While it's easy to find mainstream media attacking video games for no reason, it's also undeniable that video games can be an addictive hobby, especially for young children.
So it's nice to find the website iCyberSafe.com giving out solid advice for parents who are afraid that their kids might succumb to video game's more negative qualities:
If your child is in the early stages of playing computer games NOW is the time to act. Don't fall for ‘just another 5 minutes' or ‘everyone else's parents lets them'. Educate them. Discuss addictions – all sorts and teach them good cyber behaviour from the start. Once they are 18 you will have little control so it is imperative that you focus on the early years. Make sure these addictive games are not played in the early years. When and if you do introduce them make sure that they are; age appropriate, that there are time limits and rules, that the computer is publicly located and that there is lots of discussion. Never allow a computer in the bedroom. It is your lap top or mobile device: you own it and you make the rules. Turn off the wireless particularly at night if you feel that you cannot trust your child. Some teens play games at 3am in the morning with teens in the UK or the States who are just getting home from school! Many teens, particularly boys, will beg, and nag parents to purchase games like Call of Duty. Don't fall for this. Remember that most of these are not age appropriate.
Some of this might seem obvious, but it's also good advice. Don't stop your kids from playing games, but make sure they're age-appropriate and enjoyed in proper doses. In other words, don't let your kid stay up until 6am every night playing Gears of War. That's your job.
My Teen Son is Addicted to Video Games – Is Yours? [iCyberSafe]