- Almost 7 in 10 (66%) parents talk to their children about the amount of time they spend playing video games
- Almost 9 in 10 parents have set up at least one type of parental control, with the majority focusing on restricting in-game purchases and spend
- 8 in 10 parents of children aged 4-18 (83%) would like to know more about parental controls and how to implement them, particularly those with kids aged 6-7
The UK video games industry has today launched ‘ParentPowerUps’ a new campaign which offers families support and guidance on how to use parental controls that help manage screen time, in-game purchases, online interactions, and access to age-appropriate content. The campaign coincides with the start of the summer holidays, when suddenly parents are presented with weeks of empty time to fill to keep their children occupied, while the juggle of the day-to-day continues.
New research which surveyed 1,000 parents of children aged 4-to-18 years old revealed that almost seven in ten (66%) parents already talk to their children about the amount of time they spend playing video games, and almost three quarters (73%) of parents play video games with their children at least once a week. The research also finds that almost nine in ten (87%) parents have set up at least one parental control on their child’s device, with the same number of parents (90%) who have set up parental controls saying that it was easy to do. But eight in ten (83%) parents are wanting to access further information around parental controls*.
In response to this appetite for further information, comedian and TV personality, Judi Love is fronting a new campaign from Ukie (the trade body for the UK video games industry), along with expert clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron, to launch the ‘PowerUpPact’. The downloadable PowerUpPact available at AskAboutGames (managed by Ukie) is an easy-to-use form that guides families on how to have a conversation and mutually agree parameters around in-game interactions, spending and time limits. To demonstrate how easy it is to have the conversation, Judi Love road-tests the PowerUpPact in a short film with 10-year-old gaming guru Evy.
Following government's recent update after the call for evidence on loot boxes, it's clear that having conversations about responsible gameplay is an essential part of modern parenting. 73% of children and parents have never purchased a loot box, and a third of parents (33%) have already made use of the settings which would allow them to apply restrictions on what information can be shared publicly by kids when in video games.
Expert Clinical psychologist, Professor Tanya Byron, says:
"Video gaming can be a great way to engage in fun activities with your children and enjoying them together can be really beneficial for you both. Children of all ages should feel involved in any decisions around parental controls and playing games and by having an open conversation, controls and restrictions can be implemented together.
I’ve joined up with Ukie and helped to create the PowerUpPact, to encourage more parents to have valuable conversations with their children and to negotiate and agree on the usage of video game controls and restrictions to help parents feel assured that their children are acting responsibly online whilst still learning and having fun.”
Judi Love, stand-up comedian, ITV Loose Women regular and mother of two, says:
“I’ve often negotiated with my son about the time he spends on video games! He likes various games consoles and enjoys going online to play with his mates after school and over the holidays. However, with busy schedules, gaming times needed to be re-evaluated.
Having that proper chat changed everything and I could back up what we’d decided together by setting some parental controls, such as time limits which stop him playing games particularly on weekdays and late at night. All parents know the struggle of trying to encourage healthy habits, we just want to keep them safe online and happy in themselves.”
Daniel Wood, Ukie Co-CEO says:
“Tens of millions of people of all ages play video games in the UK every day, and it is great that so many parents already having conversations with their children about how to play responsibly.
We're confident that the ‘PowerUpPact’ will empower even more parents to tackle this topic and support them to successfully use the parental controls available to them to find a balance that works for them and their family.”
Notes to editor
*Opinium survey which surveyed 1,000 parents of children aged 4-18 who have access to devices that have games (including phones and tablets) and play video games. The research has nationally representative quotas on age, gender, region and social grade.