or going to the internet for gaming news. ‘Nintendo Power’ ended up stopping publication in 2012. As a young adult, I was a little nostalgic about the last issue, but as a parent, I was worried.

Every other gaming magazine features adult content in it, either very violent or very sexy. While I don’t mind reading these myself, my kids are young gamers so I don’t allow them to read those. And pretty much everything on the net is a no-go unless I’m driving the mouse, because you never know what they’ll click on and what page they’ll end up at.

So imagine my excitement when I heard about a new publication just for kids. As soon as I heard rumblings about it, I knew I had to get my hands on it and check it out. So, I did.

And, let’s face it, as much as I like the concept, my kids may not. So, joining me on this review is CJ and Anna, who are 6 and 5 years old respectively. (Granted, they’re slightly younger than the 7-12 age group that this magazine is targeted at, but they’re familiar with gaming and I thought it would be a good gauge anyway.) So let’s get to it!

The following is a review of Issue 0 of ‘Little Player’, which is a preview issue. It will be available to download for free at the Kickstarter page – which you can find here.

Cover

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The cover of this issue is simple, yet inviting. It features a bright picture of Yoshi across the page, with the logo from his new game, ‘Yoshi’s Woolly World’. There are also the names of other games that are featured on the inside of the magazine.

Myssiing’s Thoughts: It feels very sturdy, the paper is of great quality for kids, who tend to rip up thinner pages quite easily without meaning to. The simple layout is easy to read and is aesthetically pleasing. It’s not too much to take in, but it’s just enough to get you interested to read what’s inside.

CJ’s Thoughts: I really like that Yoshi’s on there. There’s a lot of things on here I want to know about. Especially the Amiibo Collector’s Guide.

Anna’s Thoughts: Pretty cool! It’s a magazine for gamers, and we’re gamers. I like the Yoshi. I want to read about Splatoon.

Table of Contents and Letter from the Editor

The ToC is found on the inside of the cover, and shows which articles are on what pages, with colorful pictures to guide the way. The Mission Statement of the magazine is found below the ToC. A letter from the editor, as well as the staff names are found on the opposite page.

Myssiing’s Thoughts: I think using pictures from the games and articles as opposed to headlines is a great idea. The kids can easily spot what they want to read, and the page numbers are large and easy to spot. The Mission Statement below lets parents know that this is an age appropriate magazine that is safe for kids to read, and also sports the ratings of the games it covers (Early Childhood, Everyone, and Everyone 10+). Since I’m a huge stickler for ratings, this is important to me. The letter from the editor goes further into why the magazine was created, which the kids totally skipped over, but is more aimed towards parents anyway.

CJ’s Thoughts: The ratings on the games are the ones I’m allowed to play, so that’s good. I can see what pages to go to easily, so I know I want to go to page 12 to see the Amiibo collection.

Anna’s Thoughts: Splatoon is on page 14. I don’t know who the robots are on page 19, but they look cool. Can we start reading now?

Articles

There are a few articles in this preview issue, which feature a short synopsis of the game, as well as plenty of pictures.

Myssiing’s Thoughts: I love, love, LOVE the fact that the articles are filled with large colorful pictures from the games. There’s just enough text for them to read to get a feel for what the game is about and get excited for, but not text heavy enough for them to get bored and stop reading.

CJ and Anna’s Thoughts: (There are no specific thoughts here. Just lots of, “Oh, that’s cool!” and, “Can we get this?”)

Game Reviews

“Big and Little Reviews” features games reviewed by an adult, and by a kid. Four games are reviewed, and feature pictures from the game as well as the personal reviews from each adult/kid combo.

Myssiing’s Thoughts: Although it’s cool to read a review from an adult, it’s cooler to read a review from a kid. Kids and adults have different priorities for a good game. Since this is a magazine for kids, they get to hear from one of their peers on how they enjoyed the game, which could give more clout to the review.There’s also a casting call for kids to review games, which will be pretty awesome once it starts rolling.

CJ’s Thoughts: I can’t wait until I can write reviews. I really like the kid reviews, because if he likes the games I probably will, too. My favorite review is the ‘Spongebob Heropants’ review, because I haven’t heard of that game before, and Brody’s review made me want to play it.

Anna’s Thoughts: I like the pictures and the numbers. The higher the number, the more they liked the game. So I might like the games, too.

The Binary Twins

No kids’ magazine is complete without a mascot. ‘Little Player’ has The Binary Twins, Wonne and Zheero.

Myssiing’s Thoughts: It took me a minute to get Wonne and Zheero (1 and 0, Binary… lol), but once I did the kids were looking at me like I was crazy. Their job in the magazine is to break up the gaming segments to bring important messages about sharing, going outside, etc. I think this is important for kids to hear from someone other than their parents, and even more so in a gaming publication. When the GAMING MAGAZINE is telling you that going outside and taking a break from games is important, there’s gotta be something to it other than your mom nagging you.

CJ’s Thoughts: They’re funny. They have funny names. Wonne was nicer because he shared the controller. And they like to play tag outside.

Anna’s Thoughts: I like to play tag, too! Zheero was being a controller hog. Wonne was nicer and shared. They have fun playing games together.

OVERALL REVIEW:

Myssiing – This is a perfect gaming magazine for kids. The content is relevant and age appropriate. Parents will love this magazine because it will get their kids interested in reading, and they won’t have to worry about what their kids are reading. It will also give non-gaming parents an insight into age appropriate games for their kids, and hopefully raise a little awareness about content ratings. Definitely worth the cost for an annual subscription. Check out the Kickstarter Page if you want to get this off the ground — I know I will.

CJ –  I would love to get this in the mail. I like this magazine, and I really like how many games they talk about. The best part is I can play every game that’s in here. Sometimes I see a game I want to play, and my mom says I can’t because it’s not appropriate. All of these games are made for me.

Anna – I want this magazine. I like all the pictures it has. And I like the kid that reviews games. This is an awesome magazine and every gamer should get it.

If you’d like to check out more information on ‘Little Player’, visit their Kickstarter Page, and their Facebook Page.

You can follow Myssiing on Player.me, Twitter, and Facebook, or find out more information on her About.me page.

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About Myssiing

Myssiing is an avid gamer who wants to change the stereotype of gaming. Gamers are no longer just kids or basement dwelling adults. Her goal is to inform others about the goings-on in the gaming industry itself, as well as raise awareness to parents and the uninformed on topics of ratings, stereotypes, and social issues concerning gaming. http://about.me/myssiing

Posted on July 5, 2015, in Hey, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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