Introducing Common Sense Media: A Modern Parent’s Best Friend
Keeping up can be a struggle. Just like the ever-breeding laundry pile, new technology multiplies, morphs, and spawns. No sooner than we parents conquer Facebook, kids start dabbling with Instagram and Kik. Once upon a time, it was Club Penguin; now it's Angry Birds…
Or was that yesterday?
Cue the Knight on the White Steed…
Common Sense Media comes to the rescue of the cyber-weary parent. Their website and app provide fantastic information and up-to-date reviews of all kinds of products–not just computer games and apps, but movies, TV, music, and books. In addition to fresh product reviews, the website offers advice, educational materials, and policies.
Common Sense Media launched Kids Media, a brand new free app for iPhone or iPad. The fresh new interface allows you to customise searches by adding your child's age and gender. Product reviews include ratings on educational value, positive role models, positive messages, violence, sex, language, consumerism, and drinking/drugs/smoking. The age range covered is 2-17 years.
Let's say your 12-year-old son asks for Call of Duty: Black Ops II for Christmas. A quick search in the app will take you to the review, where you can find out the platforms it runs on, the style of game it is, and more. If the short summary, “Extremely violent military shooter with profanity, drugs” doesn't give you enough information, you can scroll down for a detailed analysis. With scores of 5 out of 5 on Violence and Profanity and 3/5 on Sex and Drinking/Drugs/Smoking each, it is obviously not suitable for a 12-year-old. Tapping the arrows in the categories gives even more details. For example, tapping the Profanity arrow shows which swear words are used and how often. Using the Browse function with the age range set to 11-13, you can peruse more suitable options. Perhaps your son would like Endless Space instead. No profanity issues or sexual innuendos there!
It's advisable to read through the reviews, because they are informative without making judgement calls. Standards differ from family to family, but the content will allow you to make your own well-informed decisions that support your family's values.
The Kids Media App is the must-have app for the holiday season (aka, the pestering season, when the kids want to go to the lastest movies or buy new computer games). This app is a one-stop shop for parents. Whether you're the parent of a gamer or a reader, you'll find helpful information from Common Sense Media.