Buying a game for your kids this Christmas? Crispy Gamer has come up with Ten Rules Non-Gaming Parents Should Follow When Buying Games For Their Kids, a simple guide that will help you avoid crushing letdowns on the big day.
The guidelines may seem like common sense to those of us familiar with the workings of the game industry, but we have to bear in mind that many folks don't have the benefit of our experience. Kids are generally too young to know better, and parents are all-too-often entirely indifferent to the matter until they're standing in the local GameStop, staring blankly at the walls. The inevitable result: Crappy games are purchased, hopes and dreams are shattered and nobody gets away unscarred.
Fortunately, the Ten Rules Non-Gaming Parents Should Follow When Buying Games For Their Kids is designed to make things easier. First entry on the list? "Little Johnny can't distinguish between the crap and the cream when it comes to videogames." A lot of parents rely on their children's judgment when it comes to buying games, assuming that kids these days know all about that computer game stuff. But, the guide says, "The truth is, kids want the games that they've seen advertised on TV or in magazines. So they'll give you misinformation and bad advice, and fill their wish-lists up with total tripe, because they just don't know any better. They'll tell you that they want Hannah Montana: Music Jam (Disney) or Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Mermaids (2K), or Crash Bandicoot Xtreme. You have to be smarter than they are."
Other rules for buying games for your kids include avoiding games with the word "family" printed on the box ("The general rule is this: The more prominent the word "family" is on the box, the more terrible the game is."), staying away from games that pluralize their titles with a "z" instead of an "s" ("There seems to be a direct correlation between this spelling tic and poor quality. Avoid at all costs.") and the Fine-Print Rule ("Should you see the following four words anywhere in the fine print section -- Atari, Majesco, Midway or Gamecock -- you do not want whatever is inside the box in your home and/or near your family.")
The Ten Rules Non-Gaming Parents Should Follow When Buying Games For Their Kids is available in full here. It's a fun read, and actually a little bit helpful too. The only problem: How many non-gaming parents are actually going to read it? Do your civic duty and pass it on to any non-savvy parents you know. You may just save someone's Christmas.