two boys playing video games on the couch

My Advice on Family Video Game Management

Anyone can correct me or ignore me or add alarm to this. Feel free. I support all families that have more strict rules than we do.

Video games, to me, have seemed like a necessary evil. The draw of them would have pulled my kids away from our home – to their friends houses – if we didn’t have our own video games. We have learned from many mistakes. We now have double filters on our computers (router and device) and have clear boundaries for all electronic play. OF COURSE, we strive to stay balanced, happy and busy with music rehearsals, homework, church service, sports practice, wholesome family activities, dinner around the table and much more. AND, Yes, we play video games. From all my years of battling this wave, my advice of living with video games is as follows:

Console Choices

We have had an x-box for a few years, though I DO “get rid” of it from time to time. We also have had a Wii and Game Cube and PS2 over the years. Though it has parental controls and family preferences that can be set, the players are bombarded with advertisements constantly. The way to get rid of that is to not hook it up to the internet, which is what we have now. The internet is necessary to download new games, the boys have had the net on for this reason more than I would have liked, but that is in the past… or to play with people on the internet, which we don’t like.

The x-box has some good games that are multi-player and allow the kids to progress through levels (which my boys like). They have liked “Skate 3” (with all the blood and sound off) “Terraria” “Lord of the Rings Conquest (which is questionable in my mind, but I have let them play it because they are not fighting humans nor holding guns.)” It seems to me that x-box has the most awful games of any console, so the advertisements were more than I could handle. I have been mad at the x-box so many times because of the “home” screen.

UPDATE: In recent years, our overall preference has been Nintendo. We prefer the old Gamecube because it doesn’t hook up to the internet. We avoid inappropriate content easier this way. Also, we prefer our kids play with each other instead of people they don’t know. This is for safely reasons and it is easier to quit a game for dinner or other more important activities.


The kids favorite games have been Zelda and those are all available on Wii-U. We haven’t had a Wii-U, but J.D. won a Switch recently and the kids pitched in to get a Zelda game and have loved it. Zelda is excellent, in my opinion. Right now after the last day of school, Adam and Curt are playing “Terraria” together. Zelda and Link games are available on the Gamecube!


I know you didn’t ask for this but,
Our rules are this:
– No blood
– No killing humans
– No killing your brother or friend, even if your brother or friend is a tomato
– No swearing
– No internet friends/competitors
– E, E-10+ and maybe some T if they follow the above rules, are controlled and approved by Mom. NEVER M, of course. No Call of Duty! No Fort Night or League of Legends (both too addictive).
– Only games on Friday and Saturday after all responsibilities are done, with Mom or Dad’s permission.
– Limited hours on summer days.

So, those are the basics. Does anyone have suggestions for me or more clear information? Good luck! Believe me, you’ll need it. Remember, you are the parent, which means you are in charge. Be a COURAGEOUS PARENT.


2 thoughts on “My Advice on Family Video Game Management”

  1. Thank you for this advice! We are buying Zelda for Wii-U this very week because of your ideas. We have a Wii-U and were worried that because it was “outdated” we would have to buy a new game console and therefore learn all new tricks and protections, etc. So I am able to surprise my kids by freshening up their Wii-U experience just in time for summer (with time limits, of course!). The Wii-U has lots of protections I already like, so this is better all around. And I love all of your rules, as well. So very helpful. Thank you!

    1. Video games! Ugh! I am so sick of the subject, but it must happen. How do your kids like Zelda?

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