Video games have evolved as one of the most preferred indoor entertainment options by kids and adults alike. The fact that numerous video game consoles are flooding the market is enough proof that gaming has become more than just a fad - it’s a full-time hobby. With the world of gaming constantly changing, it can sometimes be extremely difficult to know what video games will provide the most fun, as well as which video games offer the best value. So we have provided this buying guide to make it easier for you to choose.
What could you get out of gaming?
Do you and your family spend too many hours sitting glued to the television all day long? Now you can convert this passive TV time to fruitful hours of play. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there are video games for everyone. If the idea of swapping one couch potato activity for another doesn’t exactly fill you with glee, then there are video games that will help you become more active, too.
Instead of choosing games that require only the use of the joystick, you could go for “exergames” that will have you taking part in virtual sports and helping you with your fitness program. The very popular Dance Dance Revolution by Konami will have you practising your moves, and there is no end to the activity and fun you can have with Nintendo’s Wii Fit, with yoga and core-strength training. The Xbox Kinect is also a great choice for video games that will have you moving!
If you have a young family and are worried about the effects that video games can have on them, there is an alternative to banning them from your house. The world of video games has progressed so that they don’t just include addictive forms of diversion and entertainment, but can be used as a fun and interactive method of education. Look for video games that encourage learning and also those that have a positive influence on your child. Take some time out to look for grade-specific models which focus on math, science and language development such as Junior Brain Trainer, which has been developed for the Nintendo DS.
Another idea is to purchase video games that allow you to play as a family or with friends. These video games make sure that the whole family can interact and have fun together.
Video game ratings
If you are looking for video games for young people, be aware that many games contain inappropriate language and graphic violence. However, each video game will have a rating on it from the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), which will serve as a guide for you to make the right choice. A game that has been rated “Early Childhood” (EC) will be suitable for children as young as three years old; “Teen” (T) indicates that the video game may contain violence, strong language and crude humor; “Mature” (M) is used as a recommendation that the game is for at people who are 17 years and older as it may contain sexual content, intense violence, and blood and gore; “Adult” (A) on a video game means that it is strictly meant for people who are 18 years and older.
Things to remember when buying a video game
Look for a high replay value in the video game. A game is said to have a high replay value if you want to play it again and again without getting tired of it! Video games are pricey, and the money you spend on them would be wasted if you or your children were bored or saturated after playing them once or twice. Often, it’s difficult to know in advance if a video game is going to be able to fulfill this criterion, so take advantage of the online reviews that are available to give you a better idea of what each video game is about and whether other gamers are happy with it.
Although video games are available both online and offline, buying online means that you can access a much wider range of games. Visiting online video game stores, like Steam, EA’s Origins and Xbox Live, gives you the chance to pick from thousands of video game titles, and also the opportunity to test the game before buying, with demo versions and free trial versions. Also, in case you are looking for an older title, it is more likely that you’ll find it on the Internet and not at a bricks-and-mortar store which only stocks popular games in demand.