What are your Family Video Game Policies?

Photo-A-Day #2790

We decided that in addition to buying the Wii U for Christmas that we’d also get a Nintendo 3DS. I found it for $25 off at Target so I ordered it. We had already received six games from Activision and I had purchased the 3DS version of Skylanders last year and again this year so we have games but haven’t had the system to play them on. The 3DS arrived yesterday and I charged it up. I played a little of the Wreck-It Ralph game today and some of the Epic Mickey game tonight.

I’m going to play and review the games we got from the Activision Family Game Summit before Christmas and then pack everything up for Santa to give it to the family as a family gift. I set up all the parental controls like limiting the 3D ability of the system so that Eva can’t use that (not recommended for children under 7) and some other parental controls.

Eva has been asking for a DS for a while now and I’ve really just wanted to go and get her one but she’s only 5 so I can’t see this being a gift solely for her. We’re working on some family policies for video games. How much time to play and when to play and so on.

What are your Family Video Game Policies?

Earlier this month I went to the Activision Family Game Summit and now the video of that event is online at http://familygamesummit.com/live.php, there are some great tips on selecting age appropriate games for kids and other tips.

6 thoughts on “What are your Family Video Game Policies?”

  1. We used to be pretty carefree with the kids in terms of letting them play video games for hours every day. My wife put the hammer down last week, though to set some ground rules. NO video games in the afternoons from Mon-Wed. Mornings are fine before school, and afternoons from Thurs-Sunday are okay for a bit.

    My youngest is fine with that, as he loves playing with all his toys. My oldest, though, (he’s 9) pretty much had a mid-life crisis. He has no idea what to do if he’s not playing video games or watching TV. So we’re hoping this helps him realize he can be creative. He’s actually started playing a lot more board games, which is great.

    1. Andrew,

      Has your son seen the games from ThinkFun? I reviewed Turnstile the other day and it is a great one for kids to challenge their minds. I bet he’s like it, great way to solve puzzles.

  2. We lump everything – TV, computer, Wii, iPod Touch, and Kindle Fire- under the category of “screen time.” And the biggest rule is that screen time doesn’t begin until 3. And all school work and chores have to be done before screens as well. Everything else comes before screens, so if I need someone to take out the trash or empty the dishwasher while they are doing something like playing Super Mario Bros, then they have to stop to do the chore.

    1. Alli,

      I like it. Of course I’m pretty much the biggest Screen time offender in the house. When I can sneak away and level up my Skylanders I will. But I’ve been trying to do more screen time while doing other things like walking on the treadmill. Eva likes the video games but not enough that she isn’t doing other things besides screen time. She loves to color and make things for people with her crayons and markers. I hope that she continues to want to do that once we let her use the 3DS.

      1. I’m a multitasker (wish I had a treadmill desk- no room right now) and watch Hulu or HBOGo while working on photo editing or other internet stuff. It is hard to explain to the kids why I get to be on screens while working, but I guess I’m the Mom, that’s why is an ok answer? If the boys aren’t on screens in the afternoon (and usually we keep the non-TV stuff to about 2 hours or less) they are pouring over their Legos.

        1. Alli,

          LEGO is a great way to pass the time. Do they play the LEGO video games? I picked up Batman 2 for Christmas for ME (and the kids.)

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