On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

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vveat
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On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by vveat » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am

There is probably an old thread on this, must be a common topic, but I couldn’t find it, so here goes.

We have a 6 and 9 year old kids, and they are recently getting more into video games, especially the younger one (a boy). My husband and I are not into games, I haven’t played for many years, he sometimes indulges in something called World of Tanks (I think) – but we are not really familiar with options, trends, etc. Until now we had downloaded a few minor games on our phones to keep the kids entertained on the occasional need, and this was all they had access to. But this summer they got exposed to more options during our vacation with friends, and recently this got reinforced by playdates with new friends who have consoles at home. So now they are really pushing us for more games time and asking for an Xbox.

That is fine overall - they are both in sports 4-5 days a week, they are ahead on schoolwork and reading, so we don’t see an (immediate) harm of getting more games time. Money is not a particular problem either (we could make them save for a console, but may be better to buy it for them to have more control over use).

My questions are mostly about how to set everything up

1. With your kids, did they get certain time per day or per week? Or did you use it as a reward for homework/ chores done? If you set time is it for games or TV together (i.e. screen time), or just for games?
2. I read up a bit on Playstation vs Xbox (most terminology went over my head frankly), they seem to be pretty similar with mostly same games, and the exclusives seemed to matter more for grown-ups. I couldn’t find out whether one is considered better than the other for younger kids, do any of you know?
3. I guess once they have a console we’ll have to buy games for it, any ones to stay away from? Or any particularly good?
4. Any pitfalls to watch for, anything I should be asking?

Thanks!

furwut
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by furwut » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:16 am

I think you’d be better off keeping your house video game free. These games are designed to be addictive and turn out highly addictive to some. In return I don’t see any redeeming social value.

I think occasional play dates with friends is enough exposure.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by climber2020 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:17 am

vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am

2. I read up a bit on Playstation vs Xbox (most terminology went over my head frankly), they seem to be pretty similar with mostly same games, and the exclusives seemed to matter more for grown-ups. I couldn’t find out whether one is considered better than the other for younger kids, do any of you know?
Ask your kids. It's their opinion that is important; you don't want to buy something based on what a bunch of old people (me included) think.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by lthenderson » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:20 am

vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am
1. With your kids, did they get certain time per day or per week? Or did you use it as a reward for homework/ chores done? If you set time is it for games or TV together (i.e. screen time), or just for games?
2. I read up a bit on Playstation vs Xbox (most terminology went over my head frankly), they seem to be pretty similar with mostly same games, and the exclusives seemed to matter more for grown-ups. I couldn’t find out whether one is considered better than the other for younger kids, do any of you know?
3. I guess once they have a console we’ll have to buy games for it, any ones to stay away from? Or any particularly good?
4. Any pitfalls to watch for, anything I should be asking?

1. We limit ours to Friday evenings after all homework is done. Saturdays after all chores are done and Sunday until early afternoon. They don't get any electronics during the week when school is in session. The reason we do this is because we notice behavioral changes after long hours of playing video games.

2. We have a WiiU mostly because the games are more family friendly.

3. Games are horribly expensive. Fortunately we have a police auction once a year for items seized during police raids. You wouldn't believe the amount of video games (and equipment) thugs/drug addicts/etc. buy and play with. I bought 100+ wiiU and wii games for about $1 each at the auction. I've probably only bought three or four at full price brand new.

4. Like I mentioned above, behavior issues from extended hours of playing video games. I have two girls and they get mean and cranky after a few hours of playing video games.

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mhc
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by mhc » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:24 pm

One way to choose the console is based on what friends have. This way they can play together (on-line using headsets).

My son is 13. He earned the money to buy the console, headset, and games. He also earned the money to buy the chair that he sits in to play Xbox.

