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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
128 pages
Aug 2006
Harvest House Publishers

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Video Games

by Richard Abanes

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


When it comes to video games, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water,” would be the sentiment of Richard Abanes in What Every Parent Needs to Know About Video Games. Abanes, himself, is an avid gamer. He continues to enjoy the fun and fellowship of video and online gaming. His goal is to help parents, pastors, and care-givers know what the video gaming world is all about, both in regard to pitfalls and joys.

Parental involvement is the key to managing video games. The danger of video games is parental indifference. Abanes encourages parents to get involved and to be informed about the games targeted at children because they are often to naïve and inexperienced to grasp the effects graphics scenes can have upon their developing minds.

“To benefit from video games simply requires some caution and knowledge about what is out there,” says Abanes. He gives a wealth of information to the reader about knowing the terms, understanding the next generation, making the decision to play or not, and finally choosing family-friendly fun games.

Being a video gamer, Abanes supports the general use of video games. The games develop manual dexterity, hand and eye coordination, decision making skills, and reaction time, while also providing hours of inexpensive entertainment. But just as in the old days when parents knew that Old Maid and Go Fish were very different card games from poker and rummy, modern parents must be able to discern which video games are child oriented and which are adult focused. In getting specific about this, Abanes frequently uses frank descriptions of and quotes from various games, including such phrases as, “Oh, my God,” that may be offensive to some people.

The author’s goal to inform is accomplished. He may not convince the reader to play video games, but he does give some necessary information that enables the reader to make an informed decision about video games.

What Every Parent Needs to Know About Video Games is a book for adults. Technology is advancing, and those who are responsible for the care and rearing of children can use this book to help protect their youngsters. The explanation of the ratings system in chapter two is worth the price of the book alone. – Richard A. Borgman, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Do you know enough to make good choices for your kids?

Packed with the latest information on the pros and cons of video and computer gaming, this concise, easy-to-follow guide helps you understand a form of entertainment that's become a part of the daily lives of millions of children and young adults. Bestselling author Richard Abanes--an experienced video gamer himself--offers balanced discussions of

  • positives and negatives of game-playing and game content
  • the rating system--where it's helpful, where it's not
  • family-friendly selections...and those that aren't
  • terminology and genres, such as sports, role-playing, shooter
  • ways to go beyond just what is shown in a game and evaluate its overall message

You'll come away with a better picture of what is appropriate for you and your family--so you can enjoy the good, use caution with the bad, and steer clear of the ugly.