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Gaming for Family Fun

How to find the right games for kids

Gaming for Family Fun

Many people enjoy a wide range of video games that span sports, science fiction, crime and horror. Still, just because your nineteen-year-old loves Call of Duty: Black Ops or Red Dead Redemption, doesn’t mean that your seven-year-old should be playing it. How do you keep your younger ones from feeling left out? Are there ways the whole family can make gaming a fun, family bonding time? Absolutely.

Choosing the Right Console

You’re probably familiar with Microsoft’s Xbox360, the Nintendo Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 as the leaders in console gaming, but do you know which one is right for you? Choosing the games that you think are family friendly is a good place to start, but keep in mind that store shelves aren’t necessarily where all the games are. Each of the three major console choices offer a large library of downloadable games, some free of charge, and each has a motion-sensor capability for putting more exercise into gaming.

The Games

Talk to your kids about their interests. You probably know who likes hockey and who likes tennis, but dig a little deeper and you might find that strategy games, puzzle games or singing and dancing are the way to go. Don’t be afraid to pick games you’ll like too—getting the whole family together is a great way to play.  Try to buy games that can be played with a minimum of two players. This encourages more interaction with other family members.

As far as appropriately-themed games for different age groups is concerned, start with the ESRB rating but keep in mind that even games rated “E for Everyone”, a family rating, sometimes contain violence and fighting.

Set Limits

Most kids will happily play video games unchecked for hours. It’s important to set a schedule that makes sure schoolwork isn’t affected and that they’re getting exercise, too. If you do decide to make family play a part of your kids’ gaming schedule, make that an extra event that happens outside of their regular gaming allowance. That way, the older ones who might need to be coaxed a bit to play along with the younger ones won’t feel like their valuable virtual alien hunting time is being taken away.

Thousands of Choices

Games are supposed to be fun, and with the thousands of choices out there, there’s sure to be something your whole family will enjoy. If your kids are asking for certain games to play, check out their ESRB rating and read about them at Edutaining Kids, a good resource for kids and media. Also, remember, games can get pricey, so ask questions to make sure the game is a good choice for your family.

 
 
 
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