Just 20% of parents are using console family controls, despite more than half of UK carers polled by YouGov expressing concern about the amount of time their children spend playing games.
A 2019 study by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe revealed that one in five parents of children aged 6-15 use parental control tools to manage in-game spending, while a 2019 NSPCC study found just 19% of parents of kids aged 5-15 use family controls on internet-connected devices.
In response to these findings, the UK Interactive Entertainment Association (Ukie) has launched a new campaign designed to help parents promote healthy gaming by using the console safety features at their disposal.
Videos on how to activate console family controls, which can be used to manage screen time, in-game spending and interactions with other players online, can be found at askaboutgames.com.
“These controls can effectively help manage screen time and age-appropriate play even when you’re not in the room,” said Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist. “It doesn’t take long to set up the controls and it means families can enjoy games together safely.
“If a child was given a bike at Christmas, we would expect them to also be given stabilisers – family controls are really no different,” she added
Get Smart About P.L.A.Y campaign
P – Play with your kids. Understand what they play and why.
L – Learn about family controls. Visit askaboutgames.com for simple step-by-step guides.
A – Ask what your kids think. Discuss ground rules before setting restrictions.
Y – You’re in charge. Set restrictions that work for your family.
The campaign is backed by former Manchester United and England footballer Rio Ferdinand.
“My kids love playing video games but as a parent it is important for me to be able to manage the amount of time they play,” he said.
“Family controls can help achieve a balance at home between screen time and other activities. They’re easy to use and save a lot of arguments in the long run.”