A fast like
Visit any video game outlet and you’ll be sure to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of options available, especially if you’re new to gaming. Interestingly, children and teenagers seem to know these places as if they were their second home. But for adults, the typical video store feels like some kind of explosion of color, and sooner or later all games start to look the same. This guide is intended for the adult who purchases a game for a younger person, perhaps as a birthday gift or as a bribe. Whatever the reason, you will appreciate the following tips.
1. Study this strange phenomenon before setting foot in a video store. There is a lot of information about online video games available, so to reduce offline frustration, launch your web browser and do some homework. Visit the website of the nearest game store, then find a link to the games section of the system your child is using. Here is a helpful table to explain what all those weird letters mean.
Wii = Nintendo Wii System
EA Sports = Entertainment Arts System
PS3 = Playstation 3 system
XBOX 360 = Microsoft XBOX 360 system
PC = Personal Computer
PS2 = Playstation 2 system
PSP = Playstation Portable System
DS = Nintendo DS system
The key is to first locate the system on the store’s website. The system, its accessories, and any games that run on that system will follow. If not, you may need to use the website’s internal search engine.
2. Once you have located the appropriate play section for your child’s machine, review the ratings for each game and create a temporary shopping list with age-appropriate supplies. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) assigns each game a rating in an effort to inform parents what their children are playing. Here is a useful reference on what grades mean:
C = Suitable for early childhood
E = Suitable for everyone
E 10+ = Suitable for all ages from 10 years upwards
T = appropriate for teenagers
M = Suitable for mature adults
3. On your temporary shopping list, try to find a game created from the latest version of the movie. Little ones love the new animated films from Disney and Pixar and really enjoy reliving precious moments from the film in a video game. That’s why when these movies come out on DVD, their producers put some games in the “Special Features” section of the CDs.
4. If you can’t find a game from a movie that your child likes, try finding a game that focuses on a popular cartoon character or one you are trying to educate.
5. If you still can’t find one that looks like something you’ve heard this particular person talk about, give yourself a little pat on the hand first. You should pay more attention. Then point your browser to the nearest Blockbuster or Hollywood Video site. Follow the same procedure as described in steps 1-3, only this time you choose to rent 5 or 6 games that seem interesting. This will give your little one a chance to play some games and select one to stay forever while you give the others back.
6. If, on the other hand, you found a game in step 3 or 4, you can review it online or go to the store and buy it there.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but the illustrations on the video game and PC game cases do a good job of representing the game’s content. So if you see an illustration of warriors fighting, the game is probably more violent than you prefer. If, on the other hand, you see an illustration that looks like what you would see on the cover of an interesting children’s book, the game should be age appropriate.