You will have to determine the proper content and limits for your family. Consoles are portals to everything on the web in addition to the gaming. Also, online gamers can be quite vulgar and some are predators.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by fishmonger » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:30 pm

furwut wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:16 am
I think you’d be better off keeping your house video game free. These games are designed to be addictive and turn out highly addictive to some. In return I don’t see any redeeming social value.

I think occasional play dates with friends is enough exposure.
+1. My kids ask and I say no.

Your 6 year old is in sports 4-5 nights a week? And isn't getting burnt out? My 8 year old loves sports but does it 2 nights a week

vveat
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by vveat » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:03 pm

fishmonger wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:30 pm

Your 6 year old is in sports 4-5 nights a week? And isn't getting burnt out? My 8 year old loves sports but does it 2 nights a week
Not to get off topic, but this means 2-3 days sport #1 (the 3rd day is optional for him) + 2 days sport #2 - each session is 1 hour long, so this means 4-5 hours a week, not a ton. The life of a younger sibling - he is in the same sports as his older sister, just different groups/teams, and it doesn't seem practical to leave him at home or on the bench while his sister is practicing. Frankly, it's harder on the parents schedule, possibly we'll cut off sport #2 at some point, since they prefer #1 anyway.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Carson » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:24 pm

We have a 7.75 yo. Last year we allowed him 30 (okay, 45) mins on Saturday nights, IF he had a solid week of school - completing his work, taking showers :shock: , and at least putting in the recommended amount of studying for his spelling.

It's not an option on weeknights - there's just too much going on. But on a Friday or Saturday, I'm okay with it. Luckily our son is a pretty tight rule-follower, good kind of kid. He generally enjoys legos, reading, building junk, soccer/baseball. I know a time will come when he probably would rather play video games and I'd entertain the concept of it becoming more of his time. Right now this works well for us.

Can't help you with new games - there will always be some latest and greatest, I don't bother trying. We have an older WII, it works fine and we've been able to find friendly engaging games for him (mario and lego star wars)
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Lakeparty » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:40 pm

Man, I don't even know where to begin. Gaming isn't what it used to be. Many games are practically professional sports now days. You can view the pros (and a lot of non pros) on www.twitch.com. Some pro gamers make 10's up to 100's of thousands of dollars a year just to play games. A lot of these guys are "streamers" and they get paid by tips and subscribers of their video channels as they play nightly. This isn't even considering prize money from competitions they win. I understand a lot of people are scared of games and think the kids that play are weirdo's but its a huge part of the culture today. I think gaming has the ability to teach kids very analytical thinking with any competitive game. They can broaden social skills because everyone is connected and talking via the internet, and there is the possibility of teaching kids to become entrepreneurs. Try googling "salaries of pro gamers". Or look at how Blizzard (ATVI) is creating a virtual Olympics with their incredible dev team and collegiate involvement with all their games... and this is just one big company not the only one. http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/events/

I guess its all how you look at it. I can just remember my dad yelling at me when I used to play games as a kid saying how bad it was and I remember rolling my eyes thinking you don't understand..... listening to the comments on here just makes me laugh and do a double take on the eye rolling hahaha.

Having some control over the amount of time your kids play makes a lot of sense because just like most things..... too much can be bad. Just youtube "angry kids and games" for a lovely video list of examples. Maybe because of your children's age the best thing you can do is spend a little time with your kids and play with them even if it's just a little so you have a feel for what they're interested in and can make sure you're ok with the format and possibly who they are engaging with online (if they're gaming online)

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by pochax » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:54 pm

i am a gamer (casually) myself and can't believe i'm saying this but i agree that you should probably not facilitate your kids into video games. it can be very addictive and even when they are limited on time, their minds can become obsessed about the NEXT time they get to play.

BUT...if you are going to go down that path, consider getting the Nintendo Switch: tends have less "hardcore" games and more casual games amenable to cooperative/mutliplayer gaming, many of which are family-friendly, some of which are more mind-provoking (puzzles, problem solving, etc.), and the Switch is actually portable (although battery life is meh....but that puts a limit on game time which can be plus).

