Video Games Today. Grand Theft What?

Jan 23, 2009

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As a video game enthusiast I often find myself looking out for and playing the latest video games.  Yes, I played with Atari, ‘Old-School Nintendo’, and of course the modern gaming systems like Xbox, Wii and PS3.  I am often asked by parents if a specific game is appropriate for their kids or if it’s something they can play and enjoy as a family.  My candid response is usually, “Do you know what ESRB or PEGI is?  I continue to explain that almost all games are rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board ( ESRB ) or for my European friends the Pan European Game Information (PEGI).  These ratings are usually coupled with information about the game's content.

Learn more about ESRB
Learn more about PEGI

 So, if you haven’t followed the links above to learn more about ESRB and PEGI, you should do that now…I’ll wait…  Now that you’ve done that, I wanted to provide a few tips and suggestions for parents that didn’t spend 12 hours a day playing video games as a kid; it may even help for those that did.  Kids are resourceful, they will get their hands on the games that you don’t want them to play and they will play them all day while you’re at work and all night when you’re sleeping.     

Whether it’s a PC game, Xbox game, Wii game, or PlayStation game, you should know that you can actually limit how often they play, and control the types of games your kids play on these systems.  Aside from good parenting, many of these video game consoles (Xbox, PS3, Wii) have built-in parental controls you can use.  That's usually the hard part, you just have to try and figure out how to use them.  See the links below for more info on those. But the good news is for PC Games you only need to install parental control software.  Coincidentally, Net Nanny 6.0 now gives parents the ability to manage the types of PC Games your kids can play.   So you should be set!  Now you just have to figure out what to do when Johnny goes over to Billy’s house.  

Here are those links I promised:
Xbox 360 Parental controls
PlayStation 3 Parental controls 
Nintendo Wii Parental controls