The ESRB, also known as the Entertainment Software Rating Board, has always had a mission to keep kids safe when it comes to video games. If you aren’t already familiar with the organization, think of the place that gives movies ratings like PG-13 and R. Video games have similar ratings that are put out by the ESRB to help parents understand if a game will be appropriate for their child.
Their app is an amazing way to help you understand, while you are in the store if you should purchase the video game that your kid is begging to get. To learn more about the different ratings you can check out a Facebook Live I did a while back (before I knew the magic of microphones! eek!)
The ESRB recently launched a great new resource for parents called ParentalTools.org. The site gives you all of the tutorials you need to set up parental controls on any type of gaming device. Not only will it give you easy to use step by step instructions, but it also has a great family discussion guide so you can keep the conversation between you and your kids alive.
I always say that the key to managing your children’s digital lives is having frequent conversations with them about the tools you have put in place and when you see something that needs correcting.
The ESRB president has even taken to writing blog posts and recently posted a great one about Loot Boxes (in-game collection of weapons, healing items or more). If you want to learn more about the games that are popular with your kids, the ESRB is a great place to turn.
Did you know that the ESRB even goes above and beyond console games (like Xbox and Playstation) and provides ratings for mobile games as well? Make sure you check for the rating symbol inside the Google Play Store.
I love that so many companies are trying to give parents the tools they need to help keep their family safe. There is a wealth of information out there, and educating yourself on the technology available to your family can help you get the most out of living in the future!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com