Tips for Parents of Gamers

Play with your kids; look beyond ESRB ratings
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 4:00 PM CDT
A screenshot from Bungie's "Halo 3."   (AP Photo/Bungie)
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(Newser) – Video games can present a real challenge to parents—banning them from the household is too harsh, but allowing children to play without restrictions can lead to unhealthy consequences. Ars Technica compiles seven pointers:

  1. Remember that it’s like any other parenting challenge. The easiest way to discern gaming’s positive and negative aspects is to maintain an open dialogue with your child.
  2. Play games with your children. This allows you to see for yourself what your kid is actually up to when he/she powers up the console.

  1. Look beyond ratings. Consider two games: Halo 3 and Wolverine. Both have the same rating—Mature—but Halo is firmly in the Star Wars school of de-gored action while Wolverine is an anatomically faithful, non-stop decapitation fest.
  2. Set limits. Like any other pastime, gaming can detract from homework, chores, and socialization.
  3. Be wary of online play. The danger on services like Xbox Live is not online predators, but the culture of anti-social behavior and hate speech indulged in by other kids.
Click the link for the full list.