The video game industry is a $23.5 billion business in the United States. Game consoles and game titles are at the top of millions of children and adult gift list this holiday but their parents have questions about them. If you start looking online or in a store for games it can be quite confusing for parents and many of the games are not appropriate for young children.
One of the issues for parents is, they don't know enough about the games. A 9 year old may ask for a game they play at a friend's house that contains bad language, violence and blood. One of our viewers sent in an email asking about which games are best for their 10 year old son. Another viewer asked if they should get their son an X-Box or PlayStation. Now, I don't aim to answer those questions for different parents but I can suggest some questions they should ask before plunking down several hundred dollars on a system and $60 on a game.
X-Box One and PlayStation are the two consoles gamers want. These are both very similar in gameplay and cost about the same, $299 but are often found on sale during the holidays for $250. Games range in price from $20 up to $70 for the most popular titles.
Your kids probably will ask for a specific console because it is the one their friends are playing since many gamers like to play the games with a group of people online all competing in the same game.
A key difference in consoles are the games available. Both X-Box and PlayStation have games that only work on those systems so it's a good idea to ask which game they want to play. Otherwise, in terms of quality and game play the consoles are equally good (although fans will probably insist the one they play is the best.)
This holiday season the current 'must have' or 'most played' games are Call of Duty, Battlefield One, Final Fantasy XV and Gears of War. These games are rated appropriate for certain age groups. Shooter games such as Call of Duty and Battle One are rated M for mature while the Final Fantasy series is rated T for appropriate for teens.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board reviews every video game and determines a rating, similar to movie ratings. Parents who have questions about the content of specific videos are encouraged to visit the ERSB Ratings Board website for details, reviews and comments from other parents. Parents should also visit www.twitch.tv a website devoted to online gaming. On this website parents can view the games in action played by other gamers. One word of caution though, the website is NSFW because of language often used by the game players.