At Play

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

AT PLAY

Fall is the big video game buying season and as parents we're often asked for digital gifts for our children and other family members. So to prepare you for the shopping experience this month, we're going to cover some important information for the video-game-challenged.

Like the film industry, video games offer a content rating system to help parents decide if a title is appropriate for younger consumers. Researching the hottest games before you buy is a good way to avoid that Christmas morning chaos when you realize your 7 year old is hip deep into a gruesome zombie-killing game or is exploring a game aimed at more mature audiences.

For your reference, here are the major video game ratings and their movie equivalents:

*E for Everyone: This content is suitable for all ages and is similar to the MPAA G rating.

*E for Everyone 10+: Content with this rating handles situations or drama not suitable for the youngest family members. Generally this translates into a PG rating.

*T for Teen: Equivalent to the PG-13 rating. This content may contain violence, blood and crude humor.

*M for Mature: Games rated M cover a wide gamut of subjects. Violence is common as are blood and gore. Sexual situations and subject matter also fall in this classification. Be sure to research the exact reasons a game is rated M before you buy. This is the same as the R film rating.

And remember: Ratings alone are not enough to help you make good decisions, but they are a great place to start.

--Shawn Sines