4 secrets to buying family-friendly video games

March 7, 2015

While video games and parents sometimes have an adversarial relationship, applying a few basic rules for reasonable use creates a win-win situation.

4 secrets to buying family-friendly video games

1. Take part

The simplest and best way to build a healthier relationship with your children and their video games is to play with them.

  • Playing video games with your kids involves you in their lives by spending quality time and having fun together.
  • Ultimately, it’s better to make your peace and integrate video games in a positive way rather than going to war with your children over them.

2. Educate yourself

Learn about the hottest new games by consulting consumer and advocacy websites.

  • Watching demonstration videos will give you a good idea of what the game is about and its level of difficulty.
  • When buying video games in store, read all the information on the box, including the number of players, the nature and level of interaction and the goal of the game.

3. Check ratings

Before choosing a video game for the family, check the ESRB rating (Entertainment Software Rating Board) to know the appropriate age category.

  • The rating is not an indication of the degree of difficulty but act as an advisory on content, which may be deemed too mature for some players, such as violence, sexuality, nudity, coarse language and explicit images.
  • Pay attention to parental advisory labels on video games. They indicate content that may warrant parental guidance, or material that may be considered inappropriate for children under a certain age.

4. Consider renting first

Before buying (sometimes pricey) video games, rent them first or buy them used.

  • Selling your old games is an excellent way to save money and help bankroll future purchases.

These simple tips can help you be more involved in the video games your kids play, and that can ultimately mean spending more time together as a family.

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