After recent research found that a tiny 19% of parents with children between the ages of five and fifteen use parental controls on internet-connected devices, Ukie launched the Get Smart About P.L.A.Y campaign on the 10th of January.
The initiative aims to encourage parents to make use of console tools that allow management of screen time and in-game spending. Considering the results from a YouGov poll which recently found that over 50% of parents were concerned about the amount of time their children spend playing games, it seems that this initiative has come at the perfect time!
The main premise of the Get Smart About P.L.A.Y initiative revolves around this easy four-step process:
P play with your kids to understand what they play and why
L learn about family controls
A ask your kids what they think about the ground rules, so you can discuss them before setting them
Y you’re in charge!
The campaign is supported by Rio Ferdinand who talks below about the campaign and gives some handy tips and advice for parents
“You wouldn’t give your child a bike without providing a helmet and stabilisers. The same can be said for videogame consoles and parental controls”
- Most games nowadays include educational, cultural and social skills to benefit the player
- So it’s a great time to get involved in what your kids are up to behind the screens!
Learning about family controls can seem tricky, but this handy article by Ask About Games provides step-by-step instructions for setting up parental controls on several platforms such as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and more – as well as some older consoles including PSP and Wii.
A great way to find out more about games and consoles is through the PEGI App
- Setting ground rules is important in any activity your kids are getting into but finding the balance between playing a parental role as well as participating and enjoying can sometimes be a challenge!
- Below are a few tips from Ask About Games on how you can set ground rules with your kids
- Set rules together – initiate a conversation with your child about the games they play, this will help you to understand what they get from their games, allowing you both to agree on how long they would like to play each day
- Configure automatic rules – the ground rules you speak about can be set to automatically kick in within the console
- Play together – children often take to the idea of their parents joining in with their games enthusiastically, and this is a great way to gain insight into how your child plays, which enables you to set more appropriate rules
- There are now a lot more ways to pay for games, which need to be considered to take control of in-game spending
- Subscribing to a gaming service – PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Apple – all these games platforms now offer a monthly subscription service which allows access to a library of games
- Subscribing to a streaming service – Games are played without downloading. Content is streamed live to your device
- Access free games with in-app purchases – many games these days are free to download and play, but in-game purchases are an optional extra. These are features that are paid for with real money and can include additional levels, players, tools or rare items
- Controlling spending – controlling what your child spends on gaming is easy with setting rules. These can include topping up online credit periodically, setting up pocket-money game credit, or awarding them gift cards to spend as and when they like until the money runs out
There are several handy articles provided by Ask About Games that give a quick rundown of a few games that are popular right now, and how to approach conversations about them with your kids. These include FIFA 20, Apex Legends 16+, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Overwatch.
These resources include videos on each game, an overview of the game and it’s genre, the PEGI rating of the game (age-appropriate rating), as well as the themes and difficulty of the games – which are great for finding out a bit more about what your child wants to spend their time on!
The Ask About Games website also recently posted an article depicting an interview with Emma Kenny, a psychologist to get her views on Parental Controls – which makes for a really interesting read!