How to Buy Role Playing Video Games for Kids

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How to Buy Role Playing Video Games for Kids

In the 18th century, parents worried that their children were spending too much time reading fiction novels. Today, many parents fret because their children spend endless hours playing video games. However, not all video games are bad, because they can, among other things, develop the ability to concentrate. Research has even shown that people who frequently play video games have better vision, because they can distinguish objects from a background better than non-gamers can. With video games, children can develop their brains, and as a result think faster and more efficiently.

Role -playing video games are a subtype of video games. The first to be created was the game "Dungeon", released in 1975. In these games, kids play different roles and can portray a variety of characters. This also helps them to develop their acting skills. Role-playing video games are commonly known as "RPGs". When buying RPGs for kids, it is essential to know about their different subtypes as well as about game ratings, because not all video games are suitable for kids. Role-playing video games for kids are available from high street electronics shops or from online auction sites, such as eBay.

Types of Role-Playing Video Games

In a role-playing video game, the player assumes the role of a fictional character and then engages in various adventures. These adventures are typically set in imaginary fantasy locations. The actions of the players are overseen by some type of referee, and points are scored accordingly. The types of RPGs can be sorted in many ways, and there are no rules set in stone for determining the types. However some basic types can be identified, and these are Western, Eastern, action, adventure, and MMORPGs, respectively.

Western RPGs

Western RPGs tend to focus on free exploration and on customising the character. The main hero is thus built by the player, and this character can evolve during the gameplay, with the player deciding which direction to take. These role-playing video games have evolved from tabletop games that were played with pencil, paper, and a book full of rules. Modern Western RPGs have changed, and many also include real-time combat. Some popular titles of this genre are "The Elder Scrolls" series, "Mass Effect", and the "Baldur's Gate" series. The Western RPGs are quite similar to the so-called wide-open sandbox games, in which there are no restraints and no objectives, and the players can do whatever they want. "Assassin's Creed" is one such game.

Eastern RPGs

Eastern RPGs originated from Japan and they largely follow the anime style type of storytelling. Compared to Western RPGs, their gameplay is more linear and often follows a visually pleasing narrative. The characters in the game are memorable, but usually pre-formed, meaning that they cannot be customised by the player. The Eastern games are often turn-based: during each turn, the player can choose actions for his characters, selecting them one-by-one. "Final Fantasy", "Pokemon", and "Dragon Quest" are famous Eastern role-playing video games. These games are mainly produced for gaming consoles rather than for PCs.

Action RPGs

Action RPGs feature lots of action and adventure, as their name implies. In fact, these games are a subtype of the Eastern RPGs. In action role-playing video games, the action and exploration are combined together. The games are much like arcade games, but they can also involve interaction with other players who are online. Notable action RPGs include "Brain Lord", "Diablo", "Fragile Dreams", and "Mantra".

Tactical RPGs

Tactical role-playing video games are closely related to Eastern RPGs. However, the tactical games can also involve moving around in a grid-like system and accumulating points and experience along the way. The tactical games resemble strategic video games. Each turn should be carefully weighed, because it influences the outcome of the game. "Final Fantasy Tactics" is an example of a tactical RPG.

Roguelike RPGs

Roguelike RPGs get their name from the early 1980s video game "Rogue". The action of such games takes place in randomly created worlds, and every time the main character dies, the player has to start over. The focus in these games tends to be on the gameplay rather than on the story. The most famous roguelike RPG is probably "Nethack".


"MMORPG" stands for "massively multiplayer role-playing video game" and these games are very popular among computer users. In such a game, many people participate in the game simultaneously and all the action takes place online. Thus, interaction between players is essential, and it is possible to have long chats with people all over the world. The genre of a MMORPG may be any of the aforementioned ones, although they are typically either Western or action RPGs.

Role-Playing Video Game Platforms

As with all video games, RPGs are designed for various different kinds of platforms. The platform that can be used for playing the video game is detailed on the box. In the past, the PC was probably the most popular gaming device, but now gaming consoles, such as Xbox and Wii, are taking over living rooms and turning them into playrooms. Kids enjoy playing with gaming consoles, and it may be even better for them than sitting at a computer, because many consoles allow for or require moving around the room.

Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 is more than just a gaming console, because it can also serve as a media hub. It can be used for watching films and other media content that can be streamed straight from the computer. When equipped with a Kinect sensor that tracks human body movement, the console can be operated without any additional controllers. The Kinect games make the kids move, because they have to perform vigorous body movements while playing.

