choosing a video game system which one is best for kids

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  • 8/6/2019 Choosing a Video Game System Which One is Best for Kids


    Title:Choosing a Video Game System: Which One Is Best for Kids?Word Count:812

    Summary:Knowing which game system is right for your kids and family can be difficult. Thishandy guide will help you decide which video game console will work best for you.

    Keywords:video game console, video games, playstation 2, gamecube, xbox

    Article Body:In the old days, choosing a video game system for children wasn't all that hard. Afterall, parents didn't have to worry about games carried by systems like Atari (there was

    nothing threatening about Pac-Man or Space Invaders). Today, however, with theproliferation of games with mature content available on games supported by the majorsystem manufacturers, parents want to know which system carries the mostkid-friendly games, ones that the young ones will enjoy and one that parents will notregret spending money on.Let's start with the Sony PlayStation 2, the best-selling game console on the markettoday. There are literally thousands of titles available for this system, which cater toevery age range. There are approximately 600 games for the PS2 that have the "E"rating, meaning that it is suitable for players ages six and above. However, many ofthese games are too complicated for young children to play. Games that children tenyears old and above can enjoy are rated E10+, while those that are rated EC (EarlyChildhood) are of course, suitable for the very young. The PS2 carries about a dozenE10+ games, including movie-based titles like Shrek Super Slam for PlayStation 2and Chicken Little. EC titles that little ones can enjoy include Dora the Explorer:Journey to the Purple Planet, Eggo Mania and At the Races Presents Gallop Racer.Nintendo's GameCube console continues to be popular because it carries titles that arepopular with children. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) lists 263video game titles rated E for the GameCube, and these include some of the mostpopular and beloved among the children of today and years past, such as Sega's SonicGEMS Collection, Nintendo's own Mario Party 6 and Mario Tennis. The Legend ofZelda series and several Pokemon titles are available exclusively on the GameCube aswell.

    Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360 video game consoles likewise have many, manytitles that are rated E; the Xbox with approximately 270 games and the Xbox 360 withso far about a dozen -- but count on the number of Xbox 360 titles to increase sinceit's a new release. Some games published by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox andthe Xbox 360 and which have the E rating are Astropop and Feeding Frenzy.However, remember that most game publishers release crossover titles, or games thatare available on multiple platforms. For instance, Eidos Interactive's LEGO StarWars (rated E) is available for the GameCube, PS2 and Xbox; Activision'sMadagascar (rated E10+) is available on the same platforms, while Global StarSoftware's Dora the Explorer (rated EC) is available on the PS2 and Xbox, but not onthe GameCube.

    What about parental control options? Among the four systems, the Xbox and theXbox 360 have the most efficient parental lock functions. Parents are able to setlimits on the games and films to be played on the systems. If you set the system to

  • 8/6/2019 Choosing a Video Game System Which One is Best for Kids


    play only E-rated games, kids won't be able to play DVD's or games that have Teen,Mature, or Adults Only ratings. The GameCube also has a parental lock feature,albeit a less effective one. Users note that all it does is tone down certain effects thatmight be troubling for children (for example, the amount of blood seen in games) butdo not block the playing of games at all. It doesn't even screen or bleep offensivelanguage. The parental control function of the PlayStation 2 is even worse -- it

    doesn't allow parents or anyone to restrict access to video games at all. The mostparents can do is to set the PS2 to prevent their kids from watching DVD movies withinappropriate content.When it comes to price, the GameCube comes out tops. Available for only $99, it'ssignificantly cheaper than the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, whose prices range from $150to $199 (or more if bundled with game titles). The Xbox 360, being the newest of thebunch, is the highest-priced. For $299, you get the system and a wired controller.For $399, you get a wireless controller, a headset that players can use to talk to otherpeople online, a 20 GB hard drive that is loaded with game-related videos and music,and a remote.

    Parents should go out and try each system personally as well as look at the differenttitles available for them before deciding which one to buy. Factors such as numberand age of users at home, game title availability, and budget should also beconsidered. Each system has its own pros and cons, and families will differ in theirpreferences: some will be content with the limited but popular games of theGameCube; some might prefer the wider offering of the PlayStation 2 or the Xbox;others might opt for the high-tech features of the Xbox 360. But all thingsconsidered, making the right choice will provide hours of wholesome, fun, andworry-free entertainment for the little ones and for their parents as well.

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