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What's Safe For Your Kids? Best & Worst Video Games This Holiday

video games

Are the video games your kids have asked for safe?

My son is ten years old and has asked for the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3″ for his XBox as a Christmas gift.  How am I supposed to know whether I should get it for him? CNET to the rescue!

CNET’s Dan Ackerman recently put together a list of the top ten bestselling video games on Amazon, with information on each game’s rating, whether the game is safe for children, and what the biggest problem with the game might be should you buy it as a gift.  This is great, because I don’t play video games and I never know whether one will be objectionable.  As Ackerman explains, “… these best-selling games will be the ones kids ask for, and many an argument will sound something like: ‘Yes, it’s an M-rated game, but it’s not that bad, and all my friends are getting it.’”

Sometimes a video game that is rated M for Mature really isn’t all that bad and has been fine for my son to play, whereas other times I’d rather lock him in a box with air holes than let him play some of the things that are out there.

We’d like to share with you five of the games on Ackermans’s list of best and worst video games so you can check out those on your kid’s Christmas list.  Then be sure to visit CNET to see the rest of his reviews.


  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 1 of 5
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
    Ackerman says this rated M game has lots of shooting but not much blood and guts. Beware, though, of the unmonitored community if your child plays the game with other people online.
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary 2 of 5
    Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
    Ackerman says he's surprised this game even has an M rating. My son has Halo 3 ODST and Halo Reach and I've watched him play them and they seem okay to me. Again, be careful though if your child wants to join the multiplayer environment online. I don't let my son do that.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 3 of 5
    The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
    This is rated E for Everyone for 10+ and Ackerman says the puzzle-solving of this game is just fine for kids.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 4 of 5
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    Ackerman says this game is probably too complex for most kids. He also mentions negative behavior is rewarded in this game. Sounds like a no for me.
  • Battlefield 3 5 of 5
    Battlefield 3
    This game is "much grimmer" than Call of Duty, with much more realistic combat. That makes me think I'll just stick with Call of Duty. Or there's always Just Dance 3, right?

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