PSN Community Spotlight – Little Big Classroom

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PSN Community Spotlight – Little Big Classroom

Oh hey there… I’m most likely still in a food coma. While I continue to digest, you can enjoy the PSN Community Spotlight. For the unfamiliar, this is where PlayStation gamers tell their unique stories/experiences/thoughts, as submitted to this section in the PlayStation Community Forums. Those that make it all the way to the PlayStation Blog will receive a $50 PlayStation Store voucher.

Trophies-MailOrderNinja

Last week we asked for your PlayStation stories, and gamer MailOrderNinja wrote in to tell us about how LittleBigPlanet helped his son.

Little Big Classroom

In thinking of the best moments and memories pertaining to gaming within my life many of those moments were provided by none other than the venerable PlayStation brand.

Perhaps I should regale you with nostalgic tales of when my brothers and I used to share our allotted gaming time and combine it to take turns with Crash Bandicoot, tear each other up in Twisted Metal, and sing along with Parappa the Rapper. Maybe I should recall the way we all waited with baited breath for the new PlayStation magazine to arrive by mail with its shiny disc-filled with delicious content like videos and demos of upcoming games.

However, none of those would hold the significance of what I eventually settled on as one of my fondest memories. Since birth my son had hearing issues: constant ear infections had slowed his language skills and ultimately hampered his learning. Giving him tubes in his ears helped and we put him in early placement so he could attempt to catch up, but he was having trouble; particularly with his ABCs.

We tried everything from songs to flashcards and nothing seemed to stick with him. One sunny Saturday afternoon my wife and son sat on the couch behind me working on ABCs with flashcards as I reclined on the floor playing Little Big Planet. Now LittleBigPlanet has special significance on its own as it’s the game that I ended up buying a PlayStation 3 for. It filled my mind with wonder of all the many possibilities and the promise of ultimate creative control. I digress though, back to the sun streaming in the window of our apartment as we enjoyed family time.

The game easily caught my son’s attention from day one with its charming aesthetic and held both of our interests with its witty dialogue and levels. On a whim, as they worked I pulled up the search bar and typed in ABC, something I’d not thought to do before. Several levels popped up and I clicked into the first one I saw. I wish I could tell you the name and creator now, but I do remember being very pleased playing through the level and watching the inventive use of Little Big Planet that was before me now.

Each letter was accentuated by some sort of event and usually something that began with each letter would shake, move, crash down or other such fun and exciting things (especially for a child my son’s age). It was easy to move through the level and before long I decided to give my son the controller and let him take a crack at it. He laughed, he cheered and ultimately he played the level probably 20 times that week (as children often do with things they like).

Tuesday morning I go to pick him up from school and am met outside at the pick-up area by his teacher. First my thoughts turned to trouble, however today it was good news. Not only did my son master A-F, which they were working on at the time, in fact he could say the entire alphabet and associated words. The teachers were amazed and asked what I had done. When I told them it was a videogame they looked as astounded as they did incredulous. All they’d heard about was the violence of games, never the merits of them. My son is now 6 and doing smashingly in school with his academics and is progressing to be quite the story teller. In fact, I believe we are almost ready to make our very first LBP level together soon.

Thank you Media Molecule and PlayStation for not only making such a game that would be able to help my son with a good start, but for making a game that extols the virtues of creativity and ignites a passion for it in gamers young and old.

Thanks for writing in MailOrderNinja!

Next week we want to hear more general stories about the PlayStation brand. Click here to submit your story.

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