Roughly four out of five American households contain a device used to play videos – so either a video game console or a computer. Of that, 155 million Americans regularly play video games, with 26 percent of players being under 18 years. At an estimate, that’s 299000000 under 18’s playing video games; with one in three gamers playing online a huge number of kids being exposed to potentially unsuitable content, abuse on live chats and console IMs.
While this study says that 69 percent of parents regularly check ESRB ratings before buying games, 31 percent (and possibly more) do not, leaving their child susceptible to violent and sexual video game content without any knowledge of their child buying the game. This is why it is imperative for parents to use parental control settings on video gaming systems so as to block children from playing adult content!
Here is a guide to video gaming systems that use parental controls.
This popular PC gaming service is used by nearly every PC gamer. Simply go to Preferences then Family to enable Family Mode. This includes:
- A pin protection
- What games to be displayed in Family Mode
- Disable use of the store, chat, and community
One of, if not the most, popular gaming consoles today, the PlayStation 4 parental controls are simple to set up. You simply go to the System Menu, then Parental Control and set up the options to your liking. They include:
- Restricting games, apps, and DVDs by age rating
- Disabling messages on PSN from other users
- Blocking content and setting spending limits on the PlayStation Story
Another incredibly popular console that is simple to set up parental controls. Each profile can be set to a child, teen, and adult with each profile having restrictions:
- Adult profiles have no restrictions, and can play any movie or game, and have the ability to change settings as they please. The can restrict app and game access by rating, block certain phrases from appearing in searches, filter websites, and have a timer function.
- Teen profiles can have restrictions placed on them as adult profiles see fit, restricting content by rating and ability to change settings.
- Child profiles are restricted by rating and limit the number of online functions available to them. Adult profiles can add other restrictions as they see fit.
This is the most popular handheld for children (Nintendo has branded itself for years as a family company) so the parental controls are comprehensive and easy to use, with a pin protecting them so your child can’t access and turn them off. Go to System Setting and then Parental Control to activate them. Features include:
- Restricting chat, friends added, Miiverse and Street Pass
- E-Shop store restrictions
- Apps and web browser
- 3D image display
Nintendo’s newest console actually offers a parental control app to monitor use of the Switch! This is very handy for parents to monitor their kids even when they’re not in the same room. Simply install the app from the Google Play store or the Apple App Store. Features include:
- Decide which games they can play based on age ratings
- See daily play times for each user
- Limit sharing of in-game text or images per game
- Restrict e-Shop purchases
- Suspend software is play time limit has to be exceeded
- Notifications of what your child is playing