Let me start off by saying that I’m writing this while experiencing the first stages of the Zombie virus (aka the Nerd Flu). So if any of this comes out sounding crazy, know that it’s because I’m high on meds. Staying on the topic of being high, you know sometimes it’s hard being a parent these days. Between sex, drugs, and rock and roll you never know what your children are exposed to. Then you add videogames on top of that and you’ll find the world to be a truly terrifying place (I know this because Fox News told me so). All kidding aside(lol pun), it can be hard to tell what games are appropriate for your children. Now since you’re reading this I know you’re probably already well informed but you may have friends that need some help. You may also have a child at a transition period in their childhood so I’ll try to give you some helpful pointers.
Now we all know that videogames make great gifts, but how do you know what game is both appropriate and enjoyable for them? Well to put it simply nobody knows your child better that themselves. Ask them. Who knows you may even find a game that you can play with them. However do not be fooled by the name of the game. Just because a game is named “Halo” doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your 10 year old.
Which brings me to my next point, do your research. You have the internet right? What am I thinking, of course you do you’re reading this. Anyway, go to Google and search the game you’re thinking about getting. Read several reviews of the game and make sure you check out the E.S.R.B. rating. Doing this should give you a good idea about the game but some of it may be a bit confusing.
If you are unsure about anything don’t be afraid to ask. You can always ask the person working the gaming section of the store that you’ve gone to. For the most part they are pretty knowledgeable. Another option is to email us here at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. We’ll give you an honest and accurate review and recommendation.
Now teenagers and preteens are a bit more tricky to figure out. They’re at a stage in their lives that they want to do more grown up things and that includes mature games. Now 99% of stores will require you to be a certain age(for most it’s 17) before they’ll let you purchase the game. So of course your child is going to ask you if you would buy it for them. The best way to determine if they are mature enough to lay the game is to have them sit down and talk to you about the game. Ask them: Why they want to play it? What makes it fun? And is it ok that you watch them play it after you get it? If they can’t talk about it with you in a grown up manor they’re not ready for a mature game. Even if all the game has is some blood and the use of the sh*t word, there are other elements to a mature game that you may not know. For example the online community for mature games use mature language. If you child doesn’t know any better they’ll start using the words. And let me tell you, when a 10 year old calls grandpa a “mother f*cking f*gg*t” Christmas is just never the same.
Now this is the real import one. It’s ok to say no. Seriously, you can say no and it won’t be the end of the world. Oh sure your child may throw a fit, but fits pass over time and if they’re throwing a fit then they’re obviously not ready. And hey they’ll either forget about it or have a meaningful revelation about the whole thing when they’re in college(it happened to me).
At the end of the day videogames are just that “games”. While games help us learn and improve our reaction time both physically and mentally, they are a privilege and not a right. And no matter what give your kids love. Even if you have to say no, just being there and showing that your child is important to you is better than anything else.
Editorial by Ninth Batter the author/creator of Nobody Like You.
Any opinions expressed in posts on Polygamerous are not necessarily the opinions of Polygamerous or the other Authors/Editors/Podcasters of Polygamerous.