Radjob4me
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Radjob4me » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:56 pm

Your kids are about the same age as ours when we got a Wii (now boys 16, 17 and girl 14). I grew up gaming in the 80s starting with the Odyssey, then Atari, Sega Genesis, C64 computer and so on. I am now a physician in my 40s and my kids are all very good students. No ill effects that I can see despite the typical "keep them away"... I just prefer gaming and computers over books. I still do lots of activities as do my kids. There are amazing problem solving skills to be learned, whether talking about the games or systems themselves.

The Wii is good, fun console and definitely the best choice for "group" gaming, as in the same room. We have four controllers and my kids still play Bowling and Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros together either with each other (and me - but not my wife) or their friends. Games tend to be simple and fun. Best choice for kids your age - I admit I don;t know much about the WiiU (I think similar) or Switch, but hear good things. But if going with a more advanced console, ask your kids - it depends on the friend group as to which one will be better to game with their friends/classmates.

One of my sons has an Xbox One (as do I!) and one has a PS4 - based on their friend group. The online gaming is amazing - I travel quite a bit and I sometimes take my console with me and play with my son online. The games tend towards online mulitplayer - as not many can easily be played literally side-by-side in the same room (unlike the Wii) except sports games. And yes, the online gaming community, like any, can be good or bad. I still think occasionally about the stuff that some high schoolers were talking about (not my kids) when I joined a group activity a few months ago - I had to leave the group it was so bad. Others online are just so funny and helpful and kind - and you can block folks or make a list of people you like. The games range from simple fun to very violent and even scary, so more monitoring is required for the Xbox or PS consoles.

Finally, for all the boohoo about gaming, my eldest son is a talented gamer - and has even learned to set up his own website and payment system to help out other players complete tasks for a nominal fee and made hundreds of dollars (and no this is not his career path - he's a good student and has a regular job) online. Those are very useful skills indeed.
Last edited by Radjob4me on Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TSR
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by TSR » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:15 pm

By way of background: I enjoy video games, but I don't have kids. My brother enjoys video games and his son (8) does too. His daughter (6) likes to watch her brother play. Several thoughts based on this experience:

1. Video games are like anything else: they can be positive immersive experiences, or they can be bad influences and unnecessarily addictive. But it's hard to figure out which: I played a LOT of games as a kid, and today I'm a thoughtful and successful person. I'm not sure that you could have predicted this from my ripping heads off of people in Mortal Kombat back in the day.
2. Your son will need a few years before he can play games at the level of complexity that these various systems allow. Really: my brother still has to beat a lot of the big bad guys for my nephew.
3. Like any activity, your children's experience will be much better depending on how involved you are. If they are going to play this stuff, you should get into it too, at least on an observational level. As with TV, some of the lessons in the games are worth discussing.
4. The good news is that video-gaming journalism and reviews are better than ever, so they can tell you a lot about the games you're purchasing, whether it's quality, emotional content, or adult content. YOU need to read this stuff and purchase accordingly. A google search of "video game reviews for parents" reveals many good results.
5. Video game ratings are much better today than they used to be, but they are really not like movie ratings. Example: a lot of parents of teenagers go into game stores and ask, "I let my child watch some R-rated movies. He now wants Grand Theft Auto. Are they the same?" I think they are not the same. It's one thing to watch people getting shot in Heat or Pulp Fiction. It's another thing to be doing the shooting. A game rated for +17 can contain cursing, nudity, sex, and extreme violence/gore. Equal caution is necessary for younger children and games that are rated for 13 and up. Some such games contain quite a bit of "mischief" that you might be ok allowing your 13 year old to see, but that you would not want an 8 year old to see.
6. There are some beautiful games out there these days, many of which are non-violent. Really, this is a very vibrant medium. Whether your kids will like those games will depend on whether you show them to them.
7. Of the three major console makers, Nintendo has the reputation for being the most family friendly. The new Switch is putting out some fantastic games, all of which are fairly family friendly. You might ask if your kids would like that as a compromise. Zelda, Mario, and numerous other games are great for kids. My brother is playing through Zelda with his son now. There is nothing inherently wrong with the other systems, but you'll have to do more digging as far as the kinds of games. The Lego games, for example, will be safe and fun.
8. Remember that all of these systems ALSO serve as means to access the internet. This is a huge benefit to gaming, but it obviously requires other parenting precautions that you are already familiar with in dealing with the internet.
9. Regarding point 8 above, I would personally recommend not allowing your kids to play online games for at least five more years. In my experience, these are much, much more addictive because it's more fun to compete against real people (I'm almost 40 years old and won't let MYSELF play online games due to this same fear). Additionally, your kids can be exposed to some ugly stuff through some of these online interactions, including rampant cursing and casual racism/sexism.

