Gaming system for kids?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
yolli71
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 9:53 am

Gaming system for kids?

Post by yolli71 »

My almost 7 year old wants a video game system for Christmas. Does anyone have any recommendations on good video game systems for little kids? We were thinking about the Wii U, but we heard they may discontinue those soon.

Any advice would be appreciated!
DSInvestor
Posts: 11431
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:42 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by DSInvestor »

Don't do it. Get them a library card instead. My brother, sister and my best friend have young kids who have consoles and tablets. The kids are video game junkies fighting over charging cables in the car. Sneaking into bathrooms to play tablet games or watch minecraft videos. It is very very addictive.
Wiki
User avatar
buccimane
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:34 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by buccimane »

DSInvestor wrote:Don't do it. Get them a library card instead.
You must be the fun uncle :?

I have the Xbox 1 and have used a PS4.. IMO both the PS4 and Xbox1 are excellent systems. You should see what his/her friends have, as being able to play online with friends is half the fun.
A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still
User avatar
mhc
Posts: 4238
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:18 pm
Location: NoCo

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by mhc »

I second the Xbox or Playstation recommendation, especially if you can align with friends. Both are good systems.

When my son was 7, I had to play with him to get him past the hard levels. I'm glad those days are over.
PNW1
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:04 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by PNW1 »

Video games are addictive, as are television and movies and books and running around in the woods. I grew up with an Atari 2600 in the early 80s and still play video games as an adult. As with everything else in life, moderation is key. Don't feel bad about buying the kids a video game system, and don't feel bad about putting limits on it either :)

As for the system to get, I think that the WiiU would have been the perfect choice a couple of years ago. In general, Nintendo systems will have more playful, more child-focused games. The Sony "Playstation 4" and Microsoft "XBox One" will have more teen-and-older games. There's a ton of overlap, though, especially between the Sony and Microsoft systems. None of them would be awful choices.

I think a WiiU would still be a reasonable choice, but you're absolutely correct that they're on the way out. In fact, physical production of them has ceased as of last week, although they'll likely still be sold and supported for a couple more years.

Another good Nintendo-based option is buying a "2DS", which is a handheld gaming system that costs $80 and is designed to take a beating from young children and still survive. There are lots of great games for it.

Finally, if your children could wait three more months, the system that will end up replacing both the WiiU and eventually the 2DS (and 3DS) is called the "Nintendo Switch". It'll be sold starting in March 2017, and is a hybrid portable system that can be used with its own screen on battery power, but also can be docked into a charging base and played on a television, with a "normal" controller. It'll probably cost somewhere close to $300, but that's just an educated guess; Nintendo has not actually released a price yet. In my opinion, that will be the best video game platform for smaller kids for the next five or so years.

If you have any other questions, I'd be happy to provide you with what I hope is a relatively educated opinion.
health teacher
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:27 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by health teacher »

Xbox or PS4 is the best choice, IMO.

Monitor playing time.

Lots of learning opportunities made possible by video games. Perseverance, strategy, anger management, social skills, quick thinking, etc.
ved
Posts: 773
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:56 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by ved »

And I thought you wanted to game the "system" for your kid :D
greensky
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:55 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by greensky »

The Nintendo NES Classic edition will be out next week. $60 and it comes with 30 games from the NES. A second controller is only an extra $10.

https://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic
TSR
Posts: 979
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:08 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by TSR »

I'd say PS4. It appears to have the edge on other systems, and it has a compelling virtual-reality system out that could be really interesting. As a parent it is important to know that there are a lot of extremely adult-themed games out there, and it's important to follow the ratings when purchasing games for kids, at least until your child is 15 or older. (That is, a 13+ game will have plenty of chaotic violence that might be too much for a younger child whom you would normally allow to see a PG-13 movie, and a 17+ game is likely to be worse than a lot of R-rated movies that you might otherwise let a 14 year old see.) Something like the PS4 has plenty of options that are good for kids, and plenty of those options are more casual games that can be downloaded online. Do your research on good educational games, as you would with anything as a parent, and good luck!
User avatar
climber2020
Posts: 1711
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by climber2020 »

yolli71 wrote:My almost 7 year old wants a video game system for Christmas. Does anyone have any recommendations on good video game systems for little kids? We were thinking about the Wii U, but we heard they may discontinue those soon.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Ask your kid what he wants. You don't want to buy something for your child based on the opinions of a bunch of old people (including me).

