Choosing a Video Game System: Which One Is Best for Kids?

In the old days, choosing a video game system for children wasn’t all that hard. After all, parents didn’t have to worry about games carried by systems like Atari (there was nothing threatening about Pac-Man or Space Invaders). Today, however, with the proliferation of games with mature content available on games supported by the major system manufacturers, parents want to know which system carries the most kid-friendly games, ones that the young ones will enjoy and one that parents will not regret spending money on.

Let’s start with the Sony PlayStation 2, the best-selling game console on the market today. There are literally thousands of titles available for this system, which cater to every age range. There are approximately 600 games for the PS2 that have the “E” rating, meaning that it is suitable for players ages six and above. However, many of these games are too complicated for young children to play. Games that children ten years old and above can enjoy are rated E10+, while those that are rated EC (Early Childhood) are of course, suitable for the very young. The PS2 carries about a dozen E10+ games, including movie-based titles like Shrek Super Slam for PlayStation 2 and Chicken Little. EC titles that little ones can enjoy include Dora the Explorer: Journey to the Purple Planet, Eggo Mania and At the Races Presents Gallop Racer.

Nintendo’s GameCube console continues to be popular because it carries titles that are popular with children. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) lists 263 video game titles rated E for the GameCube, and these include some of the most popular and beloved among the children of today and years past, such as Sega’s Sonic GEMS Collection, Nintendo’s own Mario Party 6 and Mario Tennis. The Legend of Zelda series and several Pokemon titles are available exclusively on the GameCube as well.

Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox 360 video game consoles likewise have many, many titles that are rated E; the Xbox with approximately 270 games and the Xbox 360 with so far about a dozen — but count on the number of Xbox 360 titles to increase since it’s a new release. Some games published by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox and the Xbox 360 and which have the E rating are Astropop and Feeding Frenzy. However, remember that most game publishers release crossover titles, or games that are available on multiple platforms. For instance, Eidos Interactive’s LEGO Star Wars (rated E) is available for the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox; Activision’s Madagascar (rated E10+) is available on the same platforms, while Global Star Software’s Dora the Explorer (rated EC) is available on the PS2 and Xbox, but not on the GameCube.

What about parental control options? Among the four systems, the Xbox and the Xbox 360 have the most efficient parental lock functions. Parents are able to set limits on the games and films to be played on the systems. If you set the system to play only E-rated games, kids won’t be able to play DVD’s or games that have Teen, Mature, or Adults Only ratings. The GameCube also has a parental lock feature, albeit a less effective one. Users note that all it does is tone down certain effects that might be troubling for children (for example, the amount of blood seen in games) but do not block the playing of games at all. It doesn’t even screen or bleep offensive language. The parental control function of the PlayStation 2 is even worse — it doesn’t allow parents or anyone to restrict access to video games at all. The most parents can do is to set the PS2 to prevent their kids from watching DVD movies with inappropriate content.

When it comes to price, the GameCube comes out tops. Available for only $99, it’s significantly cheaper than the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, whose prices range from $150 to $199 (or more if bundled with game titles). The Xbox 360, being the newest of the bunch, is the highest-priced. For $299, you get the system and a wired controller. For $399, you get a wireless controller, a headset that players can use to talk to other people online, a 20 GB hard drive that is loaded with game-related videos and music, and a remote.

Parents should go out and try each system personally as well as look at the different titles available for them before deciding which one to buy. Factors such as number and age of users at home, game title availability, and budget should also be considered. Each system has its own pros and cons, and families will differ in their preferences: some will be content with the limited but popular games of the GameCube; some might prefer the wider offering of the PlayStation 2 or the Xbox; others might opt for the high-tech features of the Xbox 360. But all things considered, making the right choice will provide hours of wholesome, fun, and worry-free entertainment for the little ones and for their parents as well.

Why Are Online Games Great for Kids?

Children and games go together perfectly! The players don’t necessarily have to be young because games work perfectly for every age category. Taking into account the development of the Internet and other technologies existent nowadays, people have a large variety of indoor games. Even larger than the outdoor ones. Everyone has started loving the online games, and kids in particular. Online games have become a fantastic source of entertainment and leisure for everyone, and for this reason lots of sites avail them.

Options

You can find lots of entertainment options available for all gamers out there. The categories of games are infinite and choosing represents a true challenge for lots of gamers. For instance, you can find 3D games or car games among other similar ones. The only thing parents have to do is create some rules and agree with their kids on how to play games. Internet safety should come first, so this is also pretty important. Monitoring the activities of the kids is very important to check exactly what they are doing.

Stress

Since they truly are an entertainment option, online games are great at reducing mental stress or frustration. They often offer funny and creative instances that can make gamers unwind. What can be better than playing your favorite game?

Motivation

Lots of the games attract the player by promising some sort of prize. It is a known fact that kids love rewards and they adore accomplishing certain objectives. This is exactly what their game is trying to do. By winning, they boost their self-esteem and they move on to the next challenge. This makes kids overcome the tiny objectives in their game and prepares them to do the same in real life.

Intelligence

Did you know that, by playing online games, kids get to grow their intellectual capacities? Why? Because this develops their thinking abilities! Lots of games can include calculations that help the kid perfect his math and computation skills. Normally they are called logic games, and they also trigger their imagination. In some cases, children need to personalize animals, thus they have to use their creativity. Moreover, kids who play video games can develop their hand-eye coordination much better than those who don’t play.

Social skills

Lots of games require your kids to interact with other kids during their play. This is a fantastic chance for parents to explain their kids the ways in which they have to behave or how much information they must share in the online environment. This will help them develop better social skills that can also be used outside the online environment. Not to mention that kids can also learn more about various cultures, if we are to consider the range of people that play online games. This will boost their development and social skills.

Online Children’s Learning Games Can Be Interactive

One of the best ways to get any child to learn things is to see that the child is able to have a say in what is going on. This is why so many online children’s learning games can be as popular as they can be. They are all interactive games that kids can enjoy controlling. These can be used for all sorts of subjects and can allow kids to get into the swing of things with regards to learning.

These games can have unique interfaces

Many online children’s learning games can include a variety of fun interfaces. Some of these games are going to be simple puzzle games that kids can move around in. Some can be driving games where kids can control their characters from one area to another. Other games can even be adventurous types of games where the right answers can get kids to be closer to different types of answers and goals in a game. The options that are involved with these interfaces can be endless.

Kids can enter in their own answers

A big part of these games is that the kids who use them can easily enter their own answers into a program. These answers can vary by each question and can be thought out carefully before answering them. The goal is to get the user to think about the right ideas.

They can also involve comprehension

A good function of these games is that they can involve environments that are so immersive that comprehension will be a vital key to these online children’s learning games. This is especially the case for reading games. Kids can recall the information found in a game and the text blocks around it and then answer questions about that text later on. This will help to create a good type of contact that any kid will have more fun with. This makes these online games more fun and enjoyable than just reading something from a textbook.