New Sites Helps Parents Make Kid-Appropriate Gaming Choices

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Industry veterans John Davison and Ira Becker have joined to create What They Play, a site dedicated to helping parents learn about the videogames their kids want them to buy.

Davison, a former editor at Electronic Gaming Monthly and Official PlayStation Magazine, and Becker, who has worked with Davison previously at Ziff-Davis, launched the site to help befuddled parents who want to make appropriate choices for their kids but may have no idea how to go about it. Reviews on the site will be written for parents rather than kids, with no “geeky” jargon, and will cut right to point about controversial or objectionable content. In a review for BioShock, the site “unflinchingly” describes a scene in which players can either save a possessed little girl or “‘harvest’ her for more points, leaving her dead.”

“We wanted to provide a place where parents can turn to for neutral, objective information on the games their kids might want to play,” Davison said. “We really believe that it’s the parents that should be controlling this stuff, and the best way to do that is to tell them the fact so they can make the call.”

Davison also said that editorial content will be kept “neutral and descriptive” because of different sensibilities among children – what is fun and exciting for one might be scary for another. The site currently has seven writers, and users are encouraged to submit their own reviews to provide a broader range of opinions for parents seeking information on various games. Plans for sites offering similar information to parents about movies, music and books are also in the works.

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