Get Your Game On With

poki-com-screenshot.jpgWhen I was a kid, the most common way for me to waste my parent’s money was by relentlessly asking for quarters to go play video games at the arcade. Space Invaders, Asteroids, Galaga, Frogger and of course my all time favorite, Pac Man, were an addiction for me that took up only slightly less time than the hours I spent playing baseball. Fortunately, my parents didn’t keep a running tally of how much money I verbally hijacked them for with incessant requests of “just one more quarter please.” And to this day, I still feel that urge to play whenever I happen to be at a venue that might carry a few of these nostalgic games.
It’s easy for me to understand how and why my son can easily become fixated with the video games that he often likes playing today. But my understanding doesn’t make the experience any less frustrating when each month my wife and I find a few charges on our credit card bill for a couple of games that he downloaded on his phone. Not super expensive stuff that is going to delay our mortgage payment, but $1.99 here and another $1.79 there for things that end up setting us back by $20 for the month while we are looking for ways to save money. Yes, the easy solution would be to put my foot down and have zero tolerance for it. But like many parents, we try to look past things that aren’t that big a deal and selectively pick our battles. That doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to compromise, allowing us to reduce the amount of money we spend each month on the video games he plays and at the same time not cutting into an activity that he enjoys during his downtime. And I think I found a perfect website to accomplish that goal called, a gaming website that has thousands of free video games for kids and adults of all ages to play.
The amazing thing about the site is the breadth of categories one can choose from when selecting a game. In addition to being able to choose from Disney, Mario Brothers, Sponge Bob, and Lego, users can select sports games as well as many educationally oriented games that sharpen math and language skills. While the graphics for most of the games that I came across are not going to blow anyone away, they are certainly good enough for someone like me that grew up using an Atari system. For the video game snobs out there that only want to play games that graphically look like real life, this site is probably not going to have much for you. But for others that like the games for the game aspect itself, the site is perfect.
While the wide selection of categories is great, the drawback for some parents with younger children is that supervision will be required in they games select. There is a category of shooting games which definitely are not suitable for kids below a certain age. And for the parents out there concerned about their kids being overly exposed to advertisements, the site may not be ideal. Like everything in life, nothing is ever truly free and these games are able to be played at no cost because of the advertising dollars generated. However, users of the games can easily skip the advertisements in 4 to 5 seconds, making it a very small inconvenience for something that requires no money to be spent. So next time you have a few minutes to kill yourself or are looking for something to keep your child occupied for a small period of time, take a peek at and see if there might just be a game or two that you think might be enjoyable and challenging. Who knows, you might just find something that entertains you, your kid and saves you from being nickeled and dimed to death by little download charges that are never big enough to catch your eye, but frequent enough to derail your well thought out plan for savings.
Disclosure: This article was written in partnership with