2.3 Keeping safe when using Gaming devices

Gaming devices provide a variety of interesting activities and ways for young people to engage with their friends and families.

However, it is important to be aware of what these devices can do and how you can talk with your child to help them to use this technology in safe and positive way.

All modern gaming devices offer parental controls to help you manage how your child uses their device, but these do need to be set up in order for them to be operational.

Three steps for parents:

  1. Understand the capabilities of gaming devices and how you as a parent can support your child to be smart and safe in their gaming. To help, read the FAQs below. If you are buying a gaming device, why not print our Shopper’s Checklist and ask these questions in the shop?
  2. Find out about the parental controls available - it helps if you are the one to set up the gaming device so you are in control of these. Gaming devices have parental controls to help parents manage their children’s gaming, for example, to prevent internet browsing or restrict access to age-restricted games (see our tips for Nintendo,  Xbox or PlayStation 4 and Playstation 3 devices). Find out about PEGI age ratings to help you decide which games are appropriate for your child’s age.
  3. Talk with your child about safe and responsible gaming and agree a set of family rules. Perhaps you could agree rules with your child about how long they are allowed to play for, how they should behave towards other gamers and agree rules about not meeting up with people they have only met online. See our Family Agreement for more ideas. Remember that gaming devices like the Xbox 360, Wii and 3DS connect to the internet, so the same advice and rules for keeping safe online apply.