On today’s episode of Digital Parenting Live, we address a question on whether video game consoles should be a concern when it comes to protecting our kids.
Hey guys, welcome to Digital Parenting Live for May 3rd. We’re excited to have you join us today. It’s a big time for us, we are one day away from our big Digital Parenting Foundations event here in the Chattanooga area, so we’re getting ready for that tomorrow night, that’s going to be huge. You’re going to be seeing a lot of little clips, and bits from that over the days, and weeks ahead. We are excited here, but wanted to take some time from a previous live event that we had. We had a question that came in, I thought this would be a great time for us to go in, and address that question. It has to do with video game consoles, so let’s just dive right into that today.
It says here, “Are video game consoles something that I should be worried about? We’ve protected most of our devices, but I wasn’t sure if this was something we needed to focus on.” That’s actually a really, really good question, because one of the things that we see most often is, people forget video game consoles. I honestly believe video game consoles are one of the biggest areas of dangers within families today, because they’re not aware of the dangers that exist. Let me go through, there’s three things I talk about when I talk about video game consoles. First is, obviously there’s an online component to most all games today, especially if we’re talking about games on the Xbox, on the PlayStation, we have this online component.
Some of these games even reward behavior where you’re connecting with strangers, and so with that, there are some risks that are involved. There’s a lot of cases where your child might not be talking to who they think they’re talking to, so somebody who portrays themselves as a 12-year-old girl might not be. In some cases what they’ll do is through these online experiences, they’ll convince your child to give them information to contact them on either other social networks or on a phone, or something. So there is a real danger here. There’s a lot of articles that I’ve reviewed of where this has actually happened, where predators have gone after kids through game consoles.
Now the great news here is there are protections on most all platforms that you can take to designate that this is a child account, and you can control the amount of information that that account is able to give out, and limit things like, for example, use of video chatting, right? Those limits are there, and there’s some videos in the Digital Parenting Minute where we’ve gone through … We’ve gone through the Xbox, we still need to do the PlayStation, so we’ll be doing that in the weeks ahead.
In addition, the next thing we talk about when we talk about video game consoles is financial impact to the parents. I have talked to so many families that have ended up with an unexpected charge because they attached their credit card to this particular game console account, and they’ve had charges of over $1000 show up on their credit card, because their child either didn’t understand, or wasn’t … you didn’t talk to your child about what it means to actually purchase things through these game consoles, and so because of that, there is a real financial impact to parents. You need to watch out for this, you need to make sure that, first of all, your child doesn’t have unrestricted access to go in and buy things through the account that they’re using.
Then the last thing we talk about with game consoles has to do with screen time. Obviously when I talk to parents, and one of the big screen time … when the screen time question comes up, game consoles are kind of at that top of the list of kids wanting to spend time on there. Now again, with the different platforms, there are ways to set some limits in place. Again, we’ve covered that for Xbox, we’ll do that for PlayStation, but you need to be sure you know how to do that for the game console that you have, so that it’s not just, “Well, we talked about it, my child said they’re not going to do this.” There’s actually some borders you put in place to help them regulate the amount of time that they spend on game consoles.
If you have a question, and you want us to cover it here on Digital Parenting Live, again don’t hesitate to send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll answer as many of those as we can. Again, you’ll be seeing a lot more from us in the weeks ahead. We’ve got a lot of new content coming out. We’re excited for what’s to come. Thanks for joining today on Digital Parenting Live.