Parents urged to review ‘Parental Control’ settings this Christmas

With the new and existing generation of video games consoles predicted to top Christmas wish-lists, New Zealand’s peak body for interactive games says it’s a timely reminder for parents to familiarise themselves with the parental control settings and national classification scheme to ensure children play video games in a safe and enjoyable way.

Ron Curry, CEO of Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA), says it’s the first time consumers will have access to a new generation of innovative consoles and ways to play games in more than half a decade.

“The latest consoles, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, Nintendo 2DS/3DS and PlayStation Vita, all contain terrific tools to help parents maintain control over what games their children can and can’t play. These control settings enable parents to regulate the amount of time their children play and restrict access to the internet.”

“Parents can also use the tools to block games based on its classification rating, which means your eight year old can’t accidentally play games meant for the 18 year old,” said Curry.

Stephanie Brantz, sports presenter and mother of three enthusiastic gamers, believes that the best way for parents to keep on top of their children’s video gaming use is a mixture of using the control settings, checking the ratings and getting up close and personal with video games.

“As a competitive person at heart, our family has had some action-packed on-screen battles racing cars and playing soccer.  Initially, I stood on the sidelines while my children played but now it has become another way for the family to spend some quality time together doing something the children enjoy.”

“At the end of the day, I believe it’s up to parents to decide which games are right for their children by using the classification ratings in conjunction with the parental control features and of course using their best judgement as Mums and Dads.  You might even be surprised by how much fun you’ll have by wrestling the controller away from our children and playing the games yourself,” said Brantz.

Listed below are tutorials for parents to set up the Parental Control settings for the;

-          Latest consoles generation:

o   PlayStation 4

o   Xbox One

o   Wii U

-          Handheld devices:

o   Nintendo 2DS

o   Nintendo 3DS

o   Nintendo 3DS XL

o   PlayStation Vita

In addition to these resources, IGEA’s website Take Control, has a range of video tutorials presented by Stephanie Brantz for the previous console generation.

o   PlayStation 3

o   Nintendo Wii

o   Xbox 360

Will you be reviewing your child’s console habits? Tell us your thoughts below.

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