As soon as I got interested in video games as a kid, I knew exactly what system and games I wanted. Getting anything else would have been a waste of my parents' cash.

The Wii U is out of production as of November 4 (today). It's the modern day equivalent of the Sega Dreamcast; a few really good games and a bunch of trash on a system that never really took off. Unless he specifically asks for this, I'd avoid it.
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13287
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

DSInvestor wrote:Don't do it. Get them a library card instead. My brother, sister and my best friend have young kids who have consoles and tablets. The kids are video game junkies fighting over charging cables in the car. Sneaking into bathrooms to play tablet games or watch minecraft videos. It is very very addictive.
I agree with this. Add to this....getting up at 2 in the morning to sneak into playing all night, taking phones to bed and once in school where they require laptops in class.....gaming, chatting and texting so much in class that they miss all the homework assigning and repeat 9th grade (at a new school that doesn't allow phones or computers in class).
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
LiterallyIronic
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by LiterallyIronic »

The Wii U is being replaced by the Switch, which comes out in March. Which actually makes it a decent choice, because you will be able to get used games at your local retro video game store.

I have an NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, and Xbox. Still looking to pick up a Dreamcast, Xbox 360, PS1, PS2, and PS3.

For me, I don't have any kids, but we'll have one in February. My plan is to start him/her off on the NES, and will gain access to the SNES, and on up the generations upon successfully beating enough games. However, I will be keeping all the games and controllers under lock and key. My kid will also have no access to a cellphone or tablet at any age, and I will be disconnecting the keyboard and mouse from my PC whenever I'm not using it and locking them up as well. I believe in severely limiting a young child's access to screens. Play with blocks, legos, dolls, etc. instead. TV watching can wait a few years.

By age seven, though, I would think that an hour of video gaming per day is fine.

Back to your conundrum, the NES (or the new NES Mini, coming out later this month) has kid-friendly games, but they can be super hard. That's because there was limited space on cartridges so the games couldn't be very long - so to make up for the short game the difficulty is increased in order to get enough play time from the game.

The N64 has an amazing library of games, many of which would appeal to a kid - Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Banjo-Kazooie, etc.

The Wii U has some good Mario/Luigi games, Splatoon, and some racing and party games that would be good for a kid. Maybe as far as Super Smash Brothers, but that'd be as far as I'd take it with a seven year old. If you're looking to keep costs down, I'd suggest a 2DS, for the same reasons as I suggested the Wii U.

I'd avoid the Xbox One and Playstation 4 for a seven year old (and you'll notice they're not on my list of consoles above).
mhalley
Posts: 8787
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by mhalley »

I would second the advice on seeing what his friends are playing and getting a system he can play with his friends. Also, does his father have any interest in playing? What he would like to play also comes into the picture. I play with my grand daughter and her father on a ps4 and have a good time. Nintendo is coming out with their new system soon, but not till March I believe. You could wait till then if it is not a "must" for xmas. I don't think you need to avoid the xbox and ps4 for a youngin, but you would need to restrict their games and friends list.
Last edited by mhalley on Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
letsgobobby
Posts: 12073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Deleted

Post by letsgobobby »

Deleted
Last edited by letsgobobby on Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
lightheir
Posts: 2581
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by lightheir »

I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to play co-op games with me!

Of course, I'll probably be too uncool for her to bother by the time she's old enough :oops:
lightheir
Posts: 2581
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by lightheir »

I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to play co-op games with me!

Of course, I'll probably be too uncool for her to bother by the time she's old enough :oops:
mhalley
Posts: 8787
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by mhalley »

Another option wold be a pc. There a bazillion games for pcs. There are tons of games out there, google ps4 or xbox one games for kids. Minecraft is huge for kids right now.
http://www.everybodyplays.co.uk/game-fi ... ar-old/low
http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/201 ... /#/slide/1
And yes, you can Karaoke on them.
hhttps://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_1?fst=as%3 ... 2941120011

If you want the kids to move, then you cold consider the xbox one with kinect. My grandaughter used to love playing kinectamils on it.
PlayingLife
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:10 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by PlayingLife »

In my opinion, the best system for a 7 year old, will be the new "Nintendo Switch", but it is not due out until March....

