Last year (October to be exact) I did a poll on twitter asking my follows "Should parents refrain from letting their kids play over 18 games if they're under 18" now before people go on to me about how 18 is an adult and they can do as they please, I chose that age as I have followers from all around the world who live in countries with different laws when it comes to age. I had lots of different responses to this topic which I was hoping for, The overall amount of people in the poll said that parents should refrain from this, for me it's one of those questions that have more than one right answer, I'm not a parent but growing up my parents didn't mind us playing violent games, but to an extent and by that I mean games such as crash bandicoot, Spyro, street fighter, Pokemon stadium and tomb raider (which were the main games we played), my parents didn't mind as the games didn't have any effect on us and we weren't that impressionable so things like that wouldn't make us want to fight other people.
If I was to personally become a parent I wouldn't want my children to play a number of video games because a lot of games these days are a lot more of a mature nature than they were back in the 90's, if they were mature enough at the age of 14 I probably would but I don't think I would let them until they were over 16. Behaviour changing from video games is another big issue, as I said before children are impressionable and can pick up things easily, I personally wouldn't let my child play online with strangers unless it was a relative. I have witnessed some disgusting things coming out of kids mouths when they play online and I'm surprised their parents can't hear what they're saying. The main games I would hear kids speaking like that in would have to be the Call Of Duty franchise, I think it's one of the biggest reasons I wouldn't play it online, although I'm happy to play the campaign so I don't have to listen people sending me abuse. The main reason I wanted to write this was for more people to start a discussion about this, It's hard enough to avoid violence these days but parents have a responsibility to try and educate themselves and their child on what their children are up to and playing so here are some of my top picks perfect for adults and children to play:
Of course, this is the top of my list, why wouldn't it be? It has all the elements for the perfect children's game, it opens a whole new world when it comes to being creative and kids are able to play it on or offline, they can even have their friend/family join in using another controller to help them build and let their imagination run wild. For parents, there is a feature where you can turn off all the monsters which allow your child to play without seeing or experiencing any violence.
I've seen many videos of this game on Youtube and it is absolutely stunning, the story focuses on a child which helps the child playing the game feel more like they're part of the game. It is a platform game set in a mythical land called Lemuria, the child you play as is called Aurora who ends up finding herself being spirited away and took to Lemuria. The sun, moon, and stars have all been taken and are being held captative by the Queen of the Night and you have to find a way to free them from her.
I'm a full grown adult and I still have hours playing these games, there are a number of different versions of the game and right now I'm playing little big planet 3 which is free on PSN plus right now, the games are all narrated by Stephen Fry, the games are all puzzle based where you go on adventures as Sackboy, I would say the games are more about being creative rather than story based even though they do have stories behind them. My favourite things to do in Little big planet was creating my own planets, other players online are able to access and play these games, there are so many you can choose from!
I'm not gaming to name them all because they all have so many different stories and good things about them so if your kid likes Lego they will love the games. Lego has been around for so long now it was no surprise how popular these games are actually are even when it comes to adults, They would be my main choice in video games when it came to kids because it's such a child friendly game, the movies aren't that bad either.
This doesn't just focus on violence in video games I also want to address how to keep them safe online too. What worries me about this generation of children even more than violence in games is how easy it is for stranger to speaking to them in a video game, I'm not saying that all children should be stopped from going online but what I am saying it parents can easily monitor a child on facebook or twitter but when it comes to video games it isn't so easy or they don't think of checking to see who their children speak to online. I know at some time in your child's life you have to be less protective and trust them but at the same time, it doesn't hurt to keep an eye on who they speak to. I actually can't believe I just wrote that because I would have been mortified if my parents were checking up on me like that.
I made an infographic on ways that could keep your child happy and safe online:
I hope you enjoyed my post if anyone has anything to add to it feel free to leave a comment!