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Buying Video Games for Teenagers

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The interactive computer game craze isn't such a bad thing. It's more educational then just watching TV, you know where you teenager is and the teen really love it. The problem comes in when you, as a parent, aren't informed enough about which games are appropriate. Many of the games are violent in nature and shouldn't be played by this age group. But now the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has been formed to help us with these decisions.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is an independent rating system which was established in September of 1994 by the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), the leading trade association for the interactive entertainment software industry. The ESRB is a voluntary rating system which was developed to give parents and consumers information about the content of video and computer games so that they can make informed purchase and rental decisions.

Definitions of the Ratings used by ESRB:

The ESRB rates the games by choosing 'three raters randomly chosen from a pool of over 100 demographically diverse individuals from all walks of life.' These raters have been trained in the rating system and go through the games frame by frame.

Another common problem with video game playing that is often brought up on the forum is the amount of time our youngsters play the games. This problem can be diverted by setting up an Action Plan with your teenager, thereby avoiding the power struggle.

Readers Respond: Top Parenting Tips for Handling Video Games and Online Gaming with Teens

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