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American kids, teens, and adults love playing video games. Long gone are the days of Frogger and Pong. Nowadays, video games are so complex and realistic, it can seem as if you're not even playing a game at all -- especially when it comes to sports games.

As of 2017, the value of the video game market across the United States was worth approximately $18.4 billion. Globally, as eSports grows in popularity and more countries (like the U.S.) welcome soccer  into their lives, the sports video game market will likely enjoy unprecedented success.

This Special Feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Lionsgate at Home...

They say that time flies when you're a parent, and that's something I never thought much about until we actually had kids. This summer marks two years of backyard movies at our house, or as I like to say it in the interest of sounding fancier: "The Backyard Cinema at Rock Father HQ proudly enters it's third season of screenings." If I was being ultra-cool with it, I'd go ahead and make a full schedule of films, but it's something that tends to happen on-the-fly. Pulling-off a backyard movie night is dependent on a few things, like our schedule, the availability of friends and neighbors to attend, weather, and just how badly the mosquitoes are biting. This week, we kicked-off our third summer of movies with Early Man, the latest film from Aardman, the award-winning tribe that brought you Wallace & GromitChicken Run, and Shaun the Sheep Movie. Complete with some special soccer balls that my friends at Lionsgate sent over (you may recall that I gave some away back in February when the film was in theaters), the backyard was set-up for fun as not only the first screening of the season, but the first on our new deck (which I still have to stain and finish furnishing). Would you believe that Early Man is sort of a sports film?

Published in Movies, TV and More

I know I've mentioned it before here on the site, but I know next to nothing about soccer - or the game most of the world calls "football" or "futbol." But, with the World Cup now wrapped, the folks at Major League Soccer sent me an email with a reminder that the 2014 MLS season is just at it's halfway mark, and with Mike Magee of the Chicago Fire Soccer Club it's reigning MVP, they put together a very Chicago-centric parody... of FERRIS BUELLER's DAY OFF. So, it's Chicago, and they asked nicely, so I'm sharing it with all of you. This is actually the second FERRIS parody I've shared this year, with the excellent BATDAD Bueller parody running back in January.

Published in Chicagoland

I know next to nothing about Soccer (aka "Football" pretty much everywhere except the U.S.), and I think that's because when I was growing up in the 1980s, no one around me played it. You pretty much played baseball or nothing, so when the whole soccer culture started rising in the U.S. and opened the door for the commonplace "soccer moms" of today, it became a very foreign thing to me - much like the currently in-progress World Cup. A lot of eyes are on Rio right now, and my oldest (almost five) has inquired about soccer (a coach lives on our street) and my youngest (2 today!) already says "soccer ball." But who is the world's leading producer of soccer balls? According to German toymaker PLAYMOBIL, they are - having manufactured over 11.6 million miniature soccer balls since 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup. It was that year that they introduced figures that can kick in honor of the Berlin games, and now they've got a whole line of cool, soccer-based sets for kids and parents to enjoy. Let's take a look at a selection from that line...