One of the first questions to ask is what kind of console, and games, would suit your child, given their age and interests. Ask their friends about what games, and what consoles, they have. Kids like to connect and play against each other online, so having the same kind of console is important. Speaking of online, a lot of parents have a lot of questions about online safety and the suitability of games. When it comes to the games, check the classifications. The eSafety Commisioner explains the classifications and the differences at each level.
There are a lot of shoot-‘em-up games available that can be quite violent, and there are plenty around that include coarse language. As we mentioned before, the classifications can be clear, so making sure they buy, and play, suitable games can be easy. You can also set parental controls on what kinds of games they can download, which can give you that extra peace of mind. All major game and console companies understand the dangers of multiple-player online games, especially when it comes to kids. Parents can’t be everywhere, but you can monitor what they are playing and who they are playing it with. You can monitor what they play, sometimes from a separate app, which is one way to keep an eye on things, and the companies themselves have strict policies around online conduct. They will ban or suspend players for inappropriate behaviour, so it can be a good thing to encourage your child to report anything they don’t like.
Most online multi-player games also make it easy to play with people you know, or to choose those you have played with before, adding that extra level of security. Most parents are also keen to ask how long their children should play on the consoles. You can set time limits with new consoles, and you can restrict access based on a number of things, including age. But, don’t be afraid to ask these questions, or any others, of our instore staff. They can answer them for you, or show you where to go to find out more.