Christmas Gift Giving: What Parents Need to Know About Video Games

By Jeremy

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As Christmas quickly approaches, shopping malls and online websites are abuzz with individuals seeking to find the perfect gift. For parents, this means trying to ensure that your toddler or teen receives their most sought after gift this December.

If you’re like most families, Christmas lists are typically technology driven. Some of the most popular gifts this year will likely be televisions, laptops, smartphones, and gaming consoles.  And while there is nothing wrong with gifting these items, parents need to be aware of the hidden dangers associated with these devices.

The advancement of technology has welcomed the internet into nearly every facet of life.  With the mere touch of a button or voice command, individuals can conduct an online search using their television, cell phone, or even video game console.  In an attempt to appeal to every age and demographic, many companies have created a digital world to shop, connect with others, create masterpieces, or play games.

Online games seem convenient and entertaining.  Most parents think nothing of accessing an online children’s game to help alleviate their kid’s boredom.  However, parents need to know that child predators will use games to prey on children.

A Word of Caution

FBI Special Agent Kevin Kaufman of Orlando offers a stern warning for parents.

“Anywhere where people have access to the internet and access to kids, some people are going to try to use it as a tool to lure kids out. You’re pretty much inviting the world into your living room with these online gaming apps.”

He continued, “Many parents are unaware or they think these are harmless games. But the chance is always going to be there when you’re interacting with strangers online, even with video games.”

Special Agent Kaufman warned parents that it is not an uncommon practice for an individual to convince a child to send a photograph by offering them a gift card for a video game.  Over time, children may be asked to send more risque photos or videos.  These child predators will use any means necessary by which to lure in a child.

Please keep in mind that inappropriate online contact with a child is not isolated to games played on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.  Built within some of the most popular gaming consoles is the ability to surf the internet, watch movies on-demand, and connect with other players from around the world.

Video Games

Gone are the days of the plug and play devices. Today, the most popular devices include wireless controllers and the ability to play with friends near or far through internet connectivity.  We’ve researched three of the most popular video game systems.  Take a moment to educate yourself on each of them before making your purchase this Christmas.

1. Nintendo Switch

For decades, Nintendo has been a forerunner of gaming systems.  Their latest gaming system, Nintendo Switch, seems to top the list with two versions available.  The first is the Nintendo Switch, geared towards home or on-the-go play.  The other is the Nintendo Switch Lite, which is solely dedicated to handheld play.

As a welcome relief to parents tired of replacing lost or damaged games, many games can simply be downloaded to the device.  Additionally, once an online membership is created, individuals can face-off with other players in the virtual world.

When utilizing the smartphone app, players can voice chat with one another. They can also capture screenshots, which can be posted within a social network.

Thankfully, Nintendo has taken their time to offer built-in parental controls.  Parents can monitor the types of games being played or restrict certain games from being downloaded.  Time limits for play can be established, or the entire gaming system can be disabled after a certain time of day.  Finally, parents can block their children from posting on social networks.

A word of caution:  parental controls do not carry over into the smartphone app.  To ensure your child’s safety when using this system, please take a moment to set up the parent controls in both the gaming console and the app.

2. Playstation PS4 Pro

Taking gaming to a whole new level, the Playstation PS4 Pro offers enhanced graphics, online connectivity, streaming capabilities, and more.  Each player has an online portal.  Here, they can create a unique avatar, see what their friends are playing, share video clips, and stay connected with the latest updates from the live Playstation broadcasts.  Users can create parties among friends, or they can sign up to participate in special online championship games.  Additionally, they can follow other players, content creators, or game broadcasters.

Featured within the PlayStation system is the ability to communicate with others using voice or text chat.  And with this system, players can further enhance their play through the use of the virtual reality bundle.

Thankfully with all of the capabilities offered by Playstation, parents can also enable parental controls.

Parents can customize limits for each child.  They can block websites, set spending and time limits, or disable paid purchases.

3. Microsoft XBox One X

Image quality is pure gold with this device. The Xbox One X is noted as being one of the most powerful gaming systems ever sold.  However, some consumers have been disappointed that there are not plans to introduce virtual reality capabilities.

Users can sign up for a monthly game pass, which provides unlimited access to more than one hundred games. And with XBox Live, gamers can connect with their friends or rivals for global gaming.

Utilizing Microsoft accounts, parents can place age-restrictions on content, prevent unauthorized purchases, and set screen time limits. When creating a family account, parents can decide to what extent their children can interact with other members of the gaming community.

Microsoft offers the Xbox Console Companion, which enables you to add and manage friends, see friend suggestions, or block or report a player if necessary.

Using the XBox One X, individuals can communicate directly with others – either through text or voice chat. Messages from people not currently assigned as friends will be seen as message requests, and will be stored in the system.

The Importance of Due Diligence

As mentioned before, parents must remain vigilant in the monitoring of their child’s behavior – both online or in video games.

When agreeing to purchase a specific game, be sure to research the rating listed on each game.  Keep in mind, ratings will not be available for online games that allow players to interact with others. Publishers simply cannot control the behavior of other players.  Online games that utilize voice chat may subject your child to offensive language.  Not to mention, children could be introduced to sexually explicit content through the use of other player’s customizable avatars.

While parental controls are important, they are not fool proof.  Parents should consider establishing rules for where video games can be played.  It is encouraged to place the gaming console in a common area of the home.  This will allow parents the opportunity to frequently monitor the games being played.  It will also allow parents to quickly see who their child is interacting with.  Beyond that, having the console in a central location of the home may even inspire parents to play a game or two with their children.  After all, Christmas is a wonderful time to make special memories of fun, love, and laughter with your family.

Being the Example

We know that kids are going to be subjected to questionable content along the way.  But parents can choose to set a godly example within their home regarding what is appropriate.

Take a moment to talk to your child about what is permissible.  Talk to them about the importance of limiting their interaction to people they know and trust.  Be sure to encourage them to come to you with anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.

And remember, nothing models right choices more than having parents who are walking with integrity – both in their public and private lives.

As you’ve read this article, maybe you’ve reflected on the first time you were introduced to pornography.  It could have been exposure while at a friend’s house, through conducting internet research, or even the result of finding your parent’s stash.  Sadly, you realize that you have now struggled longer than you ever thought you would have.  Know this, today can be the day where you make a choice to seek freedom.  And this will not only benefit you, but can make a positive impact for generations to come.

Through the use of the Conquer Series, a 10-week course geared to helping men find freedom from the bondage of sexual sin, more than one million men around the world have been able to start their journey.  Today can be the day that you choose to join them!

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The Conquer Series will help you understand why your attempts to try harder have never worked.  It will explain the brain, and how it has been changed through the viewing of pornography. Furthermore, you will learn that pornography addiction is not about sex.  Instead, it’s about how you have learned to medicate the pain that you’re experiencing in life.

As you complete a variety of assignments, you’ll likely discern painful moments in your life and lies that you have operated out of for quite some time.  But most importantly, you’ll learn the truth needed to replace those lies.  As you find your identity in Christ, you will be able to walk forward confidently into the life that God has waiting for you.

This is not a journey that you can embark upon in isolation.  Join a Conquer Group, which will connect you with godly men who will encourage, support, and pray for you.  To get the most out of the course, make sure you are using the digital pass.  This provides you with an interactive study guide, an online journal, and all of the daily tools needed to complete the course.

Make this Christmas be the year that you find healing and freedom for yourself.  This will be the best gift you can give to yourself and your family.  Remember, materialistic gifts may provide temporal happiness, but a healed and restored family sets the tone for generations to come.

You can get started today at


The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.

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