sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
I bought a used Xbox 360 at the thrift store a few months ago, which has opened up to me the world of gaming. My roommate and I have been enjoying Lego Harry Potter. We started with years 5-7 which I found in a bargain bin, and then moved on to years 1-4.

The game is easy for us to learn, whimsical and funny. It's just plain fun to run around Hogwarts and revisit the story. There are a few parts that are tricky / fussy, especially timed jumping. I realize that platform jumping is a gaming tradition going back to Frogger and Donkey Kong, but it is not friendly to people with arthritis or dexterity issues. I wish games would rely on it less, or have easy jumping modes. Last night I spent way too long trying to jump over a required barrier and got frustrated.

Lego HP requires little to no reading and no listening. Information is conveyed through pictures. So, you can play with the sound off and you don't need captions. There is one game aspect where it's helpful to distinguish red from green (Parseltongue cabinets), but not strictly required. The parts where you fight a "boss" (often at the end of levels) tend to be much easier with two players. This game can be played with one player, but seems designed for two players. Levels are not timed-sensitive-- in fact you're rewarded if you spend more time looking around and exploring. You can't save mid-level, though, so if your game freezes or you have to leave for some reason, you will have to replay that bit of the story.

For my roommate and I--we are novice newbie gamers-- Lego HP has been a really great entry point. I definitely recommend it.
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
I have never in my life owned a console gaming system. That has changed today!

At St. Vinny's yesterday stood a whole shelf full of Xbox 360s. I bought one for 35 dollars. With a few games I spent about 50 dollars, including controller and cord. The first one was faulty, so I went back today and exchanged it, and this one seems to work. My roommate and I just tried out Lego Harry Potter, which is silly and fun.

I have found over the last few years that gaming is a great way to cope with pain and fatigue. Sometimes it's the only thing I have energy for, or the only thing that can really take my mind off my pain. Some games are too technically hard or require too much dexterity, or are too stressful. Ones that I really enjoy are silly and not overly difficult.

I'm super excited!! We are still figuring a few things out and I need to get an extra controller yet. Happy new year to me!

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