When my kids wanted a portable game system to take in the car on long trips, or to doctor's waiting rooms, etc., I was very hesitant to get them one. I did not want them to turn into mindless blobs always connected to a tiny computer, or to have to constantly fight to get it away from them.
My decision was made for me, though, when a grandparent got them each a Leapster Game System for Christmas and several games. I was truly impressed with the quality of the Leapsters themselves (for instance, they have been dropped several times each, and continue to work well...no blips on the screens, and even relatively few scratches on the outer plastic). The games are actually educational, too! It's not just scoring points or dodging enemy creatures. The kids (ranging from 7 to 2) are really learning skills and enjoying the time spent doing it.
The Leapsters also come with some games included, even without the cassette. So they have games to play loaded onto the machine, even if they don't have a new cassette with them. We keep everything in a nice zippered shaving bag, and because the kids enjoy them so much, they take good care of the machines and the games.
Overall, a fabulous gift for kids 3 and up!