Parental control with Video Games

My boys are growing up fast and this year we gifted them an XBox 360 thanks to lovely folks over at the Ask About Games website.  They as if we’d be interested in becoming Family Gaming Ambassadors for them and after discussing it with MadDad we decided it would be a great opportunity.

conservatory

Our first challenge was  all to do with parental control and included a series of questions around how well we knew the PEGI video game age ratings.  PEGI stands for Pan European Game Information,and I had to look up the answers the questions on Ask About Games!

1) How many PEGI ratings are there?
A) There are five age ratings; 3, 7, 12, 16, 18

2) Which 3 PEGI age ratings are legally enforceable?
A) The 12, 16 and 18 ratings are legally enforceable for retailers – 3 and 7 are advisory only.

3) How many PEGI Content Descriptor icons are there?
A) Content Descriptors explain a little bit more about why something has been given a particular rating. There are 8 in total

4) What does the Spider icon mean?

A) It means “Fear” – i.e. it might be frightening for younger children.

5) What does the Fist icon mean?

A) It means that the game in question will include depictions of violence.

6) Parental Controls are available on Smart Phones; True or False?
A) True.

7) Parental Control features on a video games console can be used to control the amount of time that your child plays on the device per day? True/False?
A) True.

Setting parental controls

pegi
The second part of the challenge was for us to set up Parental Controls on our Xbox.  We already have rules in the house on no screen time after 6pm, so this was a no brainier for us.  We did this on Christmas Eve as we set it up and it was really easy to do.  Not only have we set time limits, so that there is a limit on screen time, but we have also set a code so that the boys can not play on certain games.

I didn’t video up setting up the controls, as my boys are far too clever and would probably find it on the blog. but one of my fellow Family Gaming Ambassadors Julie at The Sardine Tin did.  It took us all of 4 minutes to set up the controls and it really does give me peace of mind when the boys are playing.

  • We have a game rating of 12 set on the XBox.
  • We have a movie rating of 12, so that the boys can watch movies on the Xbox.
  • We also have explicit content blocked.
  • We have a daily limit of 1 hour set on the family timer.  I only wish we could have different times for different days, so we could increase it automatically on a weekend or have set times when they could use it.

We have really enjoyed playing on the XBox over the festive season especially as we have all had flu and our favorite family game has been a scrabble style one we downloaded called quarrel.

 

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7 Responses

I thought that the picture of the fist was something rude beginning with W!!! Oh I am so immature ;-)

My boys are 9 and 6 and are DESPERATE for an Xbox 360. If I had known about the parental settings I may have considered it for Chrismtas as my bugbear is not having the control for games and also playtime!!

Question, why do you let them play 12 games??? Aren’t they 7 and 5????? I don’t let my 9 year old play 12 as he borrowed a James Bond one from his friend and I was shocked at the level of violence!

Happy New Year!

Jen Walshaw | 01.07.13

@Super Amazing Mum. The boys are nearly 8 and nearly 7. We only have one 12 game, a Harry Potter one, which MadDad played before letting the boys lose on it. We initially had it set as 7, but got sick of popping the password in when they wanted to play the Harry Potter one. We can always make changes if we need too. It is very easy to change the family settings, which is great

Thanks for getting back to me – it’s great you get that option!!

This is a great post. I didn’t know you could do half of this or what the icons meant. Snaffles has just got his first computer game so I want to set some good ground rules straight away. I am liking the time limit.

I have pinned this to remind me to do it.

Susan Mann | 01.07.13

We are the same no screen time after 6, the parental controls are a great idea. My boys don’t play unsupervised yet but it’s definitely something I’ll be setting up. x

FamilyFourFun | 01.07.13

I’ve always been torn between 12 rating – Ethan is 8 and generally wants to play/watch them because of the rating! I banned them until the most recent Harry Potters – I am disappointed at these popular titles not trying to remain more suitable to be ratedunder 12’s.
They opened the floodgates, why allow them and not another?
Now I use 12 rating as PG and only allow any 12 film/game in the house that has been vetted by me or Dad. Saying that on his tablet control settings I’ve allowed up to a 12 – I didn’t tell him but he soon found out however he can’t download anything until I’ve put in a pin so I think we’re covered.

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