All of this might seem a bit overwhelming, but I think this is one of those "you can't hold back the tide" things. Your kids are going to play video games. This is your chance to curate the experience.

Good luck!

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Isabelle77 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:11 pm

Interesting perspectives. Here's ours for the record but it is a very personal decision how to handle all of this stuff. We have an 11yr old and a 13yr old. The 13yr old is a girl and doesn't care about video games, however we use a similar approach with her when it comes to social media and television. My husband enjoys video games occasionally so we aren't anti video games within reason. We are anti social media.

1. Screens only on weekends and not the entire weekend, our son is super active and a little hyper so this isn't really an issue for us.
2. Unless the game is a gift for xmas or a birthday, you buy it yourself.
3. We check everything through Common Sense Media and follow their recommendations for the most part.
4. No First Person Shooter games.
4. You may not play any games where you can chat with anyone, not even your friends. No online games.
5. Video games are played in the main family room only, not in bedrooms.

Honestly, we are much stricter than most of our son's friends. But we have more issues with banning social media from our 13yr old than we do with protests from the 11yr old. Teenagers. :shock:

As for what platform etc. Your kids will let you know what they want and what their friends are playing. Then just investigate it and see if it's what you would want for your family. Generally it seems to be an Xbox. Common Sense Media is your friend for game reviews, definitely don't listen to other parents...good luck.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Krischi » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:19 pm

I was (and still am) an avid gamer myself. My generation was pretty much the first one that got into gaming seriously. Our 8-year-old twin kids have a PS4. We allow them to play certain types of games that engage their creativity, such as Minecraft and Lego Worlds. Minecraft, in particular, has many attributes that I find appealing as a parent, especially the ability to build entire electrical systems in a virtual world.

I don't view this as materially different from playing with physical Lego bricks, which our kids have, too.

Games can be a great way to connect as a family, too. The games we select all allow local cooperative multiplayer play, and it is a good way to engage that carriers over post-game, too, such as discussing strategy and tactics. I'll also add that one of the best things that could have happened was playing Rayman Legends cooperatively with the kids. Reviews and words understate how much this game is designed for coop, and how much it makes you talk to the kids to figure out what works.

We do not allow internet access from the PS4, and we do not allow online gaming at this age.

I think many of the concerns about games that are getting tossed out are somewhat overblown. They can be addictive, but like with everything else, you have to set limits. And our kids are also avid readers, get out and get exercise, and do really well in school. We also do not subscribe to the philosophy of scheduling away every one of their waking hours.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by TSR » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:23 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:11 pm

2. Unless the game is a gift for xmas or a birthday, you buy it yourself.
Excellent suggestion. My brother and I are both very frugal, Boglehead type people as adults. But just about every financial lesson we learned before the age of 18 was video-game related. So many dumb choices, and many very good ones. Because video games are fairly expensive, they force kids to make choices about savings. By 15 or 16, I was purchasing whole consoles, using most of the money I had saved from summer jobs. Again, I made mistakes, but those lessons were very valuable.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by lightheir » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:25 pm

If there is one thing for certain, it is that playing lots of video games as a child does not render you a social and intellectual mess. Tons of kids such as myself played tons of video games in our childhood and ended up extremely successful today, and not just because of intellectual or game type skills.

