As you probably know, we play a lot of video games in our family. My daughters are pretty young – only 4 and 6 years old. Because of this we need to really pay attention to video game ratings. We know that there are many benefits to gaming for kids and thanks to GameStop and UpNorthLive, we were given some great tips on age appropriate gaming. Sometimes my husband and I forget just how young they are while selecting video games as gifts for the girls.
It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are right around the corner (more and more evidence is popping up in red and green on grocery store shelves every day!). If you are anything like me, than you know that NOW is the best time to get ahead of the holiday rush and cross presents off the kids’ wish lists! Make sure you can get your hands on this year’s hottest toys and games before demand makes them impossible to find.
Almost every kid has a video game system, accessory or game on their list, but it’s important to be educated about what games are age-appropriate. Retailers like GameStop take game ratings very seriously and provide great information and recommendations on the best games and systems for every age group.
Rating system: “E” for everyone, “T” for teen and “M” for mature.
“We see parents come in the store with their kids all the time, often completely unaware of the content in the game they’re buying,” said Cherryland GameStop manager Leslie Wilson. “Parents will come up with their kids and buy that game and we always say, ‘are you aware this is ‘M’ for mature?‘” I can vouche for that because I have seen it at my local GameStop many times. I always appreciate that the employees want to make sure parents understand just what they are buying.
“Usually after I tell them a game is rated “M”, 75 or 80 percent say ‘oh, this isn’t what I want my child playing,” said GameStop Senior Guest Advisor Dylan Huey, who added that the games today can be quite graphic. “Especially with these new games, I feel like a lot of people are taken aback by it because it can get really realistic.”
Benefits of Gaming
Once educated, let the games begin! Once you’ve gotten the scoop on the best options for your kids, there are actually a lot of benefits of playing video games – with the right game. Video games help children learn problem-solving, math skills, and can foster self-confidence. 71 percent of parents believe playing video games helps children develop strategic thinking skills. I personally think that it helps my daughters with their hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. Education comes first before anything, especially growing up. I think this is something important to instil in kids at a young age. I’m more than happy to let my kids play other video games as they get older and even try and improve their skills through sites like Aiming.pro. But for now, allowing my kids to play these educational games is something I approve of, until they are old enough to make their own decisions.
Now, let’s talk bonding! Playing video games with your kids can improve and increase frequency of parent-child communication, because kids see you taking interest in the activities they enjoy. Honestly, some of our best family days are spent curled up on the couch playing video games together!
This holiday season, find the very best video games for your kids, remember the benefits, and make gaming gifts an experience the whole family can enjoy!
Speaking of age appropriate games – Super Mario Odyssey for Nintendo Switch hits stores on October 27th and will a great game for families! Enter to win a Super Mario Odyssey game prize pack from GameStop that will include the following:
Be sure to check out my other giveaways while you are here and GOOD LUCK!