What exactly does the phrase “video game” cover?

The term “video game” covers a wide range of activities, from playing a straightforward game of solitaire by yourself to massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) with entire virtual universes, where players interact with one another and transactions – typically points or game enhancements, but occasionally real money – are involved.

Video games can be played on consoles, mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, and increasingly on smartphones and tablets. Some games can be bought and installed on devices, while others must be downloaded from the internet. Some games can only be played online.

All ages enjoy playing video games: simple single-player games are most frequently played by older ladies, while “war games” are most commonly played by young men. While some video games are educational, others are violent and may contain explicit sexual content. However, many games are designed to be played with friends or family in the same space, and many are fantastic for fostering communication and quality family time.

Games are rated to assist parents and children in understanding the nature of each game’s content.

To help parents choose wisely before buying a game, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates video and computer games and offers a rating system akin to that used for movies.

These ESRB ratings consist of descriptors to assist parents in understanding the factors that went into the rating score and symbols that imply suitable player ages. You must consider both factors to use the ESRB rating system effectively. Verify the content descriptions and the rating symbol on the game’s front box (on the back of the game box).

Recognize the capabilities and security measures of gaming equipment.

Today’s gaming consoles include family safety options (commonly referred to as parental controls) that let parents set time restrictions, block objectionable games, and choose whether their children can communicate with other players, only their friends, or not at all. A Parent’s Guide to Video Games, Parental Controls, and Online Safety is another resource you can use to obtain detailed instructions for setting these settings.