Games, both online and through consoles like the PS3 or Wii, have never held much interest for me. Because I never paid much attention, I don't know much more than what I see in the news about what they are capable of. When I go to conferences about online safety, there are always people talking about how to keep kids safe on the gaming systems. This summer, I have some young family members (8 and 10) coming to visit and they are bringing their Wii. I am looking forward to trying it out (I've heard that Rock Band is a lot of fun!), but I am also now faced with a reality of having to make sure that they are safe while using the gaming system while they visit. In addition to talking to their parents about the do's and don'ts, I want to know what to be aware of.
I first checked this blog. I found that Holly posted some good tips
for gaming safety of the Wii. I also found some helpful things at the manufacturer's web site (in my case, Wii). I searched the web site for "parental controls"
and familiarized myself with how to use them and know to ask Mom and Dad what their password is so I can use it if needed.
Since they are likely going to also want to use my computer, I am also checking my settings on my own computer and installing parental controls
, whom I've mentioned before, has some good resources from which parents can learn for all topics technology and safety related. I am more familiar with these topics, but since I haven't had children in the house for any length of time before, I am brushing up.
A few other resources that can help:
ESRB: This is the group
who rates all video games by age group and tell why the ratings were chosen (violence, language, etc.) They can tell you
Internet Safety 101 is a resource for all things internet safety related. Since most gaming systems use the internet as part of the play, I am refreshing my knowledge here as well. You can order the entire program
Do you have any more tips for my upcoming visit with kids that I may not have thought of?