A message from our CEO, Ron Curry
Playing games in 2020 has been an important source of joy and entertainment for more people than usual. Games have played a significant role in keeping people connected, keeping people educated and even keeping people positive as the pandemic took a hold.
With many new players jumping in, experienced players enjoying new games, and exciting new consoles about to hit the market, it’s a good time to remind parents, caregivers and players that a suite of settings and tools exist to manage the play experience and instil confidence in those who are new to games, or feel they aren’t as knowledgeable as the younger generation. Trust us, we have all been there, but it is easier than you think!
Get Ready – Know what is possible
All of the major consoles and game devices (which includes mobiles and tablets) have a vast array of controls available to help parents and carers manage game play in a way that works for them. The options available include tools, settings and features to help parents and carers monitor and control:
• The amount of time spent playing games
• The type of content that can be accessed
• How much (if any) money players can spend
• Privacy and ability to interact with other players
Set family controls – Take the time to learn
Often parents and carers feel overwhelmed and confused as to where to even start sourcing information about games and game devices. Luckily, there are great resources available that simplify and explain all that you need to know. We recommend the following guidance for:
- Setting up parental controls by device: www.igea.net/useful-links/parental-controls
- Learning about classification ratings and what they mean:
- Becoming more familiar with video games: there is plenty of plain language information for families from games websites and parenting blogs. As a starting point, www.askaboutgames.com, whilst run out of the UK, is informative and answers many common questions from parents
- Listening to advice from online safety agencies:
Australia: The eSafety Commissioner educates citizens on how to have safe and positive experiences online and maintains a thorough resource on games:www.esafety.gov.au/parents/big-issues/gaming
New Zealand: Netsafe provides online safety support, expertise and education and has published guidance on gaming: www.netsafe.org.nz/online-gaming/
Go! Plan ahead and enjoy
With the holidays fast approaching, games and consoles are sure to be high on Christmas wish lists. If you are planning on buying games and/or gaming devices as a gift, we have four key recommendations:
1. Check the parental settings and controls before you hand over the controllers or the device, especially before the excitement of Christmas morning or the beginning of the holidays.
2. Always check the classification rating for games before you download or buy them.
3. Talk to your kids and share expectations about what they are playing, when they are playing and who they are playing with.
4. Monitoring game play is important, but why not play the game with your kids. There is no better way to learn about games and we are confident that you will enjoy the experience and discover a new way to connect with them.
Playing video games is an incredibly popular entertainment medium regardless of your age, location or level of game play experience. It is possible to enjoy games with your family and friends in a way that ensures your experience is safe, positive and fun. Get, Set, Go ahead and enjoy games this holiday season and beyond!
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