Microsoft's Xbox 360 offers game playing and movie watching. It also offers Xbox Live, an optional, subscription based service offering online multiplayer gaming, voice, text and video chat, and multimedia downloads such as games, movies, and TV shows.
Xbox 360 offers parental controls called Family Settings to help control the types of games and movies that your children can play or view based on their industry content ratings. They also provide settings to control Xbox live. The following highlights the Family Settings for the Xbox.
The default for video settings on the Xbox 360 is "Allow All Games" which allows users to play Early Childhood (EC), Everyone (E), Everyone 10+ (E10+), Teen (T) and Mature (M) games. Xbox does not support Adult (AO) games. You can change the Game Ratings setting to the ESRB rating you determine is appropriate for your children.
The Video Rating option in the Family Settings has four categories: "Movie Ratings," "TV Ratings," "Explicit Video," and "Unrated Video." The movie and TV settings are based on industry ratings and are defaulted to allow all rated movies and shows which gives users access to R-rated movies and mature TV programs; however you can change this setting to reflect what is age-appropriate for your children. Explicit and unrated videos are also set by default to allow these types of videos, but you have the ability to block access to them.
The default setting for Xbox Live is to allow access. If you decide to block access, there is no ability to connect to Xbox Live to interact or download content. If you decide to allow access, there are additional settings that you need to be aware of and set including access to online games, text and voice chat, as well as video chat.
Xbox 360 Family Timer
The timer gives you the ability to control the amount of time your children can use the Xbox 360. If you decide to take advantage of the timer, there are two options: "Daily," which can set time in 15-minute increments, or "Weekly" which can set time in 1-hour increments.
Xbox Family Settings provide tools for you to establish an age-appropriate gaming playing and entertainment experience for your children, but remember the settings offered are all defaulted off. You must set them up to reap the benefits.
To learn more about Xbox 360 Family Settings including detailed instructions on how to set up Family Settings, visit: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/support/familysettings/.