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MS punts gaming guide for parents

'Will I get shot if I stop Jimmy playing Halo?'

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In an effort to stem the ongoing debate about the effect of violent videogames on children, Microsoft has launched a US website designed to bring parents up to date with consoles.

Get Game Smart offers game-classification descriptions and guides for setting up parental controls on consoles the Xbox 360.

The site’s ultimate aim, Microsoft said, is to help parents make “smart media choices” about the games they let their kids play and the sorts of digital content accessed by nippers.

Although detailed descriptions about the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) game classifications take up much of the site, parents can also download a “digital checklist” to guide them through setting up family rules about which games their kids can play and for how long.

If you’re still unsure about something - perhaps, 'Will Lil’ Jimmy really shoot me if I take away his copy of Halo 3?' - then a Q&A panel lets you put your question to a board of experts that includes ESRB President Patricia Vance. ®

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