Watch Kids' Reviews of
GAMING & LIFE

What to know: A moving story that touches you deeply.
GAMING & LIFE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
13 minutes
VIDEO
STEPHANIE SOTO
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GAMING & LIFE cover image
Gaming and Life is a moving story that touched my heart is its short 12 minutes. From the onset, I enjoyed seeing the characters portrayed by an adorable African American family at Christmas. As the film progresses so do the conflicts. One being the issue of managing an 11-year-old's video game hours; the other, a deeper and sadder issue about the cancer diagnosis his mother receives. Despite the sad ending, I enjoyed this short very much.

The story follows Tristan, the youngest boy of a family of four, who receives a new video game from Santa and is super happy about it. But his obsession with video gaming generates a conflict with his parents. That is, until his mother becomes ill and he is left with nothing but his gaming to deal with his loss.

The acting is consistently smooth and authentic. I especially like the father/son dynamics, which are balances, loving, character-building and emotionally supportive. The plot moves quickly from typical day to day family dynamics, to the tragic loss of the mother. The directorial influence ties the emotional threads together along with the help of thoughtful background music. There are a couple of editing problems; for example a TV screen shot that is used for transitions restarts itself in the middle of the transition and a fade jerks an image in another. Otherwise, this short film is beautifully shot and posted.

The point is well made that people are really the most important priority in our lives and there are no substitutes for caring and loving friends and family.

I give Gaming and Life 4 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!

Gaming and Life is a moving story that touched my heart is its short 12 minutes. From the onset, I enjoyed seeing the characters portrayed by an adorable African American family at Christmas. As the film progresses so do the conflicts. One being the issue of managing an 11-year-old's video game hours; the other, a deeper and sadder issue about the cancer diagnosis his mother receives. Despite the sad ending, I enjoyed this short very much.

The story follows Tristan, the youngest boy of a family of four, who receives a new video game from Santa and is super happy about it. But his obsession with video gaming generates a conflict with his parents. That is, until his mother becomes ill and he is left with nothing but his gaming to deal with his loss.

The acting is consistently smooth and authentic. I especially like the father/son dynamics, which are balances, loving, character-building and emotionally supportive. The plot moves quickly from typical day to day family dynamics, to the tragic loss of the mother. The directorial influence ties the emotional threads together along with the help of thoughtful background music. There are a couple of editing problems; for example a TV screen shot that is used for transitions restarts itself in the middle of the transition and a fade jerks an image in another. Otherwise, this short film is beautifully shot and posted.

The point is well made that people are really the most important priority in our lives and there are no substitutes for caring and loving friends and family.

I give Gaming and Life 4 out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Reviewed by Nancy K., KIDS FIRST!

A young boy from Charlotte, NC discovers the difference between playing video games and dealing with "real life" turmoil when a family member becomes ill.
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