Arcade Games

Video Gaming: A Parent's Guide

There are legends about the negative impact of games on children. So, what to do if you notice that your child has started to get involved in video games?

Where to Begin?

If you want to support this hobby, start by choosing a gaming device that will match the age of a young gamer. For children, Nintendo's consoles, in particular, the DS series portable consoles, are best suited.

Nintendo has created a special application. With it, you can specify the time that the child is allowed to spend on games. For example, if you set the timer for an hour, during the passage, the console will show a notification that it is time to round off. If this is not enough, you can activate the option that will turn off the set-top box after the timer expires.

In addition, you can see what games your child has played, limit the launch of projects with a rating of 18+ or below, and also prohibit communication with strangers on the network. Similar features are also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Age Rating

Usually, the age rating is indicated on the box with the game or on the project page in a digital store. In European regions, they write understandable 18+, 16+, 6+, and so on, but sometimes, unknown E, AO, or M come across. Such markings are put by the ESRB rating commission, and each letter means certain restrictions:

  • EC (Early childhood)
  • E (Everyone)
  • E10+ (Everyone 10 and older)
  • T (Teen, 13 years and older)
  • M (Mature, from 17 years old)
  • AO (Adults Only 18+)

Each console allows you to set age limits and protect your child from inappropriate content.

If your child plays on a computer, it will be necessary to limit the use of the browser, blocking access to certain sites. You will also have to set a password to install programs. The easiest way is to buy a console and put ‘Parental Controls.’

Smartphones are also worth mentioning. Android has Family Link by Google. You can connect your child's account to your family account, controlling purchases of apps, music, movies, and books, as well as restricting content. On iOS, this feature is hidden in the ‘Screen Time’ settings. Parents can control iTunes purchases, block apps from running, and restrict Siri use.

Advice for Parents

Still, it is not enough just to seat the child before the game, occasionally controlling the process. Parents should take part in the child's hobby and even play on their own. At the same time, you need to explain to the young gamer when he or she spends too much time playing games and why it is not good.

Children are looking for a little independence in video games. At school and at home, they are constantly told what to do. Games, on the other hand, allow children to deal with difficulties on their own, becoming experts in their favorite hobby. Sometimes, it pays to give your child the opportunity to feel smarter and let them teach you.

In addition, video games can become more than a hobby. Designers, programmers, artists, screenwriters, and even engineers are in demand in the gaming industry.