Jul 27, 2022 - Technology

Demystifying video games for parents

Illustration of a treasure chest wide open pouring out light and glowing.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There’s no instruction manual for working video games into family life. But if you’re a parent, you don't have a choice, Axios Gaming author Stephen Totilo writes.

  • Why it matters: Games can be fun hang-out spaces, digital canvases for creativity — and safe spaces for learning how to win, lose or chip away at a goal that might be hours, days or weeks away.

🧠 What you can do: The most important thing a grown-up can do when bringing games into a kid’s life — or, more likely, getting dragged by a kid — is to find ways to experience games with them.

  • That doesn’t necessarily mean mastering Call of Duty.
  • It does mean introducing gaming to a child as something they do with an older sibling or guardian. That will help instill healthy habits about what they play, how long they play and what they get out of it.

⚠️ Safety tips: Check console settings to limit options for voice chat.

  • Remind kids to be as careful around online strangers as they are in real life.

🪜 Next steps: Many video games include options to play together — or lend themselves to taking turns.

Go deeper: Search ESRB.org (Entertainment Software Rating Board) for game ratings.

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