A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is based on the Scene It? brand of DVD-based board games. While several editions of that version are appropriate for younger children, this video game isn't. It features clips from movies geared for older audiences that include light doses of drinking, smoking, profanity, sexuality, and violence, playing can feel like watching a PG-13 movie. It would be difficult for younger players to enjoy the game, since success depends heavily on knowledge of a broad spectrum of films most kids probably aren't familiar with.
What's it about?
An Xbox 360 exclusive, SCENE IT? LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION is a movie trivia game based on the successful line of DVD-based board games. It's composed of nearly two dozen short trivia challenges that pop up in random order. Veterans will recognize several games, including "Movie Clip," in which players watch a scene and then answer questions based on what they saw. But there are plenty of fresh games, including "Child's Play," which asks players to identify films based on simple crayon drawings.
Just plug the disc in, select how long you want the game to last, and follow the simple, single-sentence instructions. Players buzz in when necessary and press colored buttons that correspond with the multiple-choice answers shown on screen. The game comes with four of Microsoft's wireless Big Button Pad controllers, which are designed to be less intimidating than the standard joystick-, trigger-, and bumper-laden controllers used for most Xbox 360 games.
Is it any good?
Three issues have the potential to make this a bust in your house. First, players who don't watch movies will be at significant disadvantage. Second, the game comes with 1,800 questions, which is enough for only 35 matches of the shorter variety. That might sound like a lot, but even if you only play for an hour every other night for a month, you'll have squeezed the game dry.
Finally, this version isn't a good fit for younger children because most of the questions are about films that aren't appropriate for little kids (a sampling of titles: Meet the Parents, Kill Bill Vol. 1, A Fish Called Wanda , and Brokeback Mountain). These three stumbling blocks aside, Scene It? Lights, Camera, Action is a great movie trivia game for teens and up.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about popular culture and the film industry's place within it. How will new media's continued rapid growth affect Hollywood? How will it affect viewers? Are iconic movie stars -- a staple of our popular culture for nearly a century -- in danger of fading away as the popularity of various forms of online entertainment increases?
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