We crossed a threshold as a family yesterday by introducing Our Girl to my Playstation 2. My daughter and I are both on February break this coming week and My Wife suggested it as a good time to try it on her. The addictive power is clearly potent. We've already set clear limits: one hour a day, tops and only on weekends or vacation days. I don't want her to be the kid who spends her entire day in front of the TV. It's too late for me...
I've had the PS2 for quite a few years now and, as luck would have it, I happen to have a few child appropriate games in my collection. I started her on Wallace & Gromit: Project Zoo. We are big W&G fans at our house. It was the one game My Wife and I used to play together before parenthood took over our lives. It's a nice game for Our Girl to be able to explore the controls without any time pressure.
Next we tried Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. That one was a bit more challenging for her but she did alright with it. She seems to prefer W&G for the moment.
The Harry Potter series is exceptional for numerous reasons but I think J.K. Rowling deserves considerable praise for inventing a genuinely viable sport within her wizard world. In 2001, she published Quidditch Through the Ages under the pseudonym of fictitious Quidditch expert Kennilworthy Whisp. All proceeds from the book went to charity. I think it has since gone out of print but if you can find a copy, it's a lot of fun.
Undeterred by the inability to fly, college students around the country have adapted the game of Quidditch to Muggle limitations. Middlebury College in Vermont hosted the third annual Quidditch World Cup this past fall. The Intercollegiate Quidditch Association has both a Website and a facebook fan page. Perhaps we'll need to check it out this fall.