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/ ... 6549a62466

This system will likely have a variety of games that are fitting for children. Assuming your 7 year old cannot understand the concept of waiting until March, I think you have the following options....

1) Purchase a dated system like the Nintendo Wii or Wii U, or PS3. Buy 1 or 2 games and use it as a place holder until March, and then buy him the Switch

2) Skip the Switch and buy a "current generation" system now. You have the choice between the PS4 or Xbox. There are new versions of each system, and each system carries mostly the same games. The Xbox One, which now has an updated system called the "Xbox One S", can act as a "4k disc player", if you have a 4k TV. So this could be a great benefit for the adults at home. If you do not have a 4K tv or know what it is....this feature is useless to you and you should stick to the older (cheaper) version of the Xbox One.

3) Get him something else for Xmas that is lower in cost, and get him a couple of magazines on the new Nintendo Switch, and buy him this in March.

----------

I'm in my 30's and have what I think is a great job. I have lots of friends, love sports and many other hobbies. I love the outdoors. I was introduced to video games as a child and was hooked.....my parents would have to kick my friends and I out of the house to get us outside sometimes. Looking back, I have tons of great memories as a child spending time with my friends, battling it out in video games. I think they are fine for kids as long as the parents make sure they spend their fair share of time outdoors.
bta15
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:06 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by bta15 »

I have a 10 yo son, I think when he was 8 he asked for an xbox one. We got it for him and found out there really aren't that many games geared for preteens.

His uncle somehow scored a Wii U from a friend and gave it to my son (I think the friends kids were older and only played Xbox one). Now my son only plays the Wii U. I agree with others that if Wii U is being discontinued it may be worthwhile to wait for the next generation nintendo.
PNW1
Posts: 54
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:04 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by PNW1 »

Perhaps people know that the OP has a son, and not a daughter, from another thread. If that isn't the case, though, I hope I can un-offensively point out that a bunch of us are jumping to conclusions; the almost-seven-year-old in question might be a girl. :happy
JoinToday
Posts: 924
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:59 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by JoinToday »

DSInvestor wrote:Don't do it. Get them a library card instead. My brother, sister and my best friend have young kids who have consoles and tablets. The kids are video game junkies fighting over charging cables in the car. Sneaking into bathrooms to play tablet games or watch minecraft videos. It is very very addictive.
I am close to agreement with DSInvestor. I think video games are not a positive development for kids. I would rather have my kids do social activities, or activities by themselves (read books, do hobbies, etc) then spend hours upon hours playing video games.

Video games & TV do not advance social development. Having said that, one of my friends and I are pretty quiet when TV shows are discussed, since neither of us watch TV. I guess that is not a positive factor in social interaction.
I wish I had learned about index funds 25 years ago
fefifofum
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by fefifofum »

The advice to find out what your child wants is probably good advice. You wouldn't want to buy something he or she isn't interested in. However -- if they aren't sure or haven't been much exposed to other systems, even though it will soon be "obsolete" I think that the Wii U is still a fine choice.

From a frugal gaming standpoint it's got many great things going for it:
  • As a system which is no longer the latest and greatest, the best games for it are rapidly getting cheaper. And, they are also readily available via Craigslist or via used game stores.
  • It is backwards compatible with the Wii, which has a huge catalog of great family-friendly games. Those games are even cheaper.
  • It has a "virtual console" feature which lets you buy some reasonably priced games from older Nintendo systems online and play them on your system. That makes the available back catalog even more appealing.
  • You can already find a Wii U relatively inexpensively on Craigslist. The approach I took (about a year and a half ago) was to buy a used system with about 15 games with it; then I set aside many of the games and used them as gifts for birthdays and Christmas.
Whether you go with the Wii U or something else, consider riding a few years behind the cutting edge of the gaming curve. You save a TON of money that way, have just as much fun, and buying a mature system means you have access to lots of games, rather than the pitiful handful of games that usually come out for a console at launch. And consider: the Switch will not have backwards compatibility with Wii U or Wii games. I'll be looking to acquire a Switch for our family in maybe 3 or 4 years when the prices come down, people are less interested, and used consoles with lots of games can be found on Craigslist. :-)

