Please know what games your children play.

I can’t begin to tell you (or, more literally, write about) how many times I’ve encountered a parent who “doesn’t really know what their kids play,” even though in most cases they’re the one who’s bought the game for them. Most of the oversight is because they’re too busy working, so they buy whatever game their kid asks for, so I can kind of see why this happens… even though I wish that wouldn’t. I wish that more parents could, or would, take the time out to do at least a little bit more research into the games that their children own, especially the ones that they are actively playing, particularly the ones that involve online play — I’ve actually surprised parents by telling them that online play is not rated as interactions can not be controlled, only punished after the fact if someone breaks a rule in an online game, is reported, and is actually punished for breaking that rule. They seemed to think that online play was encompassed by the game’s ESRB rating.

Good things to do to get a feel for games for your child:
· check out the ESRB rating, of course, as this gives you a general idea
· Google the game and read the summary, as this helps even better
(as you can get a feel for whether or not a game is appropriate for your child if you have not bought it yet)
· read the back of the game if your child already owns it for a synopsis
· Go to Amazon and read the reviews for the game (this is where you’ll find the most honest assessments)
· ask gamer friends if you have any for critiques on the game
· know which games require online interaction and Google how that tends to go

Hopefully some of these tips can help, as not many of them take a whole lot of time!

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