Playing video games is just one of my husband's many hobbies. It is one that we occasionally do together (before I was pregnant, we used to have Wii Wednesdays where I would do my best to defeat him at bowling and tennis). But playing video games is not something I engage in as often as he would probably like. (Sorry, honey.)
With the exception of some classics (I will destroy you at Burger Time any day), I am not really a gamer. So, I will be looking to my husband for his guidance when our son gets interested in video games.
Granted, this is a long time from now, as our son's biggest venture into gaming consists of a few Sesame Street based games.
But there will come a time when I will need to rely on more than the ESRB label to determine if the content is right for my son. I will need to rely on a gamer. Thankfully, I have my husband.
Other parents are not so lucky. In this admittedly unscientific survey of parents, most participants were unable to name three games owned by their child, and far fewer were able to summarize the plot and goals of those games.
Of course, there are some handy tips to follow if you don't happen to be married to video game guru.
- Check out the ESRB on the box to make sure it is appropriate for your child. E is for Everyone, M is for mature. Details about the content continue under the main letter rating.
- Research the game your child wants to get some perspective on the plot. Common Sense Media has some great reviews about the most popular titles.
- Move the console to a family room so you'll be more apt to watch what your child is playing.
- Talk about the game with your child. Let him/her tell you the plot and the story line and find out why it is so engaging.
- Share your favorite games with your child. (I can't wait to teach my son how to master the art of Tetris.)
Tell me your favorite video game in the comments.