Things have come a long way since the Atari or the original Nintendo many adults remember. One very important thing to remember is the games have changed too. Instead of "Frogger" or "Pac-Man" today's games carry titles such as "Left 4 Dead" and "Gears of War."
The innocent games that used to make children smile have been replaced with games containing guns and blood shed. When buying these games it is highly recommended by the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) to look at the ratings.
Ratings aren't just for movies any more. Video games have gotten so explicit, they must also carry a rating such as, M for mature; AO for adults only; T for teen; E for everyone; E10 for everyone over 10 years of age; EC for early childhood.
Gaming systems today are very realistic. The three-dimensional view and the animation of the characters makes it much easier for one to imagine they are there, inside the game. This makes it even more important to keep a close eye on the games children are playing and what the rating of the games are.
NIMF also conducts research every year and sends out a "report card" on the gaming industry and the consumers. In the past, the report has criticized the game industry for failing to adequately warn families about inappropriate content.
This year, the gaming industry got nearly straight A's, but the parents received an Incomplete for not paying enough attention to ratings and failing to use parental controls built into game consoles.
Some children, when making out there Christmas list, count on their parents being naive about the gaming world. NIMF has red-flagged 10 violent games concerned parents should keep away from their children.
The ten games on NIMF's list are: "Blitz: The League II," "Dead Space," "Fallout 3," "Far Cry 2," "Gears of War 2," "Legendary," "Left 4 Dead," "Resistance 2," "Saints Row 2," "Silent Hill: Homecoming." These videos contain excessive bloodshed and brutality.
For more information on video ratings visit www.parentstv.org.