Video Game Safety

Does your house hold revolve around video games and bribing with the video games!? (insert eye rolls here)
We have a pretty good control on our video game usage in this house hold, but let me tell you for a little while there it was out of control and the temper tantrums were crazy.
This post is a lot different than beauty and fashion!! It is about keeping our kiddos safe on the internet and while gaming!! I will share the tips I have gained from the websites that we have used to look up games and certain content.

Be aware that most gaming devices can directly connect children to the Internet.  Most gaming devices come with parental controls and family safety settings.  These settings allow parents to restrict access to inappropriate games, restrict audio chat use, choose with whom their children play, and limit the amount of time their children play.

Helpful Tips for Parents

  • Check the ratings. Use both Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating symbols and content descriptors to select appropriate games for your children. Before you go shopping, visit ESRB for specific ratings information. 
  • Consider your child’s personality, maturity and abilities. Video game ratings provide guidance. Parents should decide which games are appropriate for their children. 
  • Don’t stop at the ratings. Speak to older children and other parents, rent before purchasing, read game reviews, and try out demos of games online or in stores where games are sold. 
  • Look closely at the box the game comes in. Most video games have screen shots of the game on the back of the box showing typical scenes from the game. Determine if you are comfortable with the characters, scene depiction, and level of action portrayed before you buy or rent the game. Additional screen shots are available online at game preview websites, such as Game Revolution, GameSpot, or GameSpy. 
  • Know the store’s return policy. Many stores will not accept video game returns if the cellophane wrapping has been opened. 
  • Play video games with your children. Playing or observing helps you understand your child’s video game experience, while providing a fun parent/child activity. Talk to your child and ask him or her about the game, what makes it fun for them, what is the story-line, is the game real or make-believe? 
  • Use parental controls. Newer video game systems allow parents to restrict specific game content by rating. 
  • Be cautious with “online-enabled” games. Many popular games can be played with friends (and strangers) over the Internet. Often, these games contain live chat or other user-generated content that is not rated by the ESRB and may not be consistent with the rating assigned to the game. 
  • Be aware of “mods” that can change a game. Downloadable programs (“mods”) can alter game content and the game’s age-appropriateness. Some mods can contain viruses or spy-ware, making them dangerous predators to your family computer. 
  • Set household media use rules. Establish rules for your children and encourage open communication about their media use so they recognize what you feel is inappropriate content.
The list above is a useful and helpful list that I have copied from pta.org 

our boys are very lucky at this point in time, however that can change if they start to change the way that they act. 

The boys like to dual screen so one tv is on the ground and the other is on the hutch.

Our rules are:

  • No profanity (lets be real these kids talk horribly when we are not around)
  • No video games on school nights
  • No video games till chores are done first
  • No reenactment from the games or the lose all privileges (no cursing or aggressiveness or acting out)the kids have to do chores to get chore money to purchase these xbox gift cards to get memberships to play live with their friends. (we don't just provide those to them)
  • The boys buy their own games (we don't buy them for them- not even as gifts)
  • If grades are slipping or priorities are changing video games get taken away 
  • We have a 2 hour limit a day (so during the school year weekends only- and we don't allow combined times, such as missing a day to play for 4 hours.)
Dreamy and I are firm believers that the kids need to go outside and be active first and foremost before sitting in front of the game console for 2 hours at a time. 

Having a split family, we can't be the rules to the other parent, these are just our rules the boys have to follow at our house.

These are Dreamys kids after all, I am just his co parent, so I will tell him my rules he will tell me his and then we combine them to be fair for the boys.

Thanks to Skinit.com for allowing our Brody to customize his skin for his XBOX!! He loved being able to upload his favorite characters from his games and creating a custom skin! Thank You from our family. (our oldest wants a skin for his now- he is jealous)

As always thanks for reading and lets continue to make our kids safe!!

Pictures were taken by yours truly, and Dreamy was the one who placed the skin, Brody was the cheerleader through the process. (more like the anxious one not being able to wait to play and have a custom skin on his Xbox)