Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Parental Involvement

This is going to end up being a double-post day for me, a rarity indeed! Gaming is one of my passions, and I really enjoy watching my kids spend time enjoying a pastime I love. With that in mind, it's difficult to find games that I find appropriate for a 4, 5 and 8 year old to really enjoy. Our oldest, since she can read, is easier to find games for, but they are all a challenge. I mean, do I really want to see my daughters in Halo 3 deathmatches?

While it was (and still is) humorous to watch our kids playing the demo of "Virtua Fighter 5" on our 360, we actively try to make sure that they are playing age-appropriate games. I do admit though, watching our youngest play "boxing" and actually do a pretty good job in VF5 is interesting... but I digress.

There are many games out there that are not for a younger audience anymore. The days of mostly "innocent" games have long been gone (although a topic for a later day will be how much I appreciate the classics returning, even if I have to pay for them again). Outside of a couple of games on the Live Arcade service for the 360, my kids haven't had a collection of xbox games that I feel comfortable to play. I spent time looking at review sites, but they focus on the "Halo 3's" of the community much more than the "Dora the Explorer"s. And even though it may be a kid friendly theme, most of the "Everyone" games end up being poorly done because they know parents will end up blindly getting it because it has a popular kid's show on it. So you plunk down $50 for a game they don't enjoy, and don't play.. and then go out and get them a game that's not really appropriate because it's what they want to play and you know nothing about it...

Then there's a site called What they Play (http://www.whattheyplay.com). This is a site dedicated to being a resource for parents to help them make good decisions about games for their kids. It's still new on the scene, but I have really high hopes that a community will grow around the seed they've planted, and good quality of parental reviews will prosper and help both gaming and non-gaming parents to get involved with their kids on what games they play, and maybe even join in on some fun!

1 comment:

Christy said...

That site is fantastically awesome. I'm looking forward to them including the downloadable games, as well.
If you haven't looked at their gaming glossary yet, do so... it is hilarious!!