A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a pro-gaming site where parents, teachers, and kids can find out about the latest educational computer and game system games. Besides watching the game "trailers" to preview the games, kids can download the games or be sent off to an outside site to buy them. Users can leave comments of games -- most of which are completely family-friendly and helpful.
What's it about?
The ratings and reviews at SUPERSMARTGAMES.COM offer explanations of the latest educational computer-based and gaming systems games, links to sites where the games can be purchased, and professional and player reviews. The site alerts users to whether a game can be played or downloaded for a free trial, and gives links to each site's homepage or other online stores to buy it.
Is it any good?
The well-organized categories allow you to search by subject matter, player age, or gaming system. One drawback: The site is so pro-gaming (need I say more than point to the article on gaming nuns?) that users need to keep a critical eye, or you could walk away from SuperSmartGames.com believing that it's not just OK, but even beneficial, to play on your PlayStation for 8 hours a day.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how to assess the helpful and fun sides of screen-based educational games with other forms of learning. Also, discuss how to judge whether a Web site is providing balanced information about an issue (in this case, the educational benefits or hazards of computer gaming for kids) or if it's pushing one viewpoint.