Browsing articles in "Age 9-15"

Inés checks out Jack the Giant Slayer

Apr 11, 2013   //   by Inés   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Inés checks out Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant SlayerCheck this out:
Jack the Giant Slayer

Why it’s cool:
This film has a really good story based on the traditional tale Jack and the Beanstalk except there is way more action and suspense. In the film, Jack has to save a princess and he does not steal from the giant.

Something I liked a lot was that they used animated and real actors in the film. It was also available in 3D. I saw it in 3D and the beanstalk really looked like it is going to come out and grab you and drag you into the film.

Is it educational?
No it isn’t educational but the King in the film does learn that her daughter is right about her marriage choice.

So if you like a thrilling adventure then you’ll love Jack the Giant Slayer and if you like more action packed, you will especially love it in 3D.


Jordan checks out Nintendo Wii U

Mar 21, 2013   //   by Jordan   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Jordan checks out Nintendo Wii U
Wii U Console and Gamepad

Wii U Console and Gamepad. (Photo credit: Takimata, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

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Nintendo Wii U

Why is it cool?
The Nintendo Wii U is one of the funnest game devices on the planet.

The Wii U ($299 for the basic, and $349 for the deluxe) plays games just like the original Wii, but it also includes a hand-held gamepad with a video screen that connects to your TV for playing the games. When you play with another person in the room, one player uses the original Wii remote, and the other player uses the hand-held screen. If you move your character on the gamepad, it also moves the character on the TV screen.

The deluxe version comes with a game called NintendoLand. In NintendoLand there are 12 different games that are super fun. Some are co-operative and some are competitive. All of the original Wii games can also be played on the Wii U, but there are also new games only for the Wii U such as Super Mario Bros. U.

Is it educational?
No, most of the games on the Wii U are mostly for having a good time and playing games.


Bilal looks forward to Man of Steel

Jan 13, 2013   //   by Bilal   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Bilal looks forward to Man of Steel

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Man of Steel: Ironclad Entertainment — The new superhero movie is here!

Why it’s cool:
The reason why this move is so hotly anticipated is because this is the first Superman movie since the 2006 Superman Returns movie (directed by Bryan Singer) and because Superman is just plain awesome.

The trailer for this movie was one of the best I have seen in a long time and it promises action and adventure we’ve all come to expect from the DC Comics superhero and from the first Superman movie (also known as Superman: The Movie) filmed in 1978. Directed by Richard Donner, it starred some movie heavyweights like Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder. Of course, Superman: The Movie was followed by Superman II, III and IV and then Superman Returns, all following the story of an alien orphan sent from his dying planet to Earth where his superhuman powers are used to battle evil and cunning villains like Lex Luther.

Man of Steel opens with him drowning and then he opens his eyes and the journey begins. The plot part when he is in the Arctic and he crouches is one of my favourite scenes. Of course the Arctic and the Fortress of Solitude was where Superman was first educated in his powers and responsibilities on the planet Earth. Also, when Superman starts flying I find myself smiling ear to ear as we see the EPIC Superman move that has since come to define the superhero genre.

The antagonist of the movie is Zod, a villain from Superman’s home planet. No one pits good vs evil like the Superman comics and films and this entire movie doesn’t appear to disappoint.

I hope to see it soon!

Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?
It is definitely entertaining with all the explosions and the fighting and the overall violence, but there is an educational aspect. You could learn something about the universe because Superman did come from another planet. Also you might learn something about science because there might be an explanation of Superman’s inhuman strength.


Inés checks out The Secret Tree, a novel by Natalie Standiford

Jan 3, 2013   //   by Inés   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Inés checks out The Secret Tree, a novel by Natalie Standiford

The Secret TreeCheck this out:
The Secret Tree, a novel by Natalie Standiford

Why it’s cool:
This book is cool because the main character, Minty, finds a tree that holds the people in her neighbourhood’s secrets.

I like this because I would like to get to know a little more about the people that I live around.

