Gaming risks tend to arise from a large number of people playing, the minimal restrictions involved, and the fact that users are not face-to-face. Due to the lack of transparency, your child cannot be sure who they are playing against, chatting to, and what their motives are. Children are also at risk of playing games with an inappropriate age rating, or spending hours at a time online to the exclusion of exercise, socialising, and school work.
Knowing the game – THE APPLE RATING CHART – Apple Inc:
- 4+:Apps in this category contain no objections material.
- 9+:Apps in this category may contain instances of the following content that may not be suitable for children under the age of 9: infrequent or mild occurrences of realistic violence; infrequent or mild profanity; infrequent or mild mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content; frequent or intense cartoon or fantasy violence.
- 12+:Apps in this category may contain instances of the following content that may not be suitable for children under the age of 12: infrequent or mild medical or treatment-focused content; infrequent or mild references to alcohol, tobacco, or drug use; simulated gambling; infrequent or mild sexual content or nudity; frequent or intense profanity; frequent or intense realistic violence; frequent or intense horror-themed content.
- 17+:Apps in this category may contain instances of the following content that may not be suitable for children under the age of 17: unrestricted web access, such as with an embedded browser; gambling or contests; frequent or intense mature or suggestive content; frequent or intense medical or treatment-focused content; frequent or intense references to alcohol, tobacco, o drug use; frequent or intense sexual content or nudity.
Knowing the game – THE GOOGLE PLAY RATING CHART – PEGI
- PEGI 3: The content of games given this rating are suitable for all age groups.
- PEGI 7: These consist of games that would typically be rated PEGI 3, but contain some frightening scenes or sounds.
- PEGI 12:These apps show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters and/or non-graphic violence towards human-looking characters or recognisable animals. In addition to nudity of a slightly more graphic nature, bad language is mild and fall short of expletives.
- PEGI 16: This rating is applied once the depiction of violence or sexual activity reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. Extreme bad language, the use of tobacco and drugs, and the depiction of criminal activities can be found within apps rated this age.
- PEGI 18:This rating is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence. Gross violence, generally, can be classified as the depictions of violence that would make the viewer feel a sense of revelation.
How can I keep my child safe whilst gaming online?
- TALK: Have open and honest conversations with your children about their online gaming and the risks involved.
- TEACH:Educate your children about the dangers of revealing private information such as their email address, home address, family members or financial details.
- WARN:Explain that not everybody is who they seem or claim to be, and their motives may be dishonourable.
- REPORT:Tell your children not to respond to bullying or other abuse, and to report it to you straight away.
- CHECK IN: Join your children in online gaming from time to time and randomly. This will give you an idea of the games they’re playing and who they connect with.
- RATING:Check age ratings of games to ensure your children aren’t accessing inappropriate content.
Produced in association with SafeLondon, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and John Carr OBE