You know the scene. Mom tells the kids to turn off the Xbox and come to dinner. The kids complain, Mom blows her stack, the game gets taken away and the battle continues until bedtime. It’s amazing how something so trivial like racing Mario, Baby Peach and the rest of the Mario Kart clan can ruffle so many feathers in a today’s American family.
Microsoft and Best Buy realize the difficulties families face in managing their children’s video use, and have launched a public service campaign to help bring order back to the household and to give parents and caregivers the tools to ensure the media their children are using are healthy, balanced and appropriate. the games are safe and educational.
The Get Game Smart campaign website, brings the most current information about parental control tools, expert tips and resources online, as well as resources and incentives to put media use rules and guidelines into effect at home.
An expert blog in the web site will tackle current issues, such as reducing family friction when it comes to gaming, and will inform parents of trends so they can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to video gaming and online safety.
There is even an opportunity for teens and parents to become Get Game Smart Ambassadors, where they will actively inspire other families to make smarter gaming choices. Parents are invited to team up with one of their teens and participate in a nationwide search for ambassadors by submitting a brief video that spotlights their family’s approach to a responsible digital lifestyle.
Another component of the campaign is the Get Game Smart Family Challenge Sweepstakes. Families can enter by completing various activities related to smart video gaming and media use. One grand-price winner will receive a $5,000 Best Buy gift card, and 100 winners will receive Best Buy gift cards for amounts worth up to $250.
Partnering with Microsoft and Best Buy in this initiative are Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Entertainment Software Association, Entertainment Software Rating Board, GetNetWise, iSAFE, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, National Institute on Media and the Family, National Urban League, NetSmartz Workshop, Parents’ Choice Foundation, StaySafeOnline.org, Web Wise Kids, What They Play and WiredSafety.org.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.