We The Fentons: Views From The Family Vlog

wethefentons-greatwolflodgeLike many kids these days, my 10 year old son Chase is addicted to Youtube.  He’s only allowed to use the iPad on weekends, in common spaces of the house (ie. not alone in his bedroom), and with strict filtering mode enabled (of course), and if it were up to him, he’d do it all day.  Sometimes it’s to watch a shark fighting an octopus (you’d be surprised who wins), sometimes it’s America’s Funniest Home Video –esque bloopers, but the majority of the time he’s either looking up game cheats, or literally watching someone else playing a video game… weird right?  In fact, sometimes I think he enjoys watching gaming videos even more than playing the games themselves.  Gaming channels are almost always how/where he discovers his next gaming conquest, stays up-to-date on gaming culture, and it’s basically the reason he wanted to start a Youtube channel of his own, so he could proudly broadcast his gameplay accolades.

It didn’t take long for my little one, Zozo, to want in on the action too.  Seeing his big bro watching Youtube, Zo quickly realized that we could literally search for any of his favourite characters, and find something fun to watch.  “Mommy, search for Hulk, no Superman… no Hulk AND Superman… no Spiderman… NO WAIT, Batman!” and seconds later he could choose from hundreds of thumbnail images showing grown men dressed up in halloween costumes, acting out fight scenes in a playground (I wish I were joking).  Of course, Zozo is on even tighter ‘screen-time’ rations than Chase (being much younger, and at a more critical stage in his cognitive development), but he’s a man who knows what he likes.   His favourite channels of all time are called Doh Much Fun and FUNnel Vision, where a kid named Chase (pure coincidence… or perhaps a sign from the universe) plays with brand new toys, goes on family adventures with his 3 siblings, and naturally, they all play video games with their super cool and silly dad (who is clearly the brains/producer extraordinaire behind their entire operation, with 4 or 5 channels, for which they have amassed millions of subscribers).

So after months of pleading and negotiations, I finally caved in and agreed to (my) Chase’s new endeavour, with one condition… it would be a family vlog and had to include his little brother (since let’s be honest, I’m going to be doing a lot of the work, and Zo wants to do absolutely everything that Chase does too).  Before we could make any gaming videos, this mama had some research to do.  In order to record live video gameplay off a console system (like Xbox 360), I would need to invest in something called a capture card, which is essentially an HDMI splitter that re-routs the video output from your console through a small hard-drive, capturing the live streaming footage before it ultimately reaches the television (I think).

In the meantime (while I got our game capture tech stuff in order) we would have to focus on other projects, so we decided on the perfect first episode; a road-trip to Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls.  So without further ado, I am proud to present the very first instalment of We The Fentons. We hope you will subscribe and stay tuned for next week’s Halloween edition, and of course, a plethora of gaming reviews, demos, and lots more family fun shenanigans in the works.

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