Perfect game for modern warfare.
Now I'll tell you, I'm a fan of WWII shooters (Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, Call of Duty 3, and Battlefield 1942 are just a few). However, when it comes to making modern warfare shooters fun, Battlefield 2 is the best. This game has high intensity firefights that remain bloodless (a plus for parents), has an incredible AI that is pretty much as good as any human opponent that you will face, and, with artillary fire, you better watch out when you hear squeaking. You also can pull off incredible stunts that I have seen people on videos do, and they look awsome. I like sniping on a building and then have to make a dramatic jump when I hear artillery coming in. This game is one of the best on the PC.
Violence isn't much of an issue as already mentioned. The most offensive part is if a person gets caught next to an explosion, they will go flying in the air. As far as knife fights go, when a person gets hit in the neck a puff of smoke comes out (much better than the usual head falling off).
Unlike most shooters, Battlefield games do not have bad language, and you can play this feeling safe about that, although some online servers allow profanity, but some will kick you off if you use it if it is anything like BF 1942 (you do need to buy something to allow you to play single-player online so you can play multiplayer when you reach a high enough level).
The way people act is incredible. Medics come to your aid, people appologize for accidental team hits, and you will eventually do it just as well (teamwork, teamwork, teamwork. Something that games need and war games like MoH, CoD, and BF are perfect for that). However, I hear that online a lot only look out for themselves.
When it comes to the educational value, you can learn a lot about what war is like. You may want to talk to your children about how soldiers don't die as often, firefights are bloodier in real life, and you also don't have only sixty-four soldiers on the battlefield at max. It does include strategy, and your child will learn about modern day weapons of warfare. You also may want to tell them how this kind of violence is only justifiable in war predominantly.
When it comes down to it BF 2 is awsome. Another good game from the Battlefield series is Battlefield 1942 which is just as good, actually better than this, except it doesn't have as good of an AI (artificial intelligence for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about). If you have the system to run it (make sure you have an NVIDIA video card if you do meet the minimum video requirements) then buy this. Do note though that just because you have minimum requirements, doesn't mean every course will run well (on the stand alone, I found one course that didn't run perfectly). This is good for ages 10+ I would say.