Rio Ferdinand is urging parents to use video game controls, here’s why.

Parenting children who love playing video-games can be a challenge if you don’t play games yourself.

The technology moves on quickly as do the latest crazes.

But a new campaign launched by the UK Interactive Entertainment Association (Ukie) today shines a light on the great tools parents and guardians can use to guide their family’s gaming.

Part of the campaign is this video (below) from Rio Ferdinand, former Manchester United and England captain, but first and foremost, a father.

Working together with Ukie, Ferdinand offers some simple but effective advice with the P.L.A.Y. acrostic.

  • P – Play with your kids.

  • L – Learn about family controls for your console.

  • A – Ask what your kids think.

  • Y – You’re in charge.

This advice is backed up with a series of articles on the AskAboutGames website.

It provides stories from how real families set ground rules and step-by-step guidance on how to set-up the tools on whichever system you own.

This enables you to not only get a better understanding of which games your child enjoys, but agree with them a family gaming routine.

You can then set-up automatic limits and sensible restrictions on spending, age-rated content and interactions with other players.

“These controls can effectively help manage screen time and age-appropriate play even when you’re not in the room.

"It doesn’t take long to set up the controls and it means families can enjoy games together safely.” commented Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie.

“If a child was given a bike at Christmas, we would expect them to also be given stabilisers – family controls are really no different.”

It’s advice that isn’t new, but with a 2019 NSPCC study revealing that just 19% of parents of children aged 5-15 use family controls on internet-connected devices, it’s a message that’s still very important.

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