A Guide on Gifting Consoles and Games

Posted by / Monday 03 December 2018 / Parenting Tips Safety Online
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As calculated by WePC, worldwide, there are over 2.5 billion active video gamers, generating a global market value of over 78 billion USD, or roughly 60 billion GBP. Modern gaming consoles require an internet-connection allowing users to download, play, and watch their favorite games, content, and streamers. With the holiday season in full swing, chances are your child has asked for a new game or console. However, before making a purchase, it’s important that you consider the type of content and responsibilities you’ll be gifting.

 

Popular Gifts

Consoles

Gaming consoles come with recommended age requirements that should be strictly enforced.

Xbox One X- Popular among young children, teens and adults, Xbox recommends that parents gift to users at least 8 years old. However, the system comes with variable content control settings that allow parents to restrict content based on rating.

PS4- Popular among young children, teens, and adults, the both the PlayStation console and Network are safe and recommended for users over the age of 7. The system comes equipped with parental control and content filter settings.

Nintendo Switch- Most popular among young children and is recommended for children over the age of 6. However, specific content such as mature games can be blocked by the equipped parental control settings.

A gaming console is an internet-connected device, and as such, a user can search the web, download content, and interact with other players in an unmonitored environment.

Games

Just like the consoles themselves, games, both downloadable and disk, come with age restrictions and content ratings. Below are a few of the most popular games this holiday season:

Fortnite- A free downloadable game that combines 100 online players in an open area to fight for the death. Fortnite is rated PEGI 12+ for frequent scenes of mild violence. Online gameplay can include unmonitored user interaction and mature or offensive language.

League of Legends- Due to the realistic violence, unmonitored interaction, mature themes, the PEGI rates this game 12+ and is not recommended for younger players.

Call of Duty- A game based on simulated war contains realistic and explicit violence, language, and mature themes. This game comes with a PEGI 18+ rating which doesn’t account for the online gameplay where players can be exposed to mature language and topics.

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Protect Your Online Gamers

  • Start and set up all new Internet-connected devices and consoles with parental control, privacy, and security settings before gifting.
  • Limit screen-time as cyber criminals often target online gamers and chat networks in an attempt to obtain personally identifiable information. Gamers should never accept attachments or downloads from other players, as it’s possible the information, program, or process could compromise the console or device. When installed and up-to-date, antivirus software, and advanced network security settings can help prevent threats including viruses, spyware, and even ransomware; used or leveraged to commit child identity theft.
  • Live video streams are unmonitored, meaning streamers can share inappropriate or malicious content. As your children spend more time in front of their devices, it’s important to remind them the risks of viewing inappropriate content.
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5 Tips for Parents, Guardians, and Gifters

  • Check the game’s age ratings using PEGI content rating before purchasing.
  • When possible, purchase games in store. Speak to sales assistants who will probably be well versed in all things gaming to inform you about gaming content and safety features.
  • Read reviews from other parents and guardians who have purchased or played the game with their children. This can give you a good overview of the content of the game and what other parents may have found inappropriate.
  • Let your children know that they can talk to a trusted adult i.e. a parent or teacher if they come across anything online which may upset them or make them feel uncomfortable. Remind your children to not share any personal information, images or videos of themselves with strangers online.
  • Prevent gaming addiction - Children may find it difficult to stop playing games, which can interfere with their ability to complete homework and chores, and to socialise with family. Be prepared to limit screen time to develop healthy gaming habits.