Encourages family time
If you play the games with your children, you can see for yourself what they are learning and you can build on that with other “real” activities. For example, if someone makes an unfamiliar word in the Bookworm game, then you can show them how to look up the meaning in a dictionary, make a list of the unusual words to play in Scrabble or challenge the child to use the word in a sentence.
“Playing together also gives you a good opportunity to socialize with your child,” says Trina Schimmer, host of GamingAngels.com. “You can even workout together using the Wii.”
It is recommended that you check the ratings of the games before buying them on www.esrb.org.
Of course, too much of a good thing is well, too much. Playing video games needs to be balanced with other activities – ones you do in the real world. Pierce recommends an hour or two a day as the maximum amount of time kids should be participating with any kind of virtual game.
Save money on video games
According to Pierce, kids play one game an average of 10–12 hours total, then they are done with it. Console games range in price from $40-$60, so the costs can easily mount.
Used games sold by game resellers can drop that price substantially. GameStop is one of those resellers.
New games are released every Tuesday, and Schimmer says don’t buy them when they are brand new.
“Wait three weeks or a month,” Schimmer says, “and they’ll be on sale at Target or some other store.”
Many of the social games and virtual world games can be played for free, but if you want to upgrade your experience you can for a small fee. For instance, Pierce’s game, “Onverse,” can be upgraded from a free apartment to a home for $10. That’s a savings of $30-$50 over a console game and extends abilities you have within the game for a period of months.
Although video games have secret benefits, they also can’t replace real interaction, so use with caution.
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