“The family that Plays together, Stays together” – unknown
Don’t know much about video games? Welcome to class then. This page is designed to bring any parent up to speed on the hobby, on the dangers/benefits, on the terms and simple buying advice:
Welcome to GamerDad 101 – a work in progress.
So, What Do You Want to Know About?
Do Video Games Make People Violent? Click Here!
What Video Game Console is Best for my Kids? Click Here!
A Glossary of Video Game Terms Click Here!
What are all these genres? What does RPG mean? Click Here!
Do Video Games contain a lot of explicit sex? Nudity? Click Here!
Are Video Games Educational? Click Here!
Video Game Buying Tips:
1. Go ahead, judge a game by it’s cover. If it’s rated M and sounds violent or criminal and features gory looking screenshots on the back, well, then you have a good idea what kind of game it is.
2. Note the ESRB ratings and the content descriptors. For an explanation of the ratings visit the ESRB. The descriptors tend to be vague. I mean, what exactly is “Mild Suggestive Themes” exactly? To learn that go to step 3.
4. Visit places like YouTube and GameTrailers and watch footage of the game in question. Often these videos will show the “coolest” violence the game offers. Then you can rent the game if you still have doubts and play it yourself – or let your kid play it with you. You can always turn it off if it’s too much and then you’re only out a rental fee.
5. Read this blog daily. We like to cover the violent stuff, but also the quirky cool typically non-violent alternatives. We’re all hardcore gamers here. We play all kinds of games and you’d be surprised how many of them aren’t violent at all – but are still really cool. Also, you can register on our message board and ask a question about any game. Somebody is bound to help you out! (Going to WhatTheyPlay.com and “Asking GamerDad” is a good idea too).
Feel free to post any questions below. All will be answered and the most useful ones will stay there permanently. Enjoy the site and I hope gaming helps you have more fun with your kids. That’s what it’s all about. These aren’t “murder simulators” – they’re games. Entertainment. Just like books, TV and movies. Same risks, same rewards.
Have fun, bond with your kids, game with children!
-Andrew S. Bub
Screenshots, in order from top to bottom:
Resident Evil IV – Capcom
Madden 08 – EA Sports
Grand Theft Auto 3 – Rockstar Games
Manhunt 2 – Rockstar Games
Katamari Damacy – Konami