The last few weeks have shed an unprecedented light on the use of digital media to spread and inspire hatred. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the perpetrator in the attacks on Canada’s National War Memorial and Parliament buildings, appears to have been motivated in part by exposure to online postings by a self-described member of the Islamic state[1], and the Federal government has already stated that it intends to create tools to remove online content that promotes the “proliferation of terrorism.”[2]

Co-Viewing With Your Kids - Tip Sheet

Thinking critically

There are five key ideas that help kids think critically about media. You can start to make your kids aware of these concepts almost as soon as they start asking you questions!

With the launch of the Xbox One in November, 2013 has finally finished giving birth to the newest generation of video game consoles. Wii U, PlayStation 4 (PS4) and Xbox One are sure to be on many children’s wish lists for the holidays this year, but these new consoles are anything but child’s play. Far from being simple machines for playing video games, these new consoles are more connected to the Internet than ever and have lots of new social features.

In January, American Vice-President Joe Biden met with video game industry representatives in the wake of the tragic events at Sandy Hook to discuss the possible relationship between video games and gun violence. Five days later, President Barack Obama asked the United States Congress to fund more research to study the potential link between violence and video games, noting that “We don’t benefit from ignorance”.

Understanding the Rating System - Tip Sheet

It’s important to know what the ratings mean on the video games your children play. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is an industry organization that has developed a rating system for computer, Internet and video games. Most games sold in North America are rated using this system.

Managing Video Game Playing in the Home - Tip Sheet

The best way to manage games in the home is to get involved in what your kids are playing. Your kids will be much more likely to follow your advice if you show them you are genuinely interested in their games.

Choosing Good Video Games - Tip Sheet

Think about children’s interests when looking for games. Do they like sports, fantasy or strategy-style games?