http://www.wcpo.com/dpp/money/6-year...n-nintendo-dsi

Video game systems are expensive, costing $300 or more in many cases these days.

That why used game consoles are so popular. But before you buy one, we have an important warning for parents.

Smart and Frugal

Alicia and Bill Elam of Springdale, Ohio thought they were doing the smart, frugal thing, by going to Gamestop and buying a used Nintendo DSI system for their 6-year-old son.

Alicia said "he's 6-years-old and I can't see buying a new one for a 6-year-old. They drop things, things happen."

But Alicia soon regretted that decision, as soon as her young son powered up the handheld game system.

No Super Mario Game

"I was in shock, I mean it was beyond unbelievable," she said. "My 6-year-old son saw it, my 8-year-old too, and neither should ever see that."

What their child found wasn't an innocent Super Mario game.

Instead, Alicia says it was a pornographic photo, apparently taken by the DSI's previous owner, with the unit's built-in camera.

Alicia said "there were two pictures already on it. One was a man's face, one was of his private parts. Yes, we all saw it!"

Gamestop Responds

Alicia says she ran back to the store, where Gamestop's manager was very understanding, and swapped hers for a brand new unit, at no additional charge.

Gamestop would not publicly discuss the case, though a spokesman, Chris Olivera, told us the company spends" millions of dollars a year" checking and cleaning out used equipment before it is resold, to ensure a "quality used product." This one apparently slipped through.

But it can happen anywhere: internet postings and news reports tell of ebay sellers and even other stores selling used game systems up with porn hidden on them.

Alicia says it was a tough lesson, and says her family will be very careful from now on. "We're going to check it out before we hand it to our children," she told me.

Inspect it First

Bottom line: If you are buying a used gaming system for a child, check it out first before you hand it to them.

If you are not familiar with how to work it, ask the store clerk, or another adult who knows video games to go through it.

That way your family stays safe from unwanted content, and your child doesn't get a premature lesson in subjects he or she is not ready for. And that way you don't waste your money.