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Tips To #NavigateTheHolidays With Gift Offerings at GameStop

*Disclosure: Sponsored post.

 

I am a regular Gamestop customer, whether it’s pre-ordering a new kid’s video game or buying used video games and accessories.  So, I was excited to recently host with Techlicious – a Gamestop event and tour at my local GameStop store. We had a fun group of bloggers, many who were already GameStop customers and excited to learn even more with a tour by the local GameStop team. Beyond being the “world’s largest, multi-channel video game retailer“, GameStop offers:

 

***Video games for  all types of consoles (Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii) along with Video game consoles,  portable gaming devices, tablets and more.

 

 

***Tech accessories including headsets, tech toys such as Skylanders and Disney Infinity and even my kid’s favorite Lego video games (that compliment nicely all the Lego building they do).

 

 

***Gift Cards and Stocking Stuffers.

 

 

Best of all GameStop has affordable “Buy-Sell-Trade programs for video game hardware, software, digital content accessories, consumer electronics (including Apple Devices) and more“. To keep within our budget, we have our kids identify games they no longer play with to help save up for new ones. I was happy to find out that “GameStop also offers more then 2,500 video games under $20″. That also helps with the budget!

 

When looking for video games at GameStop we can always first check if there are used copies available. Long ago my teen figured out that we should sign up for the GameStop Power UP Rewards (customer loyalty program) – so we did. Along with the rewards, exclusives, point earning opportunities and extras, the GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards benefits include earning points towards future purchases.

 

 

 

We also had a lunch where we discussed holiday tech shopping tips, trends, tips on choosing video games and more from Suzanne Kantra of Techlicious and the GameStop team.

 

 

 

GameStop, with research partner Brierley+Partners, asked 500 U.S. gift givers what was at the top of their purchase lists this holiday season (fielded from November, 2013). Listed below are some highlights shared from the event and a press release:

  • 42 percent of shoppers surveyed plan to purchase video game related items for their children this holiday – including video games, consoles, and accessories.” While we’re always thrilled for the holiday season, this one is especially exciting as we welcome the first new gaming consoles in nearly a decade, along with a flurry of new titles to show off the systems’ next-gen technology,” said Ashley Sheetz, chief marketing officer of GameStop. “It seems more people than ever, at almost any age, are getting into gaming, and if this survey is any indication, the number of gamers will keep on growing thanks to the holidays this year!”
  • 84 percent of ‘gifters’ are aware of store and website trade-in programs, and nearly 20 percent are planning to use them to help defer gift costs. We learned that “GameStop offers instant store credit or cash on a vast range of products, from old video games, consoles, to smartphones, tablets, and other electronics sitting in drawers and on shelves. And with special holiday trade-in bonuses, the savings can grow large very quickly!”
  • 82 percent of ‘gifters’ expect to turn to store employees when making purchasing decisions this holiday season. “We know holiday shopping is stressful and even more so when presented with the plethora of gaming choices out there,” said Jason Cochran, vice president store operations and strategic initiatives of GameStop. “Our goal is to relieve some of that stress with our trained employees armed with the latest gaming knowledge, as well as through our loyalty and trade-in programs that can make the financial strain of the holidays less stressful.”

 

When it comes to video games for my kids, I spend the time to gather information about the game by using not only sites like Common Sense Media and ERSB, but also knowledgeable GameStop salespeople. Over lunch, we had a chance to talk about screen time and tips to understand if a game is appropriate for kids/family use:

 

  • Current state of kids & technology:  83% of parents set rules or have a conversation with kids about the safe use of technology, with the majority of parents setting limits starting at ages 5-8*, Overall daily screen time for kids under 8, 1 hour 55 minutes, decreased by 21 minutes per day vs 2 years ago.** More time on: mobile devices, Less time on: TV, DVD, Computers, Video Games.*From Microsoft/Comscore study 2013 .
    **From Common Sense media 2013 survey: Kids 0-8.
  •  Games are social: 40% of gamers play with friends with 17% playing with their spouse or significant other and 34% playing with other family members. Video games are a family activity: 40% of parents play video games with their children at least weekly. Most video games being sold are appropriate for kids with 73% of the 245.6 million video games sold in 2011 rated Everyone (E), Teen (T) or Everyone 10+ (E10+). Ninety-one percent of games evaluated by ERSB in 2012 were rated E, T or E10+, From Entertainment Software Association.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations : Establish screen-free zones, turn off electronic devices during dinner.  For children and teens: limit entertainment media to no more than 2 hours per day (does not include homework). For children under 2: no TV and entertainment media.
  • Recommendations to help find the appropriate video: Common Sense Media offers the ability to search game titles for younger kids and drill down by age, content, educational benefit and more. PluggedIn.com offers the ability to sort by rating, platform and genre. ESRB rating search app (and website) flags “Interactive Elements” so you’ll know if the game shares location, personal information or user habits. ESRB recently expanded search filters for exclude/include content type (violence, language, nudity etc) or a specific rating, plus access to rating summaries for packaged games.

