Uninformed game givers

Sixty percent of kids 8-17 expect to 1) get a game they didn't want or a game for a console they don't have, or 2) not get any or all of the games they asked for, according to a study by Weekly Reader Research cited by USATODAY. It also found that 80% of kids said they'd ask for a videogame this holiday season, and 59% for a game console. Their five favorites are Guitar Hero, Mario Party DS, Super Mario Galaxy, My Sims and Halo 3. Key advice for getting the right games, USATODAY says: know what console the child has and know the child's game picks. I would add: Know the games' ratings! Go to ESRB.org to see if a child's pick is age- and maturity-level appropriate. Meanwhile, as the New York Daily News reviews the three top consoles: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3, the Los Angeles Times reports that Microsoft is pushing to broaden the market for Xbox Live and the online gaming it enables. See also "Support for young videogamers," zooming in on what online gaming can be like for tweens and teens.

Related links

* A mom's change of heart. See this from a mom who went from videogame critic to buyer because of research she read about active videogames.
* Senators critical on ratings. Four senators, including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, sent a letter recently to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board calling on it to "review the rating system for video games since Manhunt 2 received an 'M' for Mature" rating instead of an Adults Only one, Information Week reported.
* WhatTheyPlay.com's giving guide – for parents who want to learn more about game consoles
* USATODAY's "Joysticks to the world: A videogame Gift Guide" for kids, tweens, teens, adults, and older/casual players

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