There Are Good Video Games Out There For The Kids
Today has to be one of the hottest days this summer, and I can't imagine staying outside longer than the run to and from the car.
What are all those kids doing today?
On days like this, your children are probably camped out inside, and I don't blame them. Don't worry; I'm not going to beg you to unplug your TV and get them busy with other activities. I'm actually going to encourage you to get out the video gaming system -- yes, you heard me right.
Even with all the "Mature"-rated games out there, if you do a little work you can find a suitable game for your child that does not encourage violence and foul language.
When looking for a video game to rent or own, a parent should always look at the game rating, which is overseen by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.
Similar to movie ratings, these ratings range from "Early Childhood," which is acceptable for children age 3 and older, to "Adults Only." It is very important to know the description of the ratings so you know what you are buying.
Even after bringing the game home, you should monitor its use, especially when your child is playing with friends. Remember, just because you OK'd a "Teen"-rated game for your 11-year-old doesn't mean his friend's parents would approve. Make sure your child knows your rules on video games if he plans to play with other friends.
And what about the couch potato syndrome? They've even made games that get your kid up and moving.
I first learned about these physically active games when my husband brought home a skateboarding game that had a digital camera to hook into our gaming system.
No hand controllers needed here -- the digital camera locked on the player's face, and whoever was playing had to jump, dive, dip and swivel to make his onscreen character move. When I gave it a try, I started sweating before I finished the first round.
Many other types of games that encourage movement are available, including dancing and soccer. USA Today reported on a West Virginia study of the effects of a dancing video game on youth obesity. One success story included an 11-year-old who lost 10 pounds in two weeks by playing this game and eating healthily.
Since most of these active games are rated "Everyone," you will find that this is a valuable investment if it entertains your child and gets them active.
I am not suggesting you to let your gaming system "baby-sit" your child. But there are some good games out there that encourage movement and learning. Good luck on your search.