I can't speak for what kids in your area are into, but kids in that general age range in my area seem to be very into Nintendo in general. My son loves the Wii U, is excited about the standard Nintendo game series (Mario, Mario Kart, Zelda, Metroid), and his friends are all into that too. From a selfish standpoint this suits me well since as a member of the original Nintendo generation I have a great deal of nostalgia for those characters and I've had a lot of fun playing the games too.
randomguy
Posts: 9208
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by randomguy »

PlayingLife wrote:In my opinion, the best system for a 7 year old, will be the new "Nintendo Switch", but it is not due out until March....
I think the switch will be best. But not for like 2 years. For the first year there will be like 2 games worth playing while by year 2 you will have a half dozen.

Wii U or even a Wii is the system for a 7 year old today. Games like Mario Kart, Super Mario World, and Super Smash Bros are loads of fun. And no the kid isn't going to sit by themselves playing. They are going to invite a couple of friends over and interact over the game. It is amazing to listen to some 6-9 years try to problem solve through a level. Or of course they can play with a parent. It isn't like they are going to be doing something antisocial like reading books or practicing a musical instrument:) Get the kid the system, give them a 1-2 time limit and let them have fun.
mhalley
Posts: 8787
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by mhalley »

As far as girl gaming goes, my granddaughter loves Star Wars battlefront, rocket league, mine craft and five nights at Freddie's.
Smurf
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 8:48 am
Location: Midwest

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by Smurf »

I'd definitely recommend buying a gaming system. For that age I'd recommend a Playstation 3 since it's got a lot of kid friendly games and you can get them cheap now that the PS4 is out. Don't go the PC route right away because he/she will want to play with you not solo. We are looking at a wii U for Christmas this year.

My son is currently 7 and for the last couple years we have GREAT memories of playing video games together. Honestly, it's a great bonding time to play co-op games and it even sparked a family vacation to NYC to see all the sights he saw on the game Lego Marvel Superheros. We also built a gaming PC together to play minecraft. He now knows what the inside of a computer looks like and is already researching "mods" to the game and has learned how to input the code to make it do different things.

We do limit screen time, but it's really not much of an issue. He goes back and forth between the trampoline, playground, video games, tv, wrestling with me, etc. In the beginning that's all they'll want to do, but if your kid is 7 they'll be beyond the tantrum phase and restricting it won't be an issue. I say go for it. I want to be and be remembered as a fun and awesome dad, not some old miser who treated his kid like some perfection project.
Rodc
Posts: 13601
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:46 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by Rodc »

climber2020 wrote:
yolli71 wrote:My almost 7 year old wants a video game system for Christmas. Does anyone have any recommendations on good video game systems for little kids? We were thinking about the Wii U, but we heard they may discontinue those soon.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Ask your kid what he wants. You don't want to buy something for your child based on the opinions of a bunch of old people (including me).

As soon as I got interested in video games as a kid, I knew exactly what system and games I wanted. Getting anything else would have been a waste of my parents' cash.

The Wii U is out of production as of November 4 (today). It's the modern day equivalent of the Sega Dreamcast; a few really good games and a bunch of trash on a system that never really took off. Unless he specifically asks for this, I'd avoid it.
+1 for the most part. This assumes the 7 year old is game savy. Not sure they would be at that age, but then my youngest is much older so I could be way out of touch with what a 7 year old might know.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
corysold
Posts: 960
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by corysold »

I have a PS4 and younger kids who have started using it. I've had a hard time finding games I'm OK with them playing. Other than the sports games, even games supposedly for kids, most I don't allow them to play. As they age, PS4 would be a great option, but I'd look at the games for each system and see what you are OK with your kid playing before making a choice. Nintendo is known for being best for kids, and the U could still be a great option. He's 7, nothing wrong with not having the latest/greatest. By the time he's 12/13, we will be on an entire new generation of systems and you'll be choosing between PS5 and Xbox 4 or something and he will have an entirely different interest in what style games he likes.

As far as time, it seems to me that having kids sneak around to play and such is sort of bad parenting. Nothing inherently wrong with video games and kids can get addicted to anything. There is a boy in our Cub Scout pack who'd I want on my side when the zombies come, but he is the shyest kid in the group. He's outside by himself all day long and his parents wish he'd do more "normal" kid things like play video games. Another 9 year old we know wont' come out of his room, all he wants to do all day is read.

