To know parents tell it, the perfect video game is educational, provides small life lessons, firms hand eye coordination, and keeps your kids entertained for roughly thirty minutes at a time. Listening to kids, however, it would appear that educational qualities rank far below the wants for speed, action, rad moves, betroad casino and great tools. It is hard to think that there are games which fulfill the requirements expected by both parents and kids.
Parents should always make the time to play the games alongside their kids; the only problem with using this approach to picking video games is the fact that the game has already been in the house and the money spent. Opened games are rarely returnable and once they are in the house and their hot little hands, kids will not ignore games without a lot of reasoning, whining, and upset. Thus, making an informed decision prior to bringing the games home is a must!
Now how does a parent go about picking out a video game for the children to play? Reading the trunk of the cover is unlikely to provide a lot of information whereas the buzz on the internet can be so forbiddingly filled with insider lingo that it is hard to discern if the game is suitable, too chaotic, or perhaps even contains content that is objectionable.
At the same time, simply because a game is very popular and the evening news shows long lines of consumers waiting beyond the stores for them to go on sale, does not mean that it gives the kind of action the parent wants to invite into the home. Fortunately, there are five points to picking video games both parents and their kids will like. These steps are not complicated, require a minimum of effort, and are rather reliable.
- Check the ESRB Rating
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) developed a rating system that ranks game content according to age appropriateness. The ratings are “EC, inch “E, inch “E 10+, inch “T, inch “M, inch “AO, inch and “RP. inch
Games designated with an “EC” are educational and fun for young children and young grade-schoolers. An “E” notes that the games are appropriate for all players, and while young children might have more of a learning blackberry curve to get the game-play right, there is no objectionable content. Look out for games rated with an “E 10+” since these games are earmarked for kids more than 10. Some mild language is usually incorporated into the game.
A game rated “T” is earmarked for teens, and parents should be aware of that physical violence, sexual innuendo, part nudity, and also problem words are par for the course. “M” for mature indicates games for those over the age of teen and the blood, guts, gore, and sex are legendary in these games. Upping the bet are games marked “AO” or adults only, as they are “M” squared. An “RP” rating simply means that a rating is pending, and parents should hesitate on buying the game prior to the rating has been apportioned.
- See the ESRB Content Descriptors
Since young children and grade-schoolers cannot simply be pigeonholed into age brackets, but should be much further differentiated by their maturation levels, parents will be wise to see the ESRB content descriptions on the backs of the video game packets. They list potentially objectionable content.
For example, “animated blood” refers to purple, green, or other kinds of unrealistic blood that may be shown during action, while a listing of “blood” is an indicator that realistically represented blood is the main action. Children highly sensitive to blood may not enjoy playing these games, even if they are rated for their age brackets.
- Understand the Varieties When Shopping for Older Kids
Parents who have braved age appropriate ratings, and also made it through reading the descriptions may now be stumped by a further classification: the kind of game-play their kids may expect.
Older kids may like “FPS” (First Person Shooter) games that put them into the action from a first person perspective, rather than seeing the smoothness they are controlling doing those things — which is the case in “TPS” (Third Person Shooter) games. In addition, some games are classified by the kinds of content that provides the storyline, such as vehicle simulation games, strategy games, or sports and challenge games.
Present shooter games are the most chaotic while strategy games are maybe the most educational. Challenge games require strategic thinking but do not offer a lot of action moves that appeal to teens.
- Go to the Game Platform Manufacturer Website
Parents may go to the website for the gadget that will ultimately allow the kids to play the video games. This might be the website for Ps3, GameCube, Nintendo, Xbox, and a host of sub-platforms. The companies list the video games generated for them, their ratings, and more often than not also post trailers, screen shots, and brief outlines of the actual game itself.
Although such a website does not offer an in depth and fair analysis of the game, it is a rather useful tool when getting a good feel about action and content and never having to rely solely on a rating, the trunk of a package, or the marketing efforts.
- Check with Organizations That offer Independent Game Evaluations
There are various organizations that are not tied in with the video game industry and still offer advice to parents. Some groups focus on the educational aspects while others are faith based and review the games from this angle. Find a group that meets your personal criteria and look at the reviews on various games you are looking for for your kids.
One of the most well known groups is the Entertainment Consumers Association that provides insight into the industry as well as the games. Parents who want more descriptive information about the games they are considering will do well to visit the discussion boards and websites of such groups and study from other parents whoever kids might already be playing these games.
Since these are interactive discussion boards, parents have the unique capacity to actually ask questions of other parents, and if there is a particular concern about a game, this is the venue where you might get more information.
If All else Fails
Of course, if all else fails, there is the old fallback on the classic games and characters. Crash Bandicoot, Mario, Spyro, and Pokémon are game characters which have been around for a while and in a host of incarnations. Even as the educational value of some of these games is controversial, they do offer rip-roaring fun, rad moves, and most certainly the entertainment value your kids appreciate most. At the same time, they eschew strong language, nudity, and very revealing physical violence parents object to.
Parents in a time recession or those who simply cannot find a game that meets their standards will often find a winner in these makes. Moreover, since they are part and parcel of a popular series, parents and kids can make the buying decisions together. For example, the popular Mario games offer offshoots like “Luigi’s Mansion” that provides the query of a haunted house, while other offshoots are cart racing games.
Different action — yet the same reassuring characters and the same level of appropriateness — make this a premier chance of parents and children to decide on the game play your kids would like to try out, while staying away from potentially objectionable games that offer similar action.