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Thursday, 09 December 2010 10:27

Parents gain control with new video series


As Christmas approaches, many kids will soon be unwrapping video games from under their Christmas tree. One company has released a set of videos to ensure kids are only playing the games Santa gave them.


The Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (iGEA) today released a series of 'How to set-up Parental Controls' videos to help parents manage healthy video gaming habits for their children.

The videos, hosted by iGEA ambassador and ABC sports presenter Stephanie Brantz, provide step-by-step instructions to show parents how to activate parental control features on popular gaming consoles, including the Playstation, Xbox, Wii and PC.

According to Brantz, who is also a mother of three, using the parental control features gives her the confidence that her children are playing age appropriate games for a right amount of time.

'The parental control features in these devices are a fantastic tool to help parents balance the amount of time children spend playing video games and other activities.  Parents can also use the password-protected controls to ensure their child only has access to age-appropriate games, whether it's rated G, PG, M or MA15+,' said Brantz.

The videos are released in response to a Newspoll study commissioned by the iGEA in December 2009 which revealed many Australian parents were unaware of the parental controls built into popular console gaming devices.

According to Ron Curry, CEO of iGEA, 'Only 26 per cent of parents were aware of controls within most consoles to help manage the amount of time their children spent playing games. A further 49 per cent of parents were also not aware of classification locks.'

'As interactive games are a popular past-time for the entire family, and particularly in the lead up to Christmas, we wanted to develop a series of videos to help raise the awareness of parental control tools amongst parents to give them the confidence to manage the game play in their house,' said Curry.

The issue will only become more pertinent as the R18+ rating for video games is reviewed, pending a meeting of the state Attorneys-General on Friday.

The iGEA recommends five tips to help parents manage their child's gaming habits:

·         Play with your children

·         Put the gaming console in a common area - like the lounge room

·         Check gaming classifications

·         Set a time limit

·         Set up parental controls

The videos are available online here.

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