Sure these things are maybe better than being addicted to video games, but they are still causing social issues. Monitor the time, give him other options and I'm sure he'll be just fine.
letsgobobby
Posts: 12073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Deleted

Post by letsgobobby »

Deleted
Last edited by letsgobobby on Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
johnubc
Posts: 782
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:54 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by johnubc »

DSInvestor wrote:Don't do it. Get them a library card instead. My brother, sister and my best friend have young kids who have consoles and tablets. The kids are video game junkies fighting over charging cables in the car. Sneaking into bathrooms to play tablet games or watch minecraft videos. It is very very addictive.

I agree totally. Do not get the gaming system.

Have you actually played the R rated games your son will want? As a parent, I have raised my children to be more interactive and less distracted by not having a gaming system. It shows in how they behave compared to friends of theirs.
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5652
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by lthenderson »

We ended up getting a WiiU for our kids for a few reasons.

1. Many of the games require getting off the couch and moving around.
2. Their seem to be more family friendly games and fewer shoot-em up type games.
3. It has a pretty good exercise program for the adults to use in the winter months.
4. It has lots of classic board games so we can play them occasionally without having to set up and tear down the game board or worry about missing pieces.
5. Because the choices for adult games are fewer, I was hoping my kids (both girls) would outgrow it and for the most part they have. I played a video board game with my kids just two days ago which is the first time that thing has been fired up in probably six months.

A couple of my friends have Playstations and Xboxes and both have high school age kids playing them all the time. Of course they both are boys and both play shoot-em up war games all the time. I'm not sure what route I would go with boys but I think I would of tried the WiiU and hope they also outgrew it.
User avatar
sdsailing
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:42 pm
Location: San Diego

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by sdsailing »

PlayingLife wrote: I'm in my 30's and have what I think is a great job. I have lots of friends, love sports and many other hobbies. I love the outdoors. I was introduced to video games as a child and was hooked.....my parents would have to kick my friends and I out of the house to get us outside sometimes. Looking back, I have tons of great memories as a child spending time with my friends, battling it out in video games. I think they are fine for kids as long as the parents make sure they spend their fair share of time outdoors.
This "survivorship bias" reasoning.
Topic Author
yolli71
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 9:53 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by yolli71 »

Thanks for all the great responses everyone!

Just to answer some of the questions, this system would be for my son who will be 7 in February. He really doesn't have a lot of knowledge of video games b/c we've never had any in our home, but he's been showing interest in them and asking us about them for about a year now.

We're leaning right now towards the Wii U b/c that seems geared more towards younger kids based on the research I'm doing. He specifically has mentioned Mario games, so I guess he's learned about them either at school or online. Whatever system we get him, we will keep close tabs on how much he'll play and what he'll be allowed to play (in other words, no violent games at this age).

What's interesting is that my wife and I had no plans of ever buying him a gaming system before, but we've started warming up to the idea lately. The main reason is b/c we feel it can't be any worse than what he does now, which is sitting around and watching his iPad all the time. We bought him an iPad Mini 2 years ago and bought some educational games and apps, but instead, all he does is watch these mindless videos on YouTube Kids. So we decided to ban iPad usage during the week and only allow it on weekends, but I think I'd rather have him play games (that my wife and I approve of) than mindlessly watch videos on his iPad.

I have no evidence of this, but I'm also thinking that playing games may help his eye/hand coordination, critical thinking skills (depending on the game), and build more camaraderie with other classmates who have already been playing video games (so he doesn't feel left out). Plus, we feel a bit guilty about not allowing him to play video games b/c we both owned game systems when we were kids (I had the Atari and my wife had Super Nintendo). Yes, in a perfect world, my son would only want to read, play sports (which he does), and not watch any television, but that just doesn't seem realistic in today's world (and it's also not how my wife and I were raised and we ended up just fine).

