A quick like
Visit any video game store and you are sure to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of options available, especially if you are new to gaming. Curiously, children and adolescents seem to know how to move around these places as if they were their second home. But to the grown-up, the typical video store feels like a kind of explosion of color, and sooner or later all games start to look the same. This guide is for the adult buying a game for a younger person, perhaps as a birthday gift or as a bribe. Whatever the reason, the following tips will be appreciated.
1. Study this strange phenomenon before setting foot in a video store. There is a lot of information available about online video games, so to cut down on offline frustration, start your web browser and do some homework. Visit the website of the nearest game store and look for a link to the games section of the system your child plays. Here’s a useful table to explain what all those weird letters mean.
Wii = Nintendo Wii system
EA Sports = Entertainment Arts System
PS3 = Playstation 3 system
XBOX 360 = Microsoft XBOX 360 system
PC = Personal Computer
PS2 = Playstation 2 system
PSP = Playstation Portable System
DS = Nintendo DS system
The key is to locate the system on the store’s website first. The system, accessories, and any games running on that system will follow. Otherwise, you may need to use the website’s internal search engine.
2. Once you have located the appropriate play area for your child’s car, check the ratings of each toy and create a temporary shopping list with age-appropriate supplies. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) assigns each game a rating in an effort to inform parents what their children are playing. Here’s a helpful reference to what the ratings mean:
C = Suitable for early childhood
E = Suitable for everyone
E 10+ = Suitable for everyone over 10 years old
T = Suitable for teenagers
M = suitable for mature adults
3. On your temporary shopping list, try to find a game created from the last release of the movie. Little ones love the new animated movies produced by Disney and Pixar and really enjoy reliving precious moments from the movie in a video game. So when these movies come out on DVD, their producers put some games in the “Special Features” section of the CDs.
4. If you can’t find a game based on a movie that your child likes, try to find a game that focuses on a famous cartoon character or one that you are trying to educate.
5. If you still can’t find one that looks like something you’ve heard this particular person talk about, pat yourself lightly on the hand first. You should pay more attention. Then point your browser to the nearest Hollywood or Blockbuster video site. Follow the same procedure outlined in steps 1-3, only this time, choose to rent 5 or 6 games that look attractive. This will give your child a chance to play a few games and select one to keep forever while he returns the others.
6. If, on the other hand, you found a game in step 3 or 4, you can pay online or drive to the store and buy it there.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but video game illustrations and PC game cases do a great job of depicting game content. So if you see an illustration of warriors fighting, the game is probably more violent than you prefer. If, on the other hand, you see an illustration that looks like what you would see on the cover of an interesting children’s book, the game should be age appropriate.