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Anonymous asks:
Q:

Are there any cool video games for 13 year old boys that don't focus on war, organized crime or other violence?

We have a young friend who is a HUGE video game fan (almost too much), who is having a birthday soon. We've previously shared articles about video games with his parents (to encourage reducing his video game usage), and have in years past given him other gifts to try to divert his attention. No luck: he still LOVES video games and practically nothing else (our prior gifts did not receive the cheers that electronic gifts from others did). He's a great student at an elite private school, so his hobby doesn't appear to be negatively impacting his school work. Thus for his birthday this year, we're thinking we'll abandon our previous attempts to change his interests, and give him what he most wants: more video games. I think he has an Xbox. Are there Xbox games we can buy that donât focus on violence or other harmful themes, while still being cool or popular with teen boys? Which do you recommend?
In Topics: Children and video games, Teen issues, Family fun / holiday celebrations
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
May 31, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Thank you for reaching out to Education.com

You may want to try a sports video game.  There are video games for most every major sport including baseball, football and basketball.  They are usually rated either "E" for everyone, or "T" for teens.  

If you have further questions or would like to talk about any other parenting issue, please contact our toll-free hotline at:  1-800-448-3000.  We are here 24 hours every day for parents and kids of all ages.

Take care and best wishes to you and your family!

Sincerely,
Cynthia, Crisis Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
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aqblickley
May 14, 2010
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Best Answer!

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Great, great question! While your well-intentioned gifts sought to decrease his "screen time," it seems like he's in quite the video game stage. You might as well pick the lesser of two evils, and at least make sure he has some age-appropriate, non-violent video games, if he's going to be playing them no matter what.

In some studies, especially violent video games have been linked to increased aggression, so you are right to worry about picking the right game. Does he like sports? If so, try 2010 FIFA World Cup. (My younger brother can't get enough of FIFA). I believe this new version comes out on June 1. If he doesn't like soccer, they also have a number of other sports options already available: Major League Baseball 2K10, NBA Live 10, Major League Baseball 2K10, and NHL 2K10, and Tony Hawk: Ride (just to name a few).

If he's not into sports, the Rock Band and Guitar Hero series is really fun, as well. These require play instruments (which he might already have), but they're good for developing rhythm.

Racing games are another option for non-violent, but still action-packed, games. Forza Motorsport 3 is a very popular one.

Check out the X Box website for more information. Here, you can player and critic reviews, as well as descriptions of the games and ratings. Good luck!
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Additional Answers (4)

ScottL
ScottL writes:
And you can take it a step further, where some video games are not only non-violent but educational as well. Check out http://www.kosjourney.com to find a game that teaches math through story.
> 60 days ago

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DeviousDevin
DeviousDevin , Teacher writes:
Gamestar Mechanic is a video game creation tool that is very fun, engaging and safe.  I'm a middle school teacher who has used this with students.  Best of all, it is free and can be found online (gamestarmechanic.com).  You can read about it at my blog to get a teacher's spin on it (below).  I hope this information is useful.
> 60 days ago

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jimmymoe0312
jimmymoe0312 writes:
i am a highschool boy and and my favorite game is minecraft. Minecraft is focused on creativity and building while dealing with many problems you might encounter in the real world while fighting monsters at night. minecraft is actually being used in many schools to teach building skills, cooperation, teamwork, and problem solving skills, along with a plethora of other necessary skills.
> 60 days ago

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Gookers
Gookers writes:
Mario:)
Snowboarding video game:)
sports:)

-hope this help even the slightest bit
> 60 days ago

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