She uses the secrets to try to figure out first who wrote the secret and then she secretly helps them solve their problems. Three of the secrets she finds are:

  1. “ I put a curse on my enemy and it’s working”
  2. “I’m betraying my best friend in a terrible way”
  3. “No one loves me except my goldfish”

If you like mysteries and gripping books then you should read The Secret Tree.

Is it educational?
Yes, it is educational because you have to think a lot to solve the problems. As well, you learn about being a good friend and keeping friends.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good secret.


Jordan checks out Muffin Knight (for iPad)

Dec 10, 2012   //   by Jordan   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Jordan checks out Muffin Knight (for iPad)

Muffin KnightCheck this out!
Muffin Knight (for iPad)

Why is it cool?
Muffin Knight is such an awesome game to play. Once you begin to play it you may never stop.

The objective of Muffin Knight is to collect as many muffins as you can. The rewards of getting muffins is that you gain levels, gain characters and gain places. Once you reach a certain amount of muffins, you unlock a character.

There are many different characters with fun names. Each character has its own attack. My favourite character is Sumo Panda.

Whenever you get a muffin you switch characters. Also when you get more muffins you unlock new levels which helps you buy power-ups for your character and more lives. You also get new stages to play on and there are new enemies.

Also, at special times of the year (e.g. Halloween, Christmas) the game adds new characters and new stages.  Another great part of Muffin Knight is that you can play in multiplayer mode. You get to choose if you want to play a Co-op game or a Versus game.

There are two versions of the game, Muffin Knight LITE & Muffin Knight. Muffin Knight is $0.99 but the LITE version is free. I think that it is totally worth a try.

Is it educational?
Muffin Knight is not educational, it’s just pure fun.


PS3 Super Slim is the new phat, kids’ panellist Bilal says

Oct 10, 2012   //   by Bilal   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on PS3 Super Slim is the new phat, kids’ panellist Bilal says

PS3 Super SlimCheck this out!
Sony has just launched the PS3 Super Slim!

Why it’s cool:
The reason the PS3 Super Slim is so cool and such a BIG deal in the tech world (in case you didn’t know ☺) is because it’s very different from the previous PS3 models.
It’s way smaller than the other models and features a different power adapter that doesn’t have the huge, bulky power brick, which makes it more portable and easier to store.

It also has a top-loading tray, which means you don’t slide the disc into the system. Instead, you insert it on top, which is one of the reasons why it’s so light. A really big difference in the Super Slim is that for some models the memory has been upgraded to 500 GB – almost 200 GB more than the last PS3!!! This will open doors to more cloud gaming and more DLC (Downloadable Content).

Critics complain the fan (the fan keeps the system cool so it doesn’t melt) in the PS3 Super Slim is louder because the loading tray is now on top. This is kind of a big deal because if the fan is loud it disrupts the gamer and becomes quite annoying. Overall, I’d say the PS3 Super Slim is worth the investment (the price only went up $20) and I hope – most dearly – that my parents will buy it for me ☺.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?
I’d say it is mostly entertaining because it’s still a gaming system. But you can argue it’s also educational because there are so many new features with this PS3 that you can now download apps like on your iPhone. This will definitely put a whole new spin on gaming and consoles, because you can now browse the Internet on your PS3, which many will people will find very useful.


Inés checks out P&G Olympic Commercial

Aug 14, 2012   //   by Inés   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Inés checks out P&G Olympic Commercial

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P&G Olympic Commercial

Why it’s cool:
It’s an advertisement of hope and destiny. It touches people’s hearts. It shows us that kids need to wake up early to follow their dreams. They have to work hard at their classes to improve their swimming, gymnastics, wrestling and biking. If they want to become a real Olympic athletes, they need to train hard. Many times they fail but they will try to succeed.

Moms in this advertisement are so supportive of their children and can’t believe that they have grown up.

When I watch this commercial I don’t think about anything they are trying to sell until the end when they show the logos for pampers, Tide, Crest, toilet paper and Bounty, and they say “proud sponsors of moms”.

I like this commercial because I see all the happy moments and I don’t realize that they’re trying to sell something.

