Games Consoles and Video Games

In the modern day it is not possible to research toys and games without looking at consoles and video games. In the UK and the United States over 80% of all homes have at least one games console and 97% of children between the ages of 12 to 17 regularly play video games. The console industry is now dominated by the big three companies. Sony who produce the Play Station, Nintendo who produce the Wii and Microsoft who produce X Box. They all play the most popular games and people’s decision of which console to purchase will very much depend on personal choice. Games consoles are electronic devices that are used for playing video games on television screens. The consoles have been around since the 1970’s but their popularity has been driven forward as advances in technology in have resulted in a better and more affordable product.

X Box from Microsoft

Parents today were themselves raised playing video games and, so they have first-hand experience about the potential pros and cons of their children playing on their consoles. As the consoles have developed over time they are now categorized into what era they emerged from. There are eight generations. The current games consoles are eighth generation video games and so the industry has seen a progression through the other seven stages to reach the place where it is today. As technology has advanced forward there have been new initiatives, and today it is possible to purchase hand held devices which have their own portable screens.

The average age of a gamer is actually 34 which just shows how long video games have been around for. However, most attention is paid to the accessibility of the games to the younger generation. The greatest fear is that nowadays children spend too much time playing video games as opposed to going outside to play. The other fear is the appropriateness of each video. Some video games are violent and inappropriate for certain age groups. The major consoles now have parental control so that certain videos will be blocked on age range even when the parents are not around. Each video game is given an ESRB rating for age suitability and there are 6 categories.

The Mario Kart 8 video game

Many video games are seen to be educational with word games and problem-solving tasks being the most popular for the very young. A good example is “Reader Rabbit” where many skills are learnt to play the game. Maths, science art and problem solving are covered and the game even has different games for different age groups. However, while education is important the most popular games are seen as being the ones with most fun. The secret for every parent, just as when purchasing any toy, is getting the right balance between the child having fun while still learning at the same time.

“Minecraft” is popular with children, parents and even school teachers. The game is suitable for all ages and enables the players to create explore their very own world. While having fun the child is being educated and is also socially interacting with other players from around the world. A video game that has stood the test of time is the Mario Kart racing game which is now on its eight editions. The racing go kart game can get up to 4 players racing each other in the same game. There are no age restrictions and since it was first introduced in 1992 100 million copies have been sold world-wide.

There is no doubt that video games play a huge role in how the modern-day child spends their leisure time. The beauty is that with parental control the children are playing in a safe environment while at the same time still being educated. The secret is getting the balance right between playing video games and spending time on more physical activities.

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