Choosing Good Video Games for Your Kids
- Think about your children's interests when looking for games. Are they interested in sports, fantasy, or strategy-style games?
- Talk to other parents for advice and suggestions of good games.
- Find games that have the appropriate Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating for your child's age. But be aware that even games with the seemingly benign "Everyone" rating can still contain a great deal of violence.
- Look for games that are challenging and exciting without being violent. Video game manufacturers create violent games to satisfy children's need to feel powerful and in control. Try to find games that offer kids thrills and the chance to experience control in a non-violent way.
- Find games that require strategy and problem-solving skills. If they have an educational component, that's a bonus.
- When choosing games for girls, look for ones that have strong, non-stereotypical female characters.
- Video games are expensive, so make sure the game has good play value before you buy. Talk to other parents, read gaming magazines, and check out some of the great game review sites for parents on the Web. If possible, try the game first by borrowing or renting it. Ask for an in-store demo and make sure you can return the game if you are not satisfied with the content.
- Look for games that involve two players, to encourage cooperative play and to make game-playing a social activity.
© 2006 Media Awareness Network, www.media-awareness.ca, reproduced with permission.