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My Top Seven Favorite Family Safe PC Video Games

Updated on July 25, 2009

Family Safe PC Games that Teach Life Skills

I am a father with five children all of whom enjoy playing pc games now and then. However, like many parents in this age of computer entertainment I am not thrilled with many of the choices out on the market. Here are seven pc video games that are safe for the whole family and are both entertaining as well as educational. Most of them are games which challenge the player to think through complex business scenarios that include design and financial management.

#7 - Madden NFL

#7 - Madden NFL

Admittedly, each fall I play at least three complete seasons with different teams as well as some of the mini-game tournaments. I am a Madden NFL fanatic. However, the reason it comes in at #7 on my list of all-time favorite pc games is that it is not for eveyone in the house. It is safe for everyone in the house, but I have three ladies in the house who cannot truly dig it getting down and dirty with football. Furthermore, I am rather disappointed with the replacement of voices from Al Michaels and John Madden to Chris Collinsworth and the other guy. There is some thinking involved outside of playing the game such as trying to juggle salary caps and operation costs to keep the team profitable as well as winning.

#6 - Sid Meier's Sim Golf

#6 - Sid Meier's Sim Golf

Although this game is kind of cartoonish and it involves one of my favorite hobbies, Sim Golf is a golf course management simulation game that takes careful planning and timely execution. Sure, you gain some extra dough and prestige for playing golf, but you also learn some of the ins and outs of golf course layout and design in different terrains and climate situations. Perfectly safe for all family members.

#5 - Rollercoaster Tycoon Series

#5 Rollercoaster Tycoon Series

Like Sim Golf, Rollercoaster Tycoon teaches excellent planning and execution techniques. The game offers a series of scenarios that the player has to negotiate in order to meet attendance and financial objectives. This is another multi-faceted game that increases complex thinking skills while designing theme park layouts and managing the optimal amount of support staff (such as security, entertainment, and janitorial crews).

#4 - Nancy Drew Mysteries

#4 - Nancy Drew Mysteries

 My fourth favorite pc video game for families is Nancy Drew Mysteries. These games are whodunit mysteries by which the player has to use deductive reasoning in order to solve the crime. Clues are won by overcoming a series of obstacles that includes figuring out puzzles. The games are programmed with two levels for children and adults.

#3 - Sim City 4

#3 - Sim City 4

Sim City was all the rage a few years back and for good reason. This game helps participants learn how to run a city which includes how to set up water and transportation lines; zone out various parts of town (such as residential; light, medium and heavy industry; and police and fire protection); all while attempting to maintain a balanced budget.

#2 - The Movies

#2 - The Movies

 In the Movies pc game, the player is a wannabe movie studio mogul attempting to outfit the best movie studio in the industry. In this simulation game, the player must design a state-of-the-art film lot while keeping actors and directors happy and producing award winning motion pictures. Just like other simulation games, you must manage the business within a stated budget.

#1 - Industry Giant 2

Industry Giant 2

My #1 favorite pc video game is Industry Giant 2. This game is another in the long line of simulation games and is family safe. This is a supply chain simulation game through which the player manages all factors of supply chain logistics including mining of raw materials, product production and distribution, and appropriate transportation systems. This game takes careful planning and lots of patience as scenarios can take up to four or five hours to finish.

Family Safe PC Video Games

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