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Do you screen your child's video games?

There seems to be a lot of insistence on screening music/movies/tv shows, etc, but for video games, a lot of people who just glance at a rating on a box (if that) and figure that's good enough. There are questions that pop up about games where the parent obviously doesn't understand the first thing about it, which leads to the issue, do they realize that it can include server play, which means playing online with complete strangers and chatting to them in game?

I've seen more kids than I can count in online MMOs who had NO business being there unsupervised, even though the boxes have a T on them, there's a fine print disclaimer stating clearly the online experience may exceed that rating. None of their parents bothered to read it (or else they didn't care). I've watched as a 13 year old girl happily rattled off her hometown, school name, schedule, and the fact that she was left alone unsupervised for 3 hours after school, and didn't even understand when those of us who tried to warn her were telling her it was dangerous. I've watched kids who were grounded from the internet find dozens of ways to get in game without their parents' knowledge, even going so far as to enable the onboard virtual keyboard when parents physically disconnected the keyboard and confiscated it.

I don't know a single parent from the gaming community who isn't on their kids like a hawk, because we KNOW what they can do. The kids we see getting in the most trouble, are the ones whose parents don't even fully understand what the games are, let alone how they work.

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Asked by NotPanicking at 9:08 PM on Sep. 14, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • Yes but, we don't have a video game system. My oldest does play Wizard 101 online though & I monitor her.

    Answer by 3libras at 9:10 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Yep, I don't go by the ratings and I know which games he can get online with. I have a password on my profile so he can't just use it. His profile can't get online. He plays Wizard 101 online as well, but I keep an eye on him when he is playing. No issues for us. Not to mention the fact that I taught my son to NOT share his info EVER without my permission. A 13 yo without this knowledge had some crappy parents.

    Answer by kmath at 9:13 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • I am so thankful that my boys were older teens when the video online gaming started to be pretty standard in a lot of homes. I monitored them some what... but like I said they were older teens... 16 or so, and if they didn't play it at our house, they could play it at any friends house. So I just tried to teach them to be smart about it. Luckily sports stayed their first love, so they werent die hard fanatics about it.

    Answer by Nimue930 at 9:14 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Yes but ONLY because my gamer family told me - I don't do the game scene much.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 9:16 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • I did when my boys were younger. But despite my efforts, their dad let them play games & watch TV shows that were inappropriate for their ages at the time. They've still turned out OK, so I am thankful for that. My 11 y/o dau plays a few games online on the computer which is in a common space & I can see what she's doing. I see what apps she has for her Kindle & the Wii games she has are all very appropriate.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:25 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Fortunately on-line gaming came AFTER my boys were older but I used to monitor the video games they would purchase or rent. And if Disapproved the game ended there!

    Answer by KTElite at 9:27 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • My son just plays PS games,no online play

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:40 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Yes. My husband has some games that he can play online with other guys (shoot em up Games - idk which ones), so he's very in tune with what is/is not appropriate for our kids. The kids aren't allowed to play those and I fact don't even know we have them because they only get played when our kids are asleep or gone.

    Answer by missanc at 9:47 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • Fortunately, my daughter still likes Arthur and Nick Junior games online. I've worried about my stepson, but he seems not to care for most of the really violent games. He has gotten a taste for Grand Theft Auto, which I would probably not allow if it were my choice, but I'm not his mom.

    Answer by Ballad at 10:31 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

  • yes I'm well aware and like Misanc I don't even play many of my games if my son is around or awake. I do have games we can play together(like harry potter and batman lego) and ones he can play alone(mostly kinect, such as Elmo's game). he his only just about 6 so even when he is playing "alone" I end up having to help him.

    When he gets older I do as others did and make him his own profile so he can't get online without me.

    The neighbor boy either plays or watches his father play some pretty violent games as he will talk about it nonstop.

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 11:10 PM on Sep. 14, 2013

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