Pixelkin Family Gaming Resource

by Valerie, Mom Knows It All

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This post is brought to you by Pixelkin. Please note that, as always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor or compensation received in any way.
Pixelkin
If you’re like many parents you may have one or more children that enjoys gaming. It’s hard not to be exposed to gaming when it’s all around us – gaming consoles, desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones coming to mind immediately. My youngest plays games on our iPod and iPad, on his Wii and on his DS. Truthfully I don’t really worry about how much time he spends gaming. If I see he’s been at it too much I either tell him to turn it off or I take it away. I worry far more about what it is he’s actually playing. I may tell my hubby I know everything but the reality is that I don’t. (Just don’t tell him that.) I don’t and can’t know everything. So what do I do when I want more information? I go online and research.
Pixelkin is an up and coming online community that covers the latest news, reviews, and developments in game – with a special focus on families. Whether you’re concerned about learning opportunities, exposure to violence, or screen time – or you’re just trying to keep up with your kids – Pixeklin is a helpful resource you can always turn to.
I checked out the site and liked what I saw. There were extremely in-depth game reviews. Now what I liked the most about these reviews is that they were factual and not judgmental. Different people have different standards. Pixelkin simply presents the facts about the games it’s community members reviews and leaves the decisions (and judgments) to you. Details found in reviews are numerous, including storyline, game background, changes in the game from previous versions, and possible objectionable content. That’s right – possible. The site leaves it for you, the parent, to decide what’s appropriate for your child and what isn’t. In one very popular graphic shoot em up game I found talking points, to encourage discussion with your child before/while/after you play the game together. And there’s much, much more, depending on the game and the reviewer. That’s not all Pixelkin has. Pixelkin also has lots of articles, lists, stories and tips.
Here is a brief article, courtesy of Pixelkin, on things to keep in mind when evaluating your child’s gaming habits.

Scenario: your kids are looking at screens, like, 24-7. You don’t think they’ve looked you in the eye in weeks. In fact, you’re starting to wonder whether they even remember what you look like. You’re worried they’re spending way too much time with their computers and consoles, and hey, let’s be honest—you miss your children!
This is new for families. In the past, we didn’t have this many devices and interfaces surrounding us all the time—there was the TV, sure, and in the more recent past, maybe a family computer—but that was it. Today we’ve got smartphones, handheld game consoles, tablets, laptops, and hey, the television hasn’t exactly disappeared either. So I know what you’re thinking: I how do you manage and balance screen time for your kids? How much screen time is too much?
Like everything requiring moderation, there isn’t a clear cut answer. What Pixelkin, an organization in Seattle dedicated to providing the latest news, reviews and developments in gaming – with a special focus on families – suggests:
1. Determine what the screen time is being used for.
What are they doing when they’re looking at the screen? Is it being used for learning, socializing, playing or relaxing? Screen time is something that we all use now for different purposes – many kids doing their homework online, will engage with friends far and wide through the computer or a video game, and use technology to play and relax (i.e. video games on the computer, phone or console). Once you have that information determine what is going to work best for your child and prioritize what type of screen time should come first and talk with your child about this balance.
2. Engage with them.
Use screen time and gaming as a way to connect with your child and build a stronger relationship. And, we’re not the only ones that do this – 59% of parents feel that gaming as a family brings them closer. So engage with your kids by playing a game together, Pixelkin has a library of game reviews to help you find the best ones.

How do you determine which games are acceptable for your child and how much time is enough?

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24 comments

Robin (Masshole Mommy) November 24, 2014 - 5:33 pm

My kids have some innocent 3DS games like Mario, etc, but on their tablets it’s all Minecraft!!

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Elizabeth @ Being MVP November 24, 2014 - 5:35 pm

My kids haven’t quite gotten into games seriously yet. However, I’m sure I will have to limit the time once the time comes.

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Tammi @ My Organized Chaos November 24, 2014 - 5:40 pm

Parenting can never be too careful so this is a great resource! My kids aren’t online that much at all, but I love reading up on the latest cause I’m sure we’ll be there soon!

