Retailer GameStop has launched a website called GameStop Playground, designed to appeal to families - and possibly to put anxious parents at ease about buying video games for their kids. It features activities, mini-games and videos alongside tools geared at helping parents understand the ESRB's ratings, with game recommendations for kids.

Currently, there's a Wall-E minigame, printable paper dolls for My Fashion Studio, and instructions on how to draw LEGO Batman, on which I am sure we could all afford a lesson.

GameStop kicks off the site launch with an activity contest, where participants come up with an activity for GameSpot's kid-friendly activity book launching this winter. The winning activity gets featured in the book, and the winner also gets a $500 GameStop gift card. Kotaku readers who are parents, now is when you force your children to enter and totally help them cheat, and then buy $480 worth of games for yourself and then give the kid a used GBA title, or something.

I'm joking. Kinda.

[GameStop Playground]

GAMESTOP GIVES MORE POWER TO THE PLAYER…AND PARENTS….WITH LAUNCH OF ITS NEW GAMESTOP PLAYGROUND WEBSITE

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Virtual Playground Features Interactive Games, Contests, and Gaming Tips for Parents

In an effort to provide more power to gamers – and their parents, GameStop, the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer, has launched the GameStop Playground, a virtual online playground of fun activities, videos, and mini-games for families to enjoy. In conjunction with its on-going "Respect the Ratings" efforts, the site also provides tools to help parents select appropriate games for their children, including shopping guides, gaming tips, ESRB ratings, and a list of recommended games for kids.

The GameStop Playground can be accessed online at: http://www.gamestop.com/playground,

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where visitors are invited to try the WALL•E mini game, print out a template to make My Fashion Studio paper dolls, learn how to draw LEGO Batman, watch a Mario Kart video, and more. The site will be updated regularly to include new games, activities, contests, and helpful information.

To coincide with the launch of the site, GameStop Playground is currently hosting the "Build Your Own Activity Contest," which invites contestants come up with a cool and unique activity for the next issue of the GameStop activity book. The winner of the activity contest will receive a $500 GameStop gift card and have his/her activity featured in the book coming out this winter. Four runner-ups will each get $100 gift cards. All entries must be postmarked on or before Sept. 12, 2008. For complete rules, visit www.gamestop.com/playground/contest.

With more than 1,600 E-rated game titles to choose from, GameStop simplifies the game-selection process and gives power to the players. As the world's leading gaming specialty store, GameStop has the widest assortment of titles and an experienced staff to guide game selection for any ages.