 

How do you choose which games are appropriate for your family? What types of family technology are on your holiday shopping list?

 

Here are some posts from other bloggers at the event:

Mom With Apps: Three Tips for Family-Friendly Gaming
ParentGrapevine: GameStop – The Place to Shop, Sell, Trade-in and Buy for the Holidays
 

 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All of my words are my own.

 

 

 

 

Disney California Adventure Park New Attraction: Cars Land Opens June 15

***Update’s June 15: Disney’s California Adventure and Cars Land is officially open! I just finished the media event  yesterday so I will be reporting back on all the new attractions soon.

 

 

I remember the first time I heard about Disney Cars Land at a media event years ago, I could not wait until the opening to experience the magic of Disney converting a 2D movie (Cars) to a Disneyland 3D attraction. Tomorrow I am heading off to the Disney Cars Land media event to not only learn more about the attraction,  but also (even more fun) to take a ride. Disney Cars Land is located in the Disney California Adventure park and opens to the public on June 15.

 

Here is a quick video on Cars Land from the Ground up:

Then Cars to Cars Land:

 

I will be loading pictures to my Disney Cars Land Flickr set and will be thrilled to report back on all the fun after the event which runs from June 13 to June 15.

www.flickr.com

Beth Blecherman's Disney Cars Land photoset Beth Blecherman’s Disney Cars Land photoset


Disclosure: I was invited to the Disney Cars Land opening event as media and as such media related travel expenses are covered by Disney. My words are my own.

 

So Exciting – Cool Mom Tech Has Launched!

If I have not posted for some time on my personal blog TechMamas.com, it’s because there is something keeping me busy. My wonderful family is always a priority and those with kids that just entered 6th grade (like my son just did) understand what a big transition that is.

This middle school transition would be so bloggable if I had not already promised my son to keep things under wraps. In fact, my tween is probably reading this post on his smartphone right now – so I may as well say hi to my son: “Hi sweetie..Whoops, I am not supposed to call you that in public. Sorry”.

Let’s just say that kids these days are skipping from kids to teenagers, and it happens fast. As my dear friend with a newly “teenaged” kid told me last year: Put on your seatbelt. And I did.

On the business front, my most exciting announcement is that I joined on as Chief Technologist of a sister site to the fabulous Cool Mom Picks (a top shopping blog for parents).

The amazing founders of Cool Mom Picks Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase were planning to develop a sister tech shopping blog for parents when I happened to call them saying I would looove to work with them on such a venture. Wella: Cool Mom Tech!

Does it show how excited I am? If I could add audio, it would sound like cyber-shreaks of joy! Check our our awesome Cool Mom Tech team, I am so honored to work with them (another cyber shreak).

Here is a link to a post about Cool Mom Tech on BlogHer written by an fabulous tech mom herself (I have a soft spot for tech moms) Little Tech Girl Kris Cain : “Get the Real Scoop on Technology with Cool Mom Tech“.

Here are juicy details from the Cool Mom Tech About page:

“Cool Mom Tech is the intersection of tech and style, of parenting, practicality and fabulosity, brought to you by the same moms behind the influential shopping and design site, Cool Mom Picks. Plus a few more who really know their tech stuff.

We’re not techies who parent, we’re moms who use tech in our everyday lives. Same as you. Same as millions of mothers who are online every day.”

Please take a click over to Cool Mom Tech and see what we are up to!

 

Update: Nintendo DSi XL

Listed below are my post details that I provided when the Nintendo
XL release was first announced
.

I assigned TechBoy (my tween son) the job of taking the Nintendo DSi
XL on a test run. He has a way with words(short and to the point) so I
asked him for a sentence that I could use on my blog.

TechBoy’s Take:Have you ever herd about the DSi XL? Its
the latest Nintendo system since the DSi. What I like about the DSi XL
is it has a larger screen, when you go back to using the regular
DSI it fells like playing on a cell phone.

He enjoys playing on the larger screen, using the photo/sound
manipulation tools and the camera. Overall – there is not going back for
TechBoy – he now only uses the Nintendo DSi XL. But that is good news
for his 7yr old brother – who was the lucky one to get his Nintendo DSi.
And TechBoy’s brother is very happy to finally have the DSi – so all is
good in the TechFamily house!