My biggest issue now is just learning more about these different systems and how they work. When we did a Google search on game systems, we saw info on storage space, downloads, internet connectivity, etc. We're both clueless when it comes to this stuff...we thought you just had to buy cartridges or discs and pop it into the console, but I guess it doesn't work like that anymore! :shock:
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5652
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by lthenderson »

yolli71 wrote:My biggest issue now is just learning more about these different systems and how they work. When we did a Google search on game systems, we saw info on storage space, downloads, internet connectivity, etc. We're both clueless when it comes to this stuff...we thought you just had to buy cartridges or discs and pop it into the console, but I guess it doesn't work like that anymore! :shock:
At least with the Wii U which we still have, it still does work this way. There is a menu which you can download games but I have found them to be limited and expensive. The Wii U will also play the old Wii games which are no longer in vogue and can be found pretty cheap. I bought a hundred games at an auction for a dollar per game. Although I expect my kids have yet to even try half of them, they certainly got their money out of them even though they can't use the Wii U game pad with them and have to use the older remotes. We also buy used Wii U games from time to time when we find them. We almost never have bought a new game.

If you go with the Wii U, one of the most interesting games that my kids really enjoyed were the Lego series. I think their favorite one was Lego City Undercover but there are also versions for Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and other pop culture movies. They are play along games with a story that you have to follow along and solve and then generally once that is over, there is free play where you can go back and revisit your favorite spots and try to get a perfect score by finding everything.
randomguy
Posts: 9208
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by randomguy »

sdsailing wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: I'm in my 30's and have what I think is a great job. I have lots of friends, love sports and many other hobbies. I love the outdoors. I was introduced to video games as a child and was hooked.....my parents would have to kick my friends and I out of the house to get us outside sometimes. Looking back, I have tons of great memories as a child spending time with my friends, battling it out in video games. I think they are fine for kids as long as the parents make sure they spend their fair share of time outdoors.
This "survivorship bias" reasoning.
And the other reason is "Failure biased" reasoning. The kid plays games and is a loser. Therefore playing games made the kid into a loser. Reality is that gaming probably had nothing to do with it either way. We just like assigning blame. Go back over the past 2k_ years of history and there is always something that is corrupting the next generation. The kids tend to turn out fine.

Care to guess what year this quote was made in:
Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.

Is that a complaint about millenials or about ancient greeks?:)
squirm
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by squirm »

Xbox.
Just limit the time and days they can play, you're the boss, not them. My kid has an Xbox, but Can only play certain times. It makes a good take away punishment when he's bad.
User avatar
Smorgasbord
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:12 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by Smorgasbord »

For about $300 you can put together one heck of an emulation computer. The main requirements are decent sized hard drive (1 TB or more), a blazing fast processor (cores in excess of 2 or 4 don't matter much), a video card that will output to a TV (probably HDMI), and a whole bunch of peripheries (Wii Controllers, steering wheels, guitar hero guitars, etc.).
squirm
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by squirm »

Just wanted to add, a used Xbox 360 can be bought for pretty cheap. Probably with a bunch of games too. That's what I did, got the kinnect for it too.
rainyday1
Posts: 94
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:22 am
Location: London

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by rainyday1 »

Read a book called Reset Your Child's Brain by Victoria Dunckley before you buy a game system. It was an eye-opening read, and it has really changed life in our house for the better.

Best of luck. Navigating the technology is a really challenging parenting issue.
Superfood
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:56 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by Superfood »

Everything in moderation. If your kids have addiction problems then it's not video games; it's about tackling the root problem which are personality issues of self-control. It may not be video games, it can be ANYTHING like drugs, gambling, eating, etc...

Alcohol can lead to violent behavior, cirrhosis of the liver, death and DUIs... does that mean one should abstain from drinking their entire lives?

Gaming is fine as long as it's controlled it and the kids learn when to play and not play. If you hear horror stories about kids and their video games then their parents are ineffective in influencing their children's behaviors. I grew up playing video games and my parents regulated it so I knew when it was okay to play.
SleepKing
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:45 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by SleepKing »

Dear Op,

We are in a similar situation with similar concerns raised by the board. I currently play the old Wii system with him:wii sports, mariokart, guitar hero, and some trivia/strategy games are all we allow. Only as a special treat a couple of nights a week after homework and chores are complete. Its pretty fun family stuff.

Im supportive of video games in moderation, as my parents were towards me. This is no different a conversation than limiting your child 'screen time' on phones, ipads, computers, etc... Make sure to be the parent and not use the video games, tv, movies, whatever else there is as a crutch. Encourage diverse activities and set limits. All the normal parenting rules apply. I belive many systems can send a report on what was played and for how long.

