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Guilt-free video games

Think gaming companies only prey on your child's baser instincts? Check out these seven video games with creative and humanitarian themes.

By Chris Colin

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Rated V for "virtuous"

Sure, you could keep your kid from experiencing the ever meaner, ruder, and bloodier world of video games, but it's so expensive to raise a child on a desert island these days. (Nearly 60% of 2- to 12-year-olds play video games, says one report.) So a growing number of parents are taking a different approach: seeking out games that eschew gore and antisocial mindlessness in favor of the creative and civilized. A few years ago, this was a relatively new field. Today a variety of inspired choices exists.

Chris Colin is the author of What Really Happened to the Class of '93 and writes the "On the Job" column for the San Francisco Chronicle as well as stories for the New York Times, Mother Jones, McSweeney’s Quarterly, and GOOD magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and daughter.

Comments from readers

"There are a lot of great educational games for children - one that was not mentioned, but my son loves is Math-Whizz. "
"These video games are great. I just told my 13 year old about them and he is now playing Darfur is Dying and loves it."
"i agree with this 100% and i like this idea i have a 7 yr old son and i like for him to get into good learning games "