One way you can start out, is looking for Cooperative two player games where you placed side-by-side and accomplish a team goal.

I have been playing a game called stardew Valley with my seven-year-old. she is too young to read the text or move the character, so I do it, but it is a farming game, and we play in 30-minute sessions and she greatly enjoys the process of adventuring, building a farm, and planning for goals. Highly rewarding and it is now one of her favorite activities and it is a bonding moment for us.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:49 pm

I would encourage your kids to read! If you don't start when you're young, you won't like reading when you're older. They will not like reading for fun after the instant gratification of video games. Once they are teenagers, I think video games are okay in moderation.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:03 pm

vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am
Money is not a particular problem either (we could make them save for a console, but may be better to buy it for them to have more control over use).
For what it’s worth my parents made me buy all my video games and they exerted 100% control over them as well.

vveat
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by vveat » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:26 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:03 pm
vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am
Money is not a particular problem either (we could make them save for a console, but may be better to buy it for them to have more control over use).
For what it’s worth my parents made me buy all my video games and they exerted 100% control over them as well.

I like that approach :sharebeer

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Isabelle77 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:33 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:03 pm
vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am
Money is not a particular problem either (we could make them save for a console, but may be better to buy it for them to have more control over use).
For what it’s worth my parents made me buy all my video games and they exerted 100% control over them as well.
As do we.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by vveat » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:34 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:49 pm
I would encourage your kids to read! If you don't start when you're young, you won't like reading when you're older. They will not like reading for fun after the instant gratification of video games. Once they are teenagers, I think video games are okay in moderation.

No real concern here, we are all into reading. My older kid (the 9 year old) has more than 500 books on the shelves in her room and had read all of them, she usually reads 1-2 books a day, and they are all above her grade level. I wish she was not so much into fantasy (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Narnia, The Giver, etc, etc) but reading is reading and that's a hot topic in YA now. The 6 year old also reads a fair amount of chapter books (went through the whole Magic Tree House series a year ago), but could be more at risk if he gets too absorbed by video games. We have to be careful with time restrictions for him.

Thank you all for the excellent advice so far!

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Isabelle77 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:35 pm

Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:49 pm
I would encourage your kids to read! They will not like reading for fun after the instant gratification of video games.
This is just not true, my son reads and loves to read, he also enjoys playing video games. So does my husband. I read several books a week and I also enjoy watching Netflix on occasion...

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Whakamole » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:11 pm

vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:34 pm
No real concern here, we are all into reading. My older kid (the 9 year old) has more than 500 books on the shelves in her room and had read all of them, she usually reads 1-2 books a day, and they are all above her grade level. I wish she was not so much into fantasy (Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Narnia, The Giver, etc, etc) but reading is reading and that's a hot topic in YA now. The 6 year old also reads a fair amount of chapter books (went through the whole Magic Tree House series a year ago), but could be more at risk if he gets too absorbed by video games. We have to be careful with time restrictions for him.

Thank you all for the excellent advice so far!
There is nothing wrong with fantasy, that is where I started, then I graduated to Poe.

I do not think all video games are created equal. Some (like strategy games, like Civilization, XCOM, and the like) require you to put some thought into the game (and, at least in XCOM's case, also teach you that 98% is not 100%.)

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Alexa9
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by Alexa9 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:17 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:35 pm
Alexa9 wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:49 pm
I would encourage your kids to read! They will not like reading for fun after the instant gratification of video games.
This is just not true, my son reads and loves to read, he also enjoys playing video games. So does my husband. I read several books a week and I also enjoy watching Netflix on occasion...
Ask your son if he likes video games or books more. I would bet the average teenager these days prefers video games. Most video games have little educational value compared to a book as well. They are entertaining and okay in moderation. I can think of lots of better hobbies to have.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by cantos » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:45 pm

OP: Tons of studies out there that show gaming is bad for kids that young. The rest of the posts here are anecdotal - one, two, or ten kids does not make a rule. I highly suggest you don't get a gaming system until they are older.

