It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and everyone is scrambling to find good last minute gifts for their family and friends. If you’re a parent that’s still looking for a last minute gift for your kids, we’re not judging you. We’ve all been there *pat on the back* 

But you have to admit: last minute gift shopping can be really stressful, especially when you have no idea what to get your kids for Christmas. And if you do (like if they’ve been begging you to buy a game they’ve always wanted), how can you be sure that the content is appropriate for your kids? How can you know about the story, the mechanics, the language use, and how you can talk to your kids about it? 

Thankfully, Common Sense Media posts helpful parent reviews for popular Apps, Movies, TV Shows, Books, YouTube Channels, and Games to help puzzled parents like you to figure out whether you’d want to finally give in to your child’s constant pleas for a brand new Xbox game or if you’re going to regret it. 

For example, Common Sense Media posted a review about Marvel’s recently released Spider-Man: Miles Morales game for the PS4 and PS5. The review gives you an overview of the game’s details, including its price (yes, you’re allowed to say “What the heck?” at some of the prices), the age appropriateness, a summary of the story, ratings of the elements found in the game (how much violence, substance abuse, positive messages and representations are present), as well as User Reviews from other parents or kids that have purchased it. 

Reviews also feature a What Parents Need to Know section where it mentions certain features or scenes from the game that parents might want to know about in advance before deciding to let their kids play it. For example, did you know that the game Among Us has an unmoderated chat feature where the players (they can play with their friends or people they don’t know online) can discuss whatever they want?  

If you want to know whether or not the mechanics are actually good, the Is it Any Good section provides a short review about game mechanics, goals, and features. For example, the review for Animal Crossing: New Horizons talks about the new upgrades compared to the old Animal Crossing games, such as the customization, online multiplayer (players can visit other players’ islands), travelling, and many more. 

But probably the most interesting feature in Common Sense Media’s reviews is the Talk to Your Kids About section that suggests important topics of discussion for you and your children before or after consuming certain media. It allows kids and parents to realize that every type of media (not just games) affect us in different ways, especially how we look at things. 

Going back to our previous examples, Spider-Man Miles Morales can give you an opportunity to talk to kids about racial representation in the media and what it means to be a real hero. Among Us can teach kids the importance of telling the truth, and how deception and betrayal can lead to bad outcomes (and that the word “sus” is getting really annoying). Animal Crossing can help you talk to your kids about the beauty of nature and the value of friendship and community. 

Whatever you plan to get your kids for this Christmas, it’s important to always consider how it would affect them (even Christmas sweaters can affect them too, especially if they’re itchy). And sometimes, people’s opinions can help you in making a good decision. 

If you’re having trouble with other tech stuff at home or for your business, RMS Tech Spa is always here to take the stress out of that. Just give us a call or email us at [email protected]. Merry Christmas!