FamilyFun.com has announced the winners of its second annual Video Game of the Year Awards, a sister program to its well-known FamilyFun Magazine Toy of the Year Award (T.O.Y.). Games rated E and E10+ by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) were eligible and evaluated in two age categories - 6-9 years old and 10-12 years old - for the Video Game of the Year Awards.
Close to forty games qualifying for Video Game of the Year were screened, tested and ranked on a 100-point scale by kid testers throughout the country. Kid testing is augmented with comments from parents who have played the games with their kids. More than 2,000 children participated in the in-home game testing handled by Digital Research, Inc.
While both console and handheld games for all platforms were considered, two handheld games earned top honors. The Video Game of the Year for kids ages 6-9 is Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus
for the Game Boy Advance by Vivendi Universal Games, and the Video Game of the Year for kids ages 10-12 is Nintendogs: Dachshund & Friends
, the first-party Nintendo DS title.
The highest ranking console-based games were Hello Kitty Roller Coaster Rescue
for Nintendo GameCube by developer Xpec and publisher Namco, as rated for kids ages 6-9, and Madagascar
for Xbox by developer Toys For Bob and publisher Activision, as rated for kids ages 10-12.
"Heightened media attention over the last year focusing on violence and profanity in video games really underscores the need for services that help parents better understand the content of the games their kids are playing," said Lee Woodruff, contributing editor of FamilyFun. "Luckily, there are a lot of great, family-friendly titles out there to choose from, and these awards simplify the selection process so families can find games that everyone can agree on."