The Top Electronic Fun Trends For 2011

The electronic fun of the '80's is the grandpappy to the Top Fun Electronic Stuff of 2011. To the details and the fun!

After watching TRON Legacy in IMAX 3D last week, I personally took credit for the 80's generation influence on such a good Disney flick and video gaming in general. I told my son how we had created the first cutting-edge TRON movie 30 years ago. I started reminiscing about my classic Tandy hand-held electronic football game, my friend's Atari and endless pockets of quarters I spent at the arcade. Yep, because of me and my 80's peeps, my son was getting to enjoy TRON in IMAX 3D, Madden 11 and Microsoft's Kinect.

Of course, he got back to me after renting the original TRON, very unappreciative of the efforts my people had put into the cinematography, and vowing to never watch another 80's movie again. I'm actually thinking of taking back his Samsung Epic 4G smart phone I got him for Christmas and exchanging it for a canister of Lincoln Logs. Doesn't he understand what a pioneer is? I had just as much fun (and frustration) playing Space Invaders and Asteroids as he does playing Halo: Reach and StarCraft. Yes, we were the pioneers of electronic fun, and luckily, I get to be a part of the latest electronic fun trends for 2011.

Experience Microsoft Kinect. When Nintendo introduced Wii, the first motion control gaming system, it created a whole new world of family gaming...and exercise. I'm not sure that a Wii Sports or Wii Fit workout will put the local fitness club out of business, but Wii was an industry changer. So Microsoft thought they would do one better: the Kinect – a motion control gaming system with no wands, sticks or remotes. Take it from Microsoft's tag line: "you are the controller."

Kinect has found a new way to use voice and gesture to control the world of gaming (and even movies downloaded through the Xbox's Zune channel). The first games to hit the shelves are a little light on the voice and more focused on full-body motion – and damn, I gotta get in shape. My first Kinect experience included Kinect Adventures and Dance Central (I have erased all evidence of me actually dancing in front of a 60" flat-screen). Dance Central is a must buy for any tweeners, teenagers or anyone who wants to be laughed at by tweeners and teenagers. My favorite Kinect Adventures activity is the rafting game – better played with a friend, as you lean and jump in the raft while collecting icons. This is the perfect game for Fish.

More 3D in 2011 Remember when the first Blu-ray players were introduced in 2006? Remember how few Blu-ray DVD titles were actually available? Remember the flood of 1080p flat-screens that hit the market? After what was considered the 3D in-home launch in 2010, look for more 3D TVs, 3D Blu-ray players, and even designer 3D glasses in 2011. But most of all, look for more 3D content, because that's the big hole in 3D.

Avatar was the eye-opening blockbuster that showed us the real possibilities of 3D. And while there are a string of animated DVDs that would make for a fun 3D movie night at home, there aren't too many films on the 3D must-see list. Yet. Hollywood studios and television networks will look to build upon 2010, and we will see more movies, more science and nature programming and definitely more sports broadcasts in 3D. More soccer, more hockey, more football and maybe even some Mike Fisher on FS Southwest for your 3D viewing pleasure.

Multi-Player Game Rooms . Multi-player video games create the most interactive and competitive gaming experiences. While most gamers can be found on-line playing Call of Duty or Halo in multi-player format, they dream of an in-home game room with multiple screens and consoles networked together. Game Havens has entered the gamers' dream world, becoming the architect of multi-player game rooms and the Game Havens Game Wall.

The Game Havens Game Wall is a uniquely designed wall in any game room, playroom, media room or kids room, consisting of two flat-screen TVs (40" or bigger) with in-wall swing-arm mounts. In-wall subwoofers and speakers are installed at each gaming station for audio impact. Built-in compartments for gaming consoles, Kinect and Wii sensors, controllers and games create a very clean look with no need for a bulky cabinet or ugly TV stand. Special gaming ports with network and link connections provide cable management and allow screens to be linked together or play online. Don't forget the wireless headphones for late night melees when everyone else is sleeping.

Stay tuned to news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week. The Game Havens Allep-oop! will be your technology insider for the latest in 3D, gaming, digital tablets, gizmos and gadgets. In the meanwhile, I'm going to see if someone made Asteroids for my smartphone and pick up a canister of Lincoln Logs.

Got questions, needs, problems requiring solutions? For more information or tips to updating and upgrading your family room audio-video, check out Game Havens or contact me, David Teel, at or on my cell at (214) 636-1984.

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