As for the best system, i am personally waiting for the new nintendo switch as well. Nintendo seems to have the most variety of kid/pre teen appropriate titles. If you are ok with halo, call of duty, etc then get the ps4 or xb1.

Best,
Sleepy
WilliamRice
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:20 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by WilliamRice »

I had an Xbox One for myself. The games were too violent to play when my kids were around (5,3). I sold it and built a Retro Pi from a $30 Raspberry Pi which allows you to load all the classic game systems (Atari, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, etc).

It was a lot of fun from a learning perspective but also knowing that my kids will be able to play simple fun games when their ready.
squirm
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by squirm »

Superfood wrote:Everything in moderation. If your kids have addiction problems then it's not video games; it's about tackling the root problem which are personality issues of self-control. It may not be video games, it can be ANYTHING like drugs, gambling, eating, etc...

Alcohol can lead to violent behavior, cirrhosis of the liver, death and DUIs... does that mean one should abstain from drinking their entire lives?

Gaming is fine as long as it's controlled it and the kids learn when to play and not play. If you hear horror stories about kids and their video games then their parents are ineffective in influencing their children's behaviors. I grew up playing video games and my parents regulated it so I knew when it was okay to play.
Agree 100%. I grew up with video games, according to some I am supposed to be a deadbeat with psychological problems due to video games.

We just make sure our son gets plenty of reading time and gets all school work done. He's rewarded with the Xbox. Not a big deal.
squirm
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by squirm »

randomguy wrote:
sdsailing wrote:
PlayingLife wrote: I'm in my 30's and have what I think is a great job. I have lots of friends, love sports and many other hobbies. I love the outdoors. I was introduced to video games as a child and was hooked.....my parents would have to kick my friends and I out of the house to get us outside sometimes. Looking back, I have tons of great memories as a child spending time with my friends, battling it out in video games. I think they are fine for kids as long as the parents make sure they spend their fair share of time outdoors.
This "survivorship bias" reasoning.
And the other reason is "Failure biased" reasoning. The kid plays games and is a loser. Therefore playing games made the kid into a loser. Reality is that gaming probably had nothing to do with it either way. We just like assigning blame. Go back over the past 2k_ years of history and there is always something that is corrupting the next generation. The kids tend to turn out fine.

Care to guess what year this quote was made in:
Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.

Is that a complaint about millenials or about ancient greeks?:)
20 yeas ago, I thought super easy access to porn via the Internet would break the social fabric of the millennials, I guess not. They seem to be turning out just fine.
downshiftme
Posts: 1137
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:11 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by downshiftme »

We ended up getting a WiiU for our kids for a few reasons.

1. Many of the games require getting off the couch and moving around.
2. Their seem to be more family friendly games and fewer shoot-em up type games.
3. It has a pretty good exercise program for the adults to use in the winter months.
4. It has lots of classic board games so we can play them occasionally without having to set up and tear down the game board or worry about missing pieces.
5. Because the choices for adult games are fewer, I was hoping my kids (both girls) would outgrow it and for the most part they have. I played a video board game with my kids just two days ago which is the first time that thing has been fired up in probably six months.
This is very similar to my experience. Over the years we have had many different gaming systems, but the Wii was by far the best for younger kids. The games had more focus on themes for younger kids and even the adventure type games that require player to explore areas, then fight bosses, were not as realistically violent and suitable for younger kids. Sports games, such as bowling, were a big hit and they played them for many years. They worked well socially as small group games as well as solo play, as did the music games. Some games allow communication with other players (Animal Crossing could visit distant cousins who were also playing).
HIinvestor
Posts: 1833
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:23 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by HIinvestor »

My kids and nieces and nephews have access to most gaming systems. The one that they all return to and play the most is Nintendo--Wii, Wii U and DS. They do have the other systems but seem to prefer Nintendo. This has been for the past few decades--they are now ranging in age from teens through 20s. They did have access to libraries and computers but also enjoy the gaming console and play it as teams at gatherings. They also now play board games and have been doing this for the past few years.
Radjob4me
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:08 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by Radjob4me »

I would too would suggest the Nintendo based systems for your 7 year old. He is likely not old enough that he and his friends will be playing online, so the older Wii is a good choice to start. The games are fun. The consoles are cheap and so are the games. An old Playstation PS2 or PS3 or xBox 360 would be fine as well, but the Wii is great for younger kids (and I like playing it still too)

I would strongly suggest going on eBay or Craigslist and finding a cheap system with a bunch of games. It is the only way we have bought systems and you can save quite a bit

At this point, I would hold off on the xBox One or PS4 or newest Nintendo since at age 7, and being new to gaming, those system are complicated and expensive. And by the time he's 9 or 10, the new generation of consoles will be out and you can see if he still likes gaming and see what his friends are using - currently how my teens decide what system to use...

