We spent another morning in GameStation talking to families and offering advice in our Pop-up Gaming Surgery. Here is the fifth of the Family Gamer TV conversations we recorded at the pop-up gaming surgery — catch the other videos here.

Today we talked to the Majors family who were in store looking for games for their two young boys. Their focus was on finding games that the kids could play without struggling with the difficulty. Mario was a popular choice as was Lego Batman.

“What ever the kids are playing we join in with them and try and help them.” It was good to hear that they all play as a family. Again Wii-Fit featured heavily as well as movie tie-ins like Toy Story. But more than just entertainment, the Majors talked about how the games hold an educational place in their family routine — keeping their brains active.

They also talked about how they enjoyed “Jumping around the room” playing console games on the Wii, rather than the more sedentary experience of handheld games like the DS. This is certainly a benefit of new motion controlled games on the Wii, 360 Kinect or PS3 Move that they encourage players to get up and get active to play them.

The PEGI ratings were one tool they used to choose games, but the topic and franchise of the game seemed to hold more sway for them. Mr Major talked about how they would gravitate to the games that looked familiar from the films they had watched and toy-lines they had in real life. This is a good way to identify games your family may like — also, along with the PEGI rating, you should have a good idea of the content having watched the film.

With two younger kids violence in games was the key thing they wanted to avoid. I was able to suggest looking at the PEGI symbols on the back of the box that provide further information about the rating on the front. If you are keen to avoid particularly violent or scary experiences these can be a helpful tool.

They aimed to play for sessions of an hour or so to help limit how much time the children play for. One way to help implement this approach as a family are the parental controls that all consoles now provide. This can limit not only the amount of time played each day, but the PEGI ratings of games that can be accessed.

Many thanks to the staff of GameStation who accommodated our FGTV filming session.

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