(I should mention, I have been gaming since I was 10 years old on a Commodore 64/Apple II+, til I was in my 20s and finally realized games are designed to be addictive just like gambling, and gave it up. I play the occasional game once every 5 years or so now. Did gaming hurt me? Well, let's just say I'm way more well adjusted now.)

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by APB » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:11 pm

6 and 9? Don't know whether 6 is too young.

I guess my first game system I was probably 8 or 9. My parents put modestly strict limits, mostly during weekdays. I have great memories of playing games with friends, and I have no regrets. I'm very high achieving now under normal measures (salary, education, relationships) and play less now, but still enjoy some gaming.

Negotiating limits will be very important, and you'll need to be firm. If you can navigate that, games don't do harm imo. Games are for after: homework, family time, sports, going outside, etc.
My posts represent my own opinion and do not constitute financial advice. I am simply a hobbyist. :)

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by deikel » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:31 pm

My recommendation is to stay far away from an X-Box, they try to sucker you into the Gold membership so the kids can actually play together (split screen) or over the net...most games will not allow to play as a team only as a stand alone, the items you purchase are actually all just activation codes of one sort or another, the menu is ridiculously complicated and W10 has a special place in hell IMO. Most games are shooters or other complex games for a different age group - finding suitable games is a lot harder, accessories are expensive, batteries get eaten up real quick....the list of grievances is long.

Friends have a Wii and the games seem much more age appropriate and closer to what I would consider a typical game console.

I have no experience with the PlayStation.

Never would I purchase an XBox again - one of the worst expenses in a long time, had not done my homework prior and just assumed they would all be kind of the same thing given the open market they are in. Not so...
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by techrover » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:37 pm

What worked for us is to balance out video gaming with other activities.
You do not want kids to feel isolated by denying them what rest of their peers are doing, but at the same time do not want to get them addicted. Some rules that have worked for us :
1. Agree beforehand to use games to enrich skills/have family fun/limit time. Keep reminding kids about this from time to time.
2. Buy only sports/creativity type games. No racing/violence related games.
3. Do not meet their gaming needs 100% all the time.

kjvmartin
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by kjvmartin » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:55 pm

vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am

4. Any pitfalls to watch for, anything I should be asking?

Thanks!
I'm in my 30s and played a lot in my youth. I got the itch to game again earlier this year and picked up a used Xbox One.

I was blown away by how much things have changed and can't imagine any parent knowingly letting their kids get into this stuff. Online play forces one to quickly mute very abrasive, sexual, harsh, racist, "locker room" kind of language during multiplayer. If a female joins the match, watch out. Nothing I can repeat here, but jokes/insults about Hitler, HIV, and abortion are not uncommon. Even with those muted, a simple war themed shoot up game has constant swearing in the background from the other characters in the game and sex scenes. Most of the AAA (most popular) titles are sexualized and have pornographic content, drug use, and the violence has gotten too real looking. It normalizes this stuff, desensitizes the mind. Don't take this thread for it, research some gaming forums (reddit) and see what sort of stuff is out there.

Car racing was safe, Madden Football, and anything Star Wars. This is without multiplayer voice chat. I couldn't find anything else family or kid friendly on Xbox. Perhaps Minecraft, I did not try that game. I have heard better things about the Nintendo Switch. Zelda, Mario Kart, Mario, etc.