Is it educational?
It is educational because it teaches you to follow your dream and it reminds you how moms will be there for you.


Jordan checks out Tap the Frog (for iPad)

Aug 8, 2012   //   by Jordan   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Jordan checks out Tap the Frog (for iPad)

Tap the FrogCheck this out!
Tap The Frog (for iPad)

Why is it cool?
Tap the Frog is my favourite game right now on the iPad. Tap the Frog involves lots and lots of super-fun mini-games that test speed, accuracy and math.

When you play a game you get a certain amount of stars depending on how well you did. One star counts as one “frogbuck”. You can use frogbucks to buy different costumes, props and backgrounds for your frog.

If you get a really good score on a game you can get a badge. There is a different badge for every game that you play.

I like trying to get as many stars as I can. When I get a high score my dad tries to beat me (ha!). Tap the Frog is free, and Tap the Frog 2, which is also awesome, costs 99 cents.

Is it educational?
Some games include math in them, otherwise it is mostly fun.


Jordan checks out Habbo Hotel

May 22, 2012   //   by Jordan   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Jordan checks out Habbo Hotel

Habbo HotelCheck this out!
Habbo Hotel

Why is it cool?
Habbo Hotel is my favourite game to play on the Internet.

Habbo is a virtual world where you can make your own room and chat with people from all around the world.

On Habbo there are many games such as Falling furni, Battle Banzai, Freeze, Kikwars Galactia, and much much more!!

In Habbo you can customize and create your own virtual character. You can also buy your own pets such as cats, dogs, lions, dragons, horses etc.

There are about 40,000 people playing Habbo all over the planet! Habbo is one of the biggest virtual worlds out there.

Once I started playing Habbo, I became instantly addicted. My parents kept trying to get me off, but I couldn’t stop.

One of the best parts about Habbo Hotel is that it is free. Well, to set up and play an account is free, but if you want to buy upgrades you can choose to buy credits for real money.

On Habbo you can create whatever environment you want, such as a night club, smoothie bar, beach, or movie theatre.

Another great part about Habbo is that you can play it on Facebook!

Is it educational?
Habbo Hotel is more fun and social than it is educational.


Bilal previews Sony’s ORBIS gaming system

Apr 16, 2012   //   by Bilal   //   Age 9-15, Kids' Panel  //  Comments Off on Bilal previews Sony’s ORBIS gaming system

Sony ORBISCheck this out!
AHEM, SONY! Your new PlayStation is going to have problems!

Why it isn’t cool:
First of all, it’s not going to be called PlayStation 4 or PS4. The name they are giving the system is ORBIS. I think it is a bad decision since they’re breaking a long line of traditional names that all have PlayStation (PS) in it: PS1, PS2, PSP, PS3, PSPGO, PS VITA. So as you can see, calling this new device ORBIS doesn’t make sense.

But he technical stuff in the new system is even worse. First, it can’t play PS3 games, which means it won’t be backwards compatible. This is a big issue because consumers really like to play old games and have something to play before their next favorite game comes out on the new system. Secondly, they made a huge mistake with the new ORBIS system because it can’t play used games. In my family my parents are a little stingy when it comes to buying games. My dad is not going to buy a $70 game when he could get a used one for half the price on Kijiji. It’s also unfair to kids who are the biggest game consumers — and it means we will be buying fewer games. This is going to be a big problem for me if I decide to get the system.

Sony plans to release this item at holiday time in 2013.

Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?
I think it is mostly entertaining because it is a gaming system, but I think it can be a little educational too because you could have some educational games on it.

I think it is going to have a whole new look and it is going to have many new features. Also a feature that I hope they will bring in the ORBIS is something like the XBOX Kinect because that was one of the bestselling items ever and if it can combine with one of the bestselling systems it could be phenomenal.


The Kids' Panel

Meet our kids' panel: a savvy group of kids with a strong point of view about the media and the culture they consume. Culturally diverse, a range of age and interests, they'll provide you with an insight into kids' media ... what works, what doesn't and why. Check back often for new reviews. We think you'll be inspired! @storyartscentre