What your kids are playing...

I am getting to the age where I now know a lot more parents, some of them are fellow gamers, others have never picked up a controller in their life. In a world where video games are out selling most blockbuster movies and more and more game consoles coming to homes there might be a few of you with concerns.

Maybe you read something in the news about how video games are destroying the very fabric of family values or some shit like that. Well they aren't, those families were doomed from the start.

It is so simple to find a game, or new console, that is right for your family. Whether you have young kids or teens who you are still trying to shelter from certain things(good luck, they have the internets) there are things you can do to ensure they are playing the right games.

The gaming industry has the same restriction as movies. They have rules, regulations and standards to follow. The ESRB, Entertainment Software Rating Board, is the rating board of the video game world. With ratings ranging from EC (early childhood) - AO (adult only) and every age in between.

You can find them here;
And they have a parent resource page here;

It is as easy as looking at the back of the box to see if it is appropriate for your child. In an instant you can see the age range and what kind of mature content is in the game. From comic violence to nudity to drug references.

On top of that the 3 major names have their own company standards;
Nintendo, being geared mainly to the younger crowd with it's Disney inspired games and family friendly classics like Mario and Zelda.
Microsoft would be the most rounded of the companies. They don't support any AO rated games and the Kinect has lots of kid friendly games like Kinectimals and the new Disney Adventures game. While still catering to the hardcore gamer with shooters and RPGs.
Sony is more geared to the older crowd, with more gritty and dark themes games.

Even with just that basic knowledge of video games ratings you can find the game that is right for your children and family. Be it sitting on the couch watching your child play with their virtual pet tiger in Kinectimals or running around a fully represented Disneyland park in the new Disney Adventures to stopping the alien invasion in Resistance there is a game for everyone.

It also helps to know someone like me, any gamer would love to answer any questions someone might have about this great form of entertainment. Feel free to post any questions you might have.

Steve, the Lazy Gamer.