SLHI
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by SLHI » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:06 pm

Personally (I'm 25), I wish I never had video games in my household in my childhood. Even with time controls my parents had for my brothers and I, all I thought of was video games. I like to think I'd have put my mind to more productive and meaningful pursuits earlier if I didn't have the video game distraction. If I ever have a family, I think I would stay very far away from those.

staythecourse
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by staythecourse » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:36 pm

I'm one on the no video games in the house. Your kids may be in sports now as they have no other options, but how sure are you they will not try to start cutting out other aspects of their life in hopes of getting into more video games. Or start cutting corners with studies. Every parent thinks their kid is the one who want be addicted to electronics (social media and/ or video games) and would say they end up being wrong more often then right.

I used to play as a kid and have NO CLUE what advantage can be gained playing video games. I literally got dumber playing them in retrospect. My mom still talks about the mistake she made of buying me a console 20+ years ago. I have 2 young one (5 and 2) and would NEVER allow them in the house for any regular play.

Good luck.
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reriodan
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by reriodan » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:43 pm

If you want to get more family friendly stuff, go with Nintendo. As another mentioned, a big issue can be voice chat on multiplayer games, though I would bet there are parental controls where you could disable that. With Nintendo, their online is so bad they do not even have a voice chat option. Also, the games are more family friendly in general.

Also, I would probably let the kid figure out what games they want. If you don't know much about gaming, your likely to make some really bad choices.

Interesting to see how anti-gaming this forum is though. In my opinion, as long as you exercise good balance, they are fine. I think people look back and see how much time they wasted on video games and IF they would have done something else it would have been much more rewarding NOW. Everything is like that though. I think obsession over anything is bad, sports, books, video games, whatever.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by kazper » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:01 pm

This may sound strange, but video games sparked my interest in reading. Throughout middle/high school i hated reading. As i played more role playing type games, it required me to read more and improve my comprehension-otherwise you don't know what is going on. Now i read more, either playing games or just for fun.

Aside from that it does improve hand eye coordination and can improve puzzle solving abilities with the right games. I completely agree though that some games are complete time sucks with no real added benefit to the gamer.

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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by TheHouse7 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:32 pm

furwut wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:16 am
I think you’d be better off keeping your house video game free. These games are designed to be addictive and turn out highly addictive to some. In return I don’t see any redeeming social value.

I think occasional play dates with friends is enough exposure.
+1 as an avid gamer(30) I will be much more protective of my kids. I would have gotten a more effective degree and a better job faster, without World of Tanks, Eve, MW2
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deikel
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by deikel » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:13 am

staythecourse wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:36 pm
I used to play as a kid and have NO CLUE what advantage can be gained playing video games. I literally got dumber playing them in retrospect.
I am critical of screen time in general, however there are positive aspects of games being played. a) its less passive consumption than say TV or youtube or movies and b) it actually does train things like orientation in a 3D room, hand eye coordination, eye movement, attention span, reflexes ect - some games can indeed be used for select medical therapies believe it or not.

Occasional play and working yourself into games to understand their logic most certainly does not make you dumber, you learn something along the way, now, excessive playing for hours on end and forgetting about your real environment is obviously bad for many reasons.

Just to keep it balanced...not all screen is evil
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immidiatly and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

deikel
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by deikel » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:17 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:55 pm
vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am

4. Any pitfalls to watch for, anything I should be asking?

Thanks!
Car racing was safe, Madden Football, and anything Star Wars. This is without multiplayer voice chat. I couldn't find anything else family or kid friendly on Xbox. Perhaps Minecraft, I did not try that game. I have heard better things about the Nintendo Switch. Zelda, Mario Kart, Mario, etc.
emphasis mine

+1 YES, wish I would have known that before I dumped the money on the X box, the consoles are a world of difference, don't look at the technology in them, look at what games they actually have in the store and decide based on the games they offer....
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immidiatly and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

DemoEngr
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Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Post by DemoEngr » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:30 am

We use a program called Kidswatch to regulate computer time. It gives options for extending time for rewards such as homework and chores. It also allows you to define programs and website access. It ends a lot of arguments about screen time.

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