What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this well-organized console hub is a popular site for gaming fans. Some of the games, including Metal Gear Solid 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV, are featured with screen shots and video that has some stuff that isn't so great for kids and younger teens. There's a whole host of characters behaving badly in some games. Fortunately, the ESRB ratings are listed and can help parents make smart choices of what to get for their kids, but that won't prevent much: The very weak safeguard that kids need to view more violent content is simply to enter their date of birth; this clearly won't prevent kids who want to see the more violent game clips from doing so.
What's it about?
PLAYSTATION.COM is a complete main site for all things PlayStation. Teens and parents can listen to audio, as well as view video and screen shots of games before they choose to buy them. That said, this isn't a site for young video game fans as they can easily view some very violent -- even nightmare-inducing -- adult content by simply entering a date-of-birth to see the more mature game clips. The site is mainly to promote the games available for PlayStation. It keeps owners up to date on product launches and other events, sells products, and hosts an active blog where video game fans can \"talk\" to some game creators and dig into the more technical aspects of gaming.
Is it any good?
This site is good because it shows parents the broad range of video games that kids have to choose from -- from tennis pro Top Spin 3 to crime-laden GTA IV and everything in between -- and it illustrates how important it is to check out what your kids want to buy. PlayStation does a good job of highlighting ESRB ratings and in giving a realistic picture of what players are going to experience if they choose to buy a game. Many of these games are high-quality productions, even the ones with the extreme levels of violence. Viewing the video clips on this site that show just how well created and engaging these games are may help parents see kids' attraction to them -- as well as some of their dangers or benefits, depending on the game.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about ESRB ratings. This site offers the perfect opportunity for parents to sit down with their gaming fans and view some of this content together before deciding to buy a game. Discuss the usefulness of ESRB ratings and why they're important to healthy media consumption. But even ESRB ratings need to be double-checked.