The National Institute on Media and the Family has released its 11th annual Video Game Report Card, which rates violence, aggression and sexual content in video games.
The group has released a list of games they say is inappropriate for children and teens and a list of games they recommend for children and teens.
2006 Buying Guide for Parents
Parent Alert! Games to Avoid for your Children and Teens*
Gangs of London
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Mortal Kombat: Unchained
Scarface: The World is Yours
The Godfather: Mob Wars
* These games are all rated M for Mature. Titles rated M have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
MediaWise Recommended Games for Children and Teens
LEGO Star Wars II : The Original Trilogy -- * Rated E 10+
Mario Hoops 3 on 3 -- * *Rated E
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz -- Rated E
Roboblitz -- Rated E 10+
Madden Football '07 -- Rated E
LocoRoco -- Rated E
Dance Factory -- Rated E
Brain Age -- E
Nancy Drew: Danger by Design -- Rated E
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: The March of the Minis -- Rated E
* Rate E 10+ means the game is for everyone 10 and older. These games have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
** Rated E for Everyone. Titles rated E have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
You can find out more about the Entertainment Software Rating Board's rating system by clicking here.
What Parents Can Do
Limits and boundaries are crucial, but simply laying down rules and hoping kids will follow them is not enough.
Parents need to engage in an ongoing dialogue with their children about what games they are playing and for how long. Watching what your kids watch might mean playing what your kids play.
Creating a conversation about content and amount won't just protect kids -- it will help parents reinforce meaningful communication with their children.
The National Institute on Media and the Family recommends parents take the following steps:
1. Follow the ratings.
2. Use parental controls.
3. Put your kids on a media diet.
4. Set limits and be willing to say "no."
5. Watch what your kids watch, play what your kids play.