Buying the Right Video Game for Kids

Buying the Right Video Game for Kids

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioParents all over the country will be buying what they think is a fantastic gift for their children. But they may be making a big mistake. Analysts say there is a lot of confusion over which video games parents should buy.

If you've never played "Guitar Hero," it's actually pretty fun. If you don't know what it is, basically, it's a game were you play an electronic guitar and try to hit the right notes. However, there are three different version of this game, and there's another game called "Rock Band" that has some similarities.

"Do you know the difference between ‘Guitar Hero' and ‘Rock Band?'" I asked.

One woman answered, "No." I then asked her, "If somebody asked you, ‘Can you get me The Sims?' would you know which one to get?" She replied, "No."

She shouldn't feel bad. Analysts from Weekly Reader Research say 60 percent of children expect to get a game they don't want, not getting all the games they ask for, or even getting games for the wrong console. This woman has a pretty good plan to avoid confusion. She said, "Actually, we're getting the used video games. So, they're going to be a lot easier."

This man has his own way of making sure his family doesn't get him the wrong gift. He said, "I'd probably have to specify and maybe go with them."

That might make for a boring Christmas, but, hey, who am I to throw stones?

Best Buy media specialist Traci Thunborg said, "Yeah, I see it a lot, parents not really knowing what their kids want, or kids write down the wrong title, and so they're just trying to find what they think is right."

Thunborg says there are things you can do to make sure you buy the right gift. For example, if someone asks you to buy "The Sims," make them specify.

"You have the ones that are made for the kids, you have the ones that are like the nightlife kind, made for the older crowd. So you don't want to get the wrong one for your kid, for their age group," Thunborg says.

Also, make sure you know which games your kids have already. Thunborg says not all parents do this.

"Some do and some don't. Usually the dads do that play with them," Thunborg told us.

Plus, you should know the differences between similar games. For example, what is the difference between "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band?"

According to Thunborg: "'Rock Band.' It just came out and it has the guitar, drums and the whole set."

Other analysts say if you don't know a particular game, have the sales clerk play a demonstration to ensure you're not buying something that's too mature for your kid.

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