Over 75% Brit parents concerned about kids videogame content

December 4th, 2007 - 3:56 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 4 (ANI): More than 75 percent of British parents are concerned about the content of video games their kids play, a new survey has found.

The survey, commissioned by Microsoft, also revealed that 60 per cent of the 4,000 parents surveyed across the UK, France, Italy and Germany, believed they had a “less than average” influence over what kind of games their children played.

By comparison, two thirds of the European parents surveyed believed it was their responsibility to decide which computer games were most suitable for their children, and almost half thought that youngsters should play a maximum of one hour of computer games per day.

The survey surfaces just a few months before Dr Tanya Byron releases her Government-supported report studying the impact video games and the Internet is having on children.

One of the focal points of the report will be the ratings systems in the UK, which currently involves a pan-European system and a UK-only rating from the British Board of Film Classification.

The games industry has tried its best to stress the educational and social aspects of gaming, while emphasising that games are regulated and appeal to all ages, with mature titles for mature gamers.

A spokesperson for Elspa, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers’ Association, said videogame playing was “part of a balanced mix of leisure activities for all ages”.

Elspa added: “We welcome the opportunity to highlight the range of devises such as age content suitability ratings and parental controls that support parents in exercising their responsibilities.”

The association said it was dedicated to educating parents “around sensible and appropriate game play”.

The survey found that more than half of children played games on consoles, 32 percent on PCs, 9 percent played games online and 4 percent played on a mobile phone.

It also revealed that for the majority of children, playing games was a lone activity.

The survey found that sixty four percent of children played games alone, less than 1 in 10 children play video games with family members and 12% played with friends.

“There should be parental concern about some games,” BBC quoted games writer and consultant Margaret Robertson, as saying.

“The survey shows that there is parental curiosity about content and a desire for the ability to have more control and insight into what their children are doing.

“There are games that not suitable, games which are sinister, dark and thought-provoking; parents instincts to be concerned are right.

“There are games that should be out of the hands of the children. The industry needs to be telling people that and giving them the information they need, she added. (ANI)

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