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Video Game Tips for Parents

Today’s Topic: Video Games are for Kids

By
Cherylyn Feierabend,
Episode #030
Hey there!  You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some Quick and Dirty Tips for Practical Parenting. Today’s Topic: Video Games are for Kids

Video Gaming Tips for Parents

The first video game console I remember playing as a child is the Atari 2600. It plugged into the television and the only control needed to play was a joystick with one button. I suppose there was some benefit to learning hand-eye coordination in this way, but the games themselves were pretty simple. You’d move your character up, down, left, or right and sometimes shoot at something or jump using the single button. Video games have certainly come a long way since then. There are even video games geared toward younger children. There are games for computers as well as the many different consoles available today. Parents definitely have some challenges ahead of them when it comes to this form of entertainment.

Both my husband and I are video game enthusiasts. We played many video games prior to having children. It’s no surprise that our children share our passion for this type of entertainment. It makes sense that if Daddy is having fun doing that, it must be fun for the kids too. As a parent, you will decide at what age your child will be allowed to do certain activities. You may not have video games in your home and your children will be none the wiser for a while. If you are seen playing video games, your children are probably already asking you to pass over the controls.

I personally do not have any reason to tell someone that they should not let their child play video games. Video games are a very prevalent form of entertainment in today’s society and it would be a challenge for any parent to avoid them completely. I think it’s more important to make good choices regarding what to let your children play as well as how much time you allow them to play.

Children do not all mature at equal rates; therefore, it’s impossible to put all kids in one age group where video gaming becomes acceptable. There is a ratings system for video games, however, which may be helpful in determining which games are appropriate for your child. You can find more detailed information about these ratings at www.esrb.org. These ratings can be found on the front of virtually every video game box available in the United States and Canada.
  • EC is an Early Childhood rating. These games have content that may be suitable for ages three and older and should not contain any form of inappropriate material.
  • The letter rating E stands for everyone. These games have content that may be suitable for ages six and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and infrequent use of mild language.
  • Games rated E10+ may be suitable for everyone age 10 and older. These games may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and minimal suggestive themes.
  • Games rated T are for teens and have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and infrequent use of strong language.
  • Titles that are rated M are Mature and titles rated Ao are considered Adults only. These titles are not for children and contain content specifically designed for adults over the age of 17.

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About the Author

Cherylyn Feierabend
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