Video games have been a controversial subject with parents since the days of Arcades tinging with the sound of another quarter dropped in the slot. As the years have passed, the content and context of the games available have progressed and the need to continue the discussion on game safety is crucial. As a mother of three and an avid gamer, the type of games I expose my children to are important. Although I disagree that shooting games breed serial killers and casual games create mindless, over-weight zombies I do believe that – as with all media – regulation of game play is necessary. I have gathered some articles that I feel are useful in arguing both sides of the debate to better educate parents on the affect game play has on their children.
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2010/12/parenting-and-video-games/ This article gives valuable information on ways to be involved in the games your children play and the pros and cons of those games.
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/protecting_your_family/parents-guide-to-video-games.aspx This article series educates parents on what games are by breaking down genre, content, signs of game addiction and the ways to prevent it.
http://www.empoweringparents.com/video-games-violence.php# This article is written from a medical standpoint, and though I don’t agree with the opinions represented here, I believe educating on both sides of the issue is the responsible thing to do.
http://www.parentingscience.com/beneficial-effects-of-video-games.html This article details the positive aspects of Video Games and how they can benefit your child.
http://www.parentingscience.com/video-games-and-attention.html Finally, this article was written to express the good AND the bad, because everything in life can be harmful in excess.
No one has all of the answers and the no one knows your child, or your family, better than you. As a parent you want to protect your children from harm in all forms, but how do we determine what is harmful? Hopefully, I have provided direction to the information needed for parents to form their own educated opinions. I, myself, allow my children to play video games with me for small amounts of time. I regulate how graphic the games are and do my best to provide as many educational games as possible.