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Daisy November 24, 2014 - 6:25 pm

My husband usually picks the games for our son. I’ll have to share this with him.

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Kelly Hutchinson November 24, 2014 - 6:36 pm

My son plays way too much video games and he plays some games that are a little above his level, but we are working on it.

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Sarah B November 24, 2014 - 6:59 pm

My daughter only plays her Princess Palace Pets game on my ipad, and that’s very rarely (like on a long flight, or if she needs to come with me to an appointment) She’s only 2 and a half so we haven’t reached the age of gaming yet, but this is a great resource!

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Liz Mays November 24, 2014 - 7:38 pm

I think it’s probably something that needs to be revisited frequently too. I’m one for really be careful on overdoing screen time when it comes to kids.

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Mama to 5 BLessings November 24, 2014 - 7:58 pm

My boys are video game junkies and it’s something I have to monitor because it can get out of hand. This definitely sounds like a great resource!

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Shauna November 24, 2014 - 8:11 pm

What great tips. My kids are allowed unlimited screen time on educational games and a bit of time on fun. IT seems to work with us.

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Emily @ Baby Dickey November 24, 2014 - 8:17 pm

Gaming with kids can be tough – this sounds really useful! My son is only 4 and although he does LOVE his games, I don’t really regulate time spend playing (yet). I watch what he’s playing because I have to be the one to buy or download them 😉 But goodness knows it will get harder. Thanks for sharing this!

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Amy November 24, 2014 - 8:25 pm

My kids play educational games like Abcs and one two threes. Pixelkin sounds like a great game.

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Melissa Pezza November 24, 2014 - 9:42 pm

Gaming totally brings the family together. It’s so much fun to laugh at each other while you play a game terribly. =D

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Dawn November 24, 2014 - 9:45 pm

I really never had a problem with my daughter playing games a lot. Therefor, I never really had to monitor it. I do know a few people who have had problems with their kids adapting mean behaviors due to their video games they were playing.

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Brandy November 24, 2014 - 9:53 pm

This is great, I monitor screen time around here because my 8 year old is a video game addict and with every addiction it isn’t something you can have in your life a lot, if at all. Great post, thanks for some tips!

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Shell November 24, 2014 - 10:58 pm

It is important for parents to be aware of what their kids are playing and doing online. Talking with them and being involved in their decisions makes that easy.

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Krista November 24, 2014 - 11:03 pm

My daughter is only allowed to play video games one day a week. The rest of her screen time is for educational purposes.

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Autumn November 25, 2014 - 6:25 am

My husband and I are still working on a mutual amount of time he should be on TV or a device. I like to limit while my husband is ok with unlimited amounts after homework. At 6, I think that’s a bad course of action, but this app might help us both!

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Nancy Lustri November 25, 2014 - 8:03 am

My son is 19 yo and monitors his own playing time. As long as he is doing well in school and at work, I let him decide. He probably plays an hr/day

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pat. marsden November 25, 2014 - 9:10 am

RESEARCH then go with my gut values.

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Ann Bacciaglia November 25, 2014 - 5:38 pm

When my kids were younger we would set a timer. The kids were only allowed online during that time. We had one computer and it was in the living room so we could always monitor what they were doing.

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Kristin Wheeler (@MamaLuvsBooks) November 25, 2014 - 11:15 pm

It’s so important to limit screen time. I agree!!! Connecting with kids is important. Even if it’s talking about what they enjoy most.

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Tiffany (A Mom's Take) November 26, 2014 - 12:21 pm

We don’t play that many games, just old board games and things like that. But my youngest has started getting into playing my old Nintendo and for her birthday she got a 3D3.

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Maria November 26, 2014 - 2:28 pm

Right now, my son is heavily into Minecraft. However, I do keep age restrictions on his tablet.

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Onica {MommyFactor| November 28, 2014 - 9:30 am

This site will become a great resource for gaming families. Right now my son’s games are family friendly but as he grows this will probably change.

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