PlayStation 3

The PlayStation 3 games console comes equipped with a Blu-ray player and can be used for many other activities besides gaming. It is suitable for watching TV programmes and surfing the Web, for instance, so parents can also benefit from the console when they buy it for their children. When paired with the PlayStation Move motion controller, the children can also play games that get them up from the couch.

PlayStation Vita

The PlayStation Vita is a small handheld device. Kids can get really carried away with it, because the device also supports social and online features, such as Twitter and Facebook. Besides RPGs, users can play an array of mini-games with it. Because of the high level of interactivity it allows, this console is best for lovers of MMORPGs.

Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii is perfect for children, because using the motion controller is simply fun, and it also helps one to feel like a part of the game, right in the middle of the action. However, the Wii requires a variety of accessories, such as a balance board, and these must generally be purchased separately.

Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is a handheld device that provides a three-dimensional gaming experience. The onboard software allows interaction with friends and facilitates playing MMORPGs. Many of the games designed for the Nintendo 3DS are old classics.

Wii U

The Wii U is yet another handheld gaming console that is controlled with a built-in touchscreen. It can also be used with the Nintendo Wii controllers. Children can easily take the small Wii U with them anywhere and enjoy the games.

Role-Playing Video Game Ratings

All video games come with age ratings that indicate the age range for which the game is suitable. In fact, selling video games to people who are younger than the age specified on the video game is illegal. Parents can use the video game ratings in order to choose video games that are safe for their children. The UK switched from the BBFC rating system to the PEGI system in 2012, and new games are equipped with the PEGI information. However, games can also be bought from other countries if they are compatible with the PAL technology. Not all games work in the UK, but many do, even though they have been designed for different markets.

The following chart describes the different ratings systems all over the world and how they correspond to each other. Not all the ratings are exactly equivalent, but the chart gives an idea of their compliance.

PEGI (Years or Over)





Early Childhood


U; Universal



G; General

PG; Parental Guidance


Everyone 10+

PG; Parental Guidance

12 (years or over)



MA 15+; Mature Accompanied

15 (years or over)



M; Mature

18; Adults

The acronyms for the ratings systems should be explained. PEGI stands for Pan European Game Information and is used widely in Europe and now also in the UK. BBFC stands for the British Board of Film Classification, and was previously used. ESRB is the North-American Entertainment Software Rating Board, and ACB refers to the Australian Classification Board. These are the most common ratings systems used. However, some countries, such as Iran and Germany, have their own.

Buying Role-Playing Video Games for Kids on eBay

When looking for role-playing video games for kids on eBay, you can always be sure to find some games if you type "role-playing games for kids" into the search box that you can find at the top of any eBay page. Another useful search term may be "children's RPG", which should yield many results. However, you can also search for specific genres by adding "action", "adventure", or "MMORPG" to your keywords. If you already know the kind of game your kids would love, then search for it by its name.

In order to ensure that the game can be played in your home, read the detailed item listing and find out which gaming console it is for and whether or not the specifications are in accordance with your console or PC. You should also check the video game rating in order to choose a game that is age-appropriate. You can either read about it in the item listing or check the photo in the listing, because the rating should be written on the box. If in any doubt, feel free to contact the seller and ask about the rating or any other issues you may have with payment methods, refunds, exchanges, delivery, or packaging.


Several studies have shown that video games can actually be good for children, because they promote multitasking abilities and help to develop the brain. Role-playing games, commonly known as RPGs, are a subtype of video games. In these games, the player plays the role of an imaginary character and performs actions in the world of the game.

Western RPGs typically allow for free exploration and offer customisable characters, leaving much to the player’s imagination. Eastern RPGs, on the other hand, follow linear gameplay and a cinematic narrative. Action RPGs that bring action and adventure into the game are a subtype of Eastern RPGs, just like tactical RPGs that focus on strategies. Roguelike RPGs return the player to the beginning of the game if the character dies. The most popular are MMORPGs, which involve many players who play online simultaneously and interact with each other.

When choosing a video game, the platform should also be considered, as not all games are produced for all platforms. The notable platforms, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and Nintendo Wii, all have their benefits, but are suitable for different gamers. When buying a game for kids, the rating is a very important consideration. The rating systems used in different countries are somewhat similar and they all determine the age group for which a game is suitable. The UK uses the PEGI rating system.

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