Video games provide an excellent avenue for creative play, cognitive development, social interaction and self-expression, but navigating the world of video games can be a challenge for parents, even for those that have enjoyed video games as a child themselves. Video games have evolved a lot in the last 25 years, together with other online experiences like social media, and a parent needs to find answers to numerous questions to ensure that children can enjoy video games in a safe and responsible way. PEGI ratings provide answers about the content that is present in video games, but parents also wonder about other facets:
- For how long should I let my child play video games?
- With whom is my child playing and interacting?
- Do I want my child to spend money in a video game?
- What happens with the personal data and the privacy of my child?
These are important questions that go beyond a simple and straightforward age rating symbol, but there are other ways in which video game companies are addressing these concerns.
PEGI provides a number of tips for parents, which they can use as a checklist to ensure that children are playing in a safe and responsible responsible manner.
Parental control tools, available on every platform, offer ways to monitor, limit or restrict different aspects of video games, whether it is the amount of time played, the content rating of a game, the ability to spend money, or various ways in which players can interact with each other.
Many video games offer in-game purchases to expand or customise the experience of the base game. In some cases, with free-to-play games, the optional in-game purchases are the single source of income, or they are combined with in-game advertising. There is a very diverse group of business models present in video games today, but parents can always monitor and control whether and how children are spending money.
Even though playing games offline is still very popular, online gameplay is often the main focus of a video game’s experience. Playing online allows young people and adults to enjoy games while interacting with their own network of fellow gamers, and friends. To ensure that this can happen in a safe and responsible online environment, the PEGI Code of Conduct contains a number of provisions that promote a minimum level of protection for young people.
You can find out more about safe and responsible gameplay in your local language via the following sites:
- Austria: www.gemeinsamspielen.at/
- Belgium: www.jouezmalin.be / www.speelhetslim.be
- Finland: www.peliviikko.fi/
- France: www.pedagojeux.fr
- Italy: https://tuttosuivideogiochi.it/
- Netherlands: www.rulethegame.nl
- Poland: www.zapytajogry.pl
- Portugal: http://aepdv.pt/
- Romania: https://desprejocurivideo.ro/
- Spain: www.thegoodgamer.es
- Sweden: www.fragaprataspela.se
- Switzerland: http://play-smart.ch/
- United Kingdom: www.askaboutgames.com