*********************************************

Nintendo DSi XL™ 

Nintendo DSi XL™ features
listed from the press release:

  • 4.2-inch screens – 93
    percent larger then the Nintendo DS™ Lite system screens (improved wider
    viewing angle)
  • Colors are Burgundy and Bronze, including a matt finish
  • 2 cameras
  • Photo-and sound-manipulation tools
  • Larger pen-like
    stylus
  • Parental controls that let adults manage the digital content their
    children can access
  • The press
    release states
    : “With a broadband Internet
    connection, you can also upload photos directly to Facebook to share
    with friends or access downloadable Nintendo DSiWare™ games via the
    Nintendo DSi Shop.” Two free applications: the Nintendo DSi Browser and
    Flipnote
    Studio™ are also included.

The release date was March 28 and the suggested retail price is
$189.99.

Website: Nintendo DSi  XL

Disclosure:
I was provided with a Nintendo DSi XL for long term review use.

 

Forget About the iPad, I Want the Clothes Folding Robot

I was reading Guy Kawasaki’s Twitter stream today and what do I see on one of his posts?

Hark – it is something I have been waiting for ever since I became a mom….Yes, A Robot that folds clothes!

Here is the link to the post from Alltop – Holy Kaw (that saw the video on Geekologie.)

Forget about the iPad, I want one of these:

 

Parents Magazine Lists the Parents Power Moms

I have been reading Parents magazine for some time, it is a great resource parents of babies, toddlers and even big kids. So I was thrilled when I found out they included me (TechMamas.com) on their list of Parents Power Moms along with DesignMom.com, CityMama.com, CoolMomPicks.com, AlphaMom.com, TheMotherhood.com, MomItForward.com, Dooce.com and CutieBootyCakes.com Click HERE to see the article on their website. The print article will be available in their February issue. The Parents’ Goodyblog.com has blogging tips, including information about social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

 

Disney Extends Their Digital Offerings: Disney Digital Books Launched This Morning

Today I received this press release that announced Disney is going Digital in yet another away with Disney Digital Books. I will be finding out more details and will add them to this post:

“Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com) officially launched this morning. This vast library is Disney’s first-ever collection of digital children’s books – and the browser-based service is PC- and Mac-compatible, and does not require a download.

The new portal is the brainchild of a team of young, tech-savvy, creative folks at Disney Publishing Worldwide (the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines), which has been around since 1930.

If you’re interested in learning more, there’s a webcast today at 1:00PM EST (open to the public).  Join here: http://www.videonewswire.com/event.asp?id=62362

Over 500 Disney picture and storybooks will come to life with animated illustrations and authentic character voices.  Classics include more than 60 Winnie the Pooh books and such popular titles as Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Disney Princess, Cars, and Hannah Montana.

Key features include:

* An age-appropriate dictionary that lets children click on any word to hear it read aloud;
* Reading certificates to encourage readers;
* A “Story-Builder” feature so kids can create their own stories;
* Books are separated into three reading levels:  (1) for beginner readers and a companion, (2) for independent readers, and (3) for readers ready for chapter books;

Monthly subscriptions are only $8.95 – and annual and gift subscriptions are available as well.  A free trial of the service is available today.”

 

3 Big Nintendo Announcements: Wii Price Reduced to $199.99, World of Nintendo Sampling Tour and new Mario Bros. Game

I had to opportunity to speak with Denise Kaigler, the VP of Corp.
Affairs for Nintendo of America on a press call to find out about 3
announcements Nintendo has just made. Here are some key items from the
conversation:

  1. Nintendo Wii price decrease: Just in time for holiday shopping, the price of the Nintendo Wii will drop $50 from $250 to $199.99 – effective Sep 27.
  2.  NEW Wii Game out Nov. 15: New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a simultaneous
    multiplayer game that “offers a combination of cooperation
    and competition “.
  3. World of Nintendo – Consumer Sampling Tour starting in Oct. and ending in January: Click HERE to see full schedule.
    The World of Nintendo Consumer Tours are firsthand sampling events that
    will showcase the diversity and breath of unique product experience.
    The tour will include Nintendo titles already launched (including the Wii Sports Resort that utilizes the Wii Motion Plus) and new Nintendo
    products (including the Wii Fit Plus )and is expected to reach 1 million consumers in 35 to 40
    markets. The tour will be at different larger venues like Long Beach Comic Con, VGXPO in Philly and Big Apple Comic Con in NYC on Oct 2-Oct 18.

When I asked why Nintendo decided to do the sampling tours Denise Kaigler said “50 million consumers are sitting on sidelines, want to play, but have
not been convinced. They are waiting for that reason. Reducing price of
the Wii, continuing to come out with fun games and then showcasing
these titles will help the consumers
experience.”

Click HERE to see Press Release included at the bottom of this post:

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