And don't buy into the "video games make your kids terrible or dumb". I am a 43 year old physician and started out with a TRS-80 computer, then Atari, Odyssey, Sega, Commodore 64 and on and on. I played a ton of games as a kid. I did my homework in front of the TV. I also played outside and did a little sports. I loved playing video games with my friends and now I still play with my teenage boys. MY kids are doing great in school and love console gaming - sometimes do they play more than I would like? Probably, but many times they seem to know that themselves and they will put it away on their own for a few weeks.

MY teens have the Xbox and the PS4. We actually have three Xboxes - I travel quite a bit and if I am away, I sometimes bring mine and we play online together and get to chat while playing a game that we all like. It is very cool.

And the games now not only have the elements of investigation and problem solving, they really are a new social space. MY sons have "friends" they play with and chat with all over the globe. If you son is interested, then let him participate. Online gaming and social interaction is clearly here to stay and learning how to be tech savvy and navigate the "new world" will be a needed skill going forward.
User avatar
linuxology
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by linuxology »

Nintendo Wii U all the way!!
letsgobobby
Posts: 12073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Deleted

Post by letsgobobby »

Deleted
Last edited by letsgobobby on Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
davebo
Posts: 968
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:02 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by davebo »

After a lot of back/forth, we bought my 8 year old son a WII-U. I was worried that he'd become obsessed with it and want to play all the time, but it hasn't been that bad. He plays maybe a few times a week for 20-30 minutes at a time. As long as you have some strict rules in place, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
LiterallyIronic
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:36 am

Re: Gaming system for kids?

Post by LiterallyIronic »

letsgobobby wrote:Is the "old wii" the same thing as "wii u"?
Nope. It's the same situation as the "NES" and the "SNES." Very similar names, but distinctly different consoles. The "old Wii" is usually white and the "Wii U" is usually black. Wii U is more rounded. The Wii U can play Wii games (but it doesn't work the other way around), and the Wii U can use Wii controllers.

Here's a picture of a Wii: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... .01.lg.jpg

And here's a Wii U: http://www.nintendo.com/images/page/wii ... hero-1.jpg


As for the question above about hard drive space, etc. Yes, the Xbox One and Playstation 4 require you to install the games. They're both essentially cheap, weak, computers that can only play proprietary games with proprietary controllers. I personally find them pointless, compared to a gaming PC, especially given that a sizable portion of the games on those consoles are the types that are better played with a keyboard and mouse, such as first person shooters. Not to mention the fact that you can only install so many games. For example, I have 76 games for Nintendo 64. I can put in any cartridge at any time and play it. If I had 76 games for Xbox One or PS4, I'd have to uninstall one and re-install the one I wanted to play, since you can only fit maybe ten games installed at a time.

If you do go the Xbox One or PS4 route, I would not connect it to the Internet for online gaming. Unless you want your seven-year-old to hear very vulgar words. Maybe you care, maybe you don't, just FYI on the state of Xbox Live and Playstation Network.
WilliamRice wrote:I had an Xbox One for myself. The games were too violent to play when my kids were around (5,3). I sold it and built a Retro Pi from a $30 Raspberry Pi which allows you to load all the classic game systems (Atari, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, etc).

It was a lot of fun from a learning perspective but also knowing that my kids will be able to play simple fun games when their ready.
Technically illegal in the United States to download copyrighted ROMs if you do not own the cartridge/disc, which then makes the ROM a backup, which is legal under fair use doctrine. The emulator itself is perfectly legal, but not the ROMs. https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... hp?t=29927. However, I am not an attorney, you are not my client, we have no attorney-client relationship, and my information may be out-dated or flat-out wrong - do not make decisions based on what I do or do not say. /soapbox
Post Reply