Less than half – 43% – of parents of kids who play video games play them with their children, the Associated Press reports, citing a just-released AOL/AP survey. “Overall, the survey highlighted how pervasive – yet age-related – interest in electronic gaming is today.” The survey found that 81% of children 4-17 play computer or video games at least occasionally, compared with 38% of adults. As for those parents who aren’t familiar with the games their children play, there’s an alternative. They can read reviews of the games at a new site called WhatTheyPlay.com, which is a great idea. Surprisingly, a Los Angeles Times article about the site makes no mention of another helpful service for parents of videogamers: ESRB.org, where they can look up any game’s rating (the site of the Entertainment Software Rating Board). Type a game’s title into its search engine box – e.g., Halo 3 – and its rating will turn up (for this one, it’s “M” for “Mature,” for violence and blood and gore). The ratings guide adds a little detail, e.g., the appropriate-age recommendation for M games: 17+.
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