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Jonathan's Answers to Tough Questions

QUESTION:

I have just stumbled on your site, and you have some really good stuff going on. Many of your articles and resources are interesting and seem to come from a much more healthy perspective than many other Christian sites on the subject. I really like what you are doing. However, there has been one issue on which I have not yet been able to determine your stance. That is the issue of video games. I have seen some articles that seem to take a very anti-game stance, but all written by a single person. Could you give me a little more information about your stance regarding video games?

-Sam

ANSWER:

Sam,

Thanks for the email.

First, I'm happy to share with you some resources and tips about using discernment with today's video games. We definitely don't have an anti-game stance. (I'm actually curious as to which article of ours you read that you perceived as "anti-game.") As a matter of fact, we're about to add a GAME REVIEWS section to our websites. We are merging and absorbing the content from www.Reviews4Parents.com in the next month.

As for articles about our stance, the best place to find articles about anything to do with MEDIA, YOUTH CULTURE, and POP CULTURE is our YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW page. Just jump on our site and click on the WINDOW on the front page to see our current article, or access the entire list of articles on our YOUTH CULTURE WINDOW page which you can access from the ARTICLES, HELPS & ADVICE drop down menu. Here's the direct link: http://www.thesource4parents.com/YouthCultureWindow/default.aspx

On that page, if you scroll down, you'll find a few articles on video games over the years. You'll find a recent article written by David R. Smith in January, 2011 titled, The Dominance of Video Games. In that article, he brings you up to date with what parents will find in popular games today and even outlines four pointers at the end of the article to help you make solid decisions for your family. I encourage you to read that article.

I agree with David. My own son Alec loves video games. When he was a kid, there probably wasn't a day of the week that you wouldn't find him playing with Mario or Donkey Kong in our house. We quickly found that we needed to set some guidelines (in our house, we limited our kids to 1 hour of games on weeknights, 2 hours on weekends) and always looked into game content before buying games. There were times where we couldn't tell from reviews whether a game was appropriate or not. In those situations, we rented the game and I played it with Alec. I remember on a few occasions saying, "Sorry Alec, I don't think this one is appropriate." Alec was usually good about that, because I had taken the time to look at the content with him.

In the years I've spent helping parents, I've found that parents who are pro-active about setting guidelines and then actually sitting down with their kids and playing some of the game with them... those parents are not only informed, but are playing an active relational role in their kids' lives.

I hope that helps just a bit!

God Bless,
Jonathan McKee