How To Choose Video Games For Your Family

by Valerie, Mom Knows It All

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Video games are a favorite hobby for people of all ages, especially kids. Here are some tips on how to choose video games for your family.

How To Choose Video Games For Your Family

How To Choose Video Games For Your Family

Video games are a favorite hobby and form of relaxation for people of all ages, especially kids. But how do you choose the right ones for your family? After all, today’s video games are very different from classics like Pac-Man and Asteroid. Today there are many types of video games, including action/adventure, casual, driving, first-person shooter, Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), platform, puzzle, role playing, simulation, strategy, and sports.

Here are some tips to help you choose video games for your family.

Choose games that work with the video game console you have. Not all games are available for all consoles. If you don’t already have a video game console, check out my post on choosing the right video game console.

Consider your child’s personality and abilities. Nobody knows your child better than you do; consider that knowledge when selecting computer and video games.

Video games are rated for their level of violence and are designated for different age levels as well. The rating symbol on the front of the package indicates age appropriateness, and the description and images on the back should provide additional information about game content that may be of interest or concern. Do more than read the box. Check out game reviews, trailers, demos and videos of others playing online, which can provide additional detail about game content.

Learn about parental controls and don’t be afraid to use them if and when necessary. Newer video game consoles let parents limit the content their children can access. By activating parental controls, you can ensure that your kids play only games that carry ratings you deem appropriate.

Consider if your child will be playing alone or with others. Some games are only 1-player. Multiplayer games let two or more players play a game simultaneously, competing against each other or playing as a team to achieve a goal. Online games can be played with virtually anyone nywhere over the internet.

Exercise caution with online games. When played online, some games may contain live chat features or other user-generated content that may not be reflected in the packaging. Sometimes these games will carry the warning: “Game Experience May Change During Online Play.” Newer game consoles offer the ability to disable the online game play feature as part of parental control settings.

Monitor your child’s video game play, just as you would monitor the TV show, movies and websites they’re interested in.

Play video games with your children. This is a great way to have fun together, and also a good way to get to know which games your child finds interesting and exciting, and why.

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