Posted on November 5, 2007, Shawn Sines What Would Your Kid Do For the Right Video Game?
Tweens and Teens have lost faith in their parents, grandparents and even Santa Claus when it comes to getting the right video game in their stocking or under the tree. A new nationwide Weekly Reader Research survey of 8-17 year-olds reveals sixty percent of those surveyed for the 2007 Game Crazy Holiday Gift Tracker anticipate getting a game they do not want, getting a game for the wrong system, or not getting any or all of the games on their holiday wish list.
“We went straight to the source to find out what kids want and what their expectations are this holiday season,” said Wes Sand, Senior Vice President at Game Crazy, the second-largest specialty game retailer in the country. “We knew video games and game systems would again be popular items on holiday wish lists, but we were surprised at how little confidence tweens and teens have in their parents’ and grandparents’ ability to pick the right gifts.”
So what would kids do to get the right game this year?
“Kids are extremely passionate about video games and game systems, and find it amusing when adults don’t know their Wii from their Xbox,” said Leah Ingram, a gift-giving expert and mother of 10- and 12-year-old daughters. “They say they’ll do the darndest things to get a game they want.”
Nearly one-third of kids polled said they would teach a sibling how to play a game, listen to their parents’ favorite radio station in the car, or do two months of household chores if it meant getting the right game as a gift.
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for parents to me. A little leverage can go a long way with your kid this holiday season; at least until Christmas anyway. For those of you who need a few reconnaissance tips, Game Crazy has a list of tips to help parents and grandparent choose great video game gifts this season.
- First and foremost, ask. Since buying gifts blindly from a wish list can be risky, if you ask first, there’s a very good chance kids know what they want and can steer you in the right gift-buying direction.
- Know your recipient and align their interests with game content. “Great gifts are highly personal,” Ingram said, “so buy video games that involve the recipient’s other hobbies or interests. If your child or grandchild likes music, consider a game such as Guitar Hero III or Rock Band. If they’re into sports, Madden 08 or Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground may be fun for them.”
- Learn about and use the video game ratings system. Three in five kids (62 percent) say they expect to ask for a video game this holiday that they know is rated above their age level. “Just like movies have ratings, so too do video games,” explained Patricia Vance, president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, which assigns game ratings. The letter ratings on the front of the package suggest age-appropriateness and content descriptors on the back give some detail about the game’s content. “The important thing is to know what’s in the game and to use that information to determine whether or not it’s one you consider age-appropriate for the child to whom you’re giving it,” Vance said. Parental controls that are available on the newer game consoles also operate on the basis of ESRB ratings, and help parents make sure that the games their kids are playing are ones that carry ratings they deem suitable.
- Match the game content with the player’s skill level. More than 30 percent of kids expect a parent or grandparent to buy them a game that is too advanced for them. For younger children, consider if the child has the fine-motor skills and comprehension to succeed at the game. If not, they may become frustrated quickly. For older kids, consider whether the content is challenging enough.
- Buy the game for the right system. Nearly 30 percent of kids polled in the Game Crazy survey said they expect to get a game they want this holiday, but it will be for the wrong system.
- Make sure you can get involved in the fun. “My daughters are sometimes frustrated when they get a great game that they’d like to play together, only to discover that it’s a game for one player only,” Ingram said. “As a family, we try to buy games that allow for four players so we can have family time together playing video games.”
Game Crazy has a free “Parent’s Guide to Game Buying” brochure that contains these and other helpful tips for purchasing video game titles and systems available at all Game Crazy retail locations or downloadable from their respective Web sites.For those that prefer to give kids exactly what they want, Game Crazy has also produced a video game wish list that’s available at www.gamecrazy.com. Each video game’s rating is included on the list. Kids can check off the games they want and email their list to a parent or grandparent or print it and fill it out by hand.
via Business Wire