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Resources for Parents

Family Discussion Guide

Family discussion guide logo This guide is designed to help you and your children have a conversation about the computer and video games played in your household. We've provided a framework, but the goal is to have an honest dialogue through which you learn more about your children's games, and they learn more about your concerns, particularly about playing games online.

To find rating information for a specific game you would like to discuss, use the ESRB rating search function.

Points for Discussion

Get to Know the Games
  • What about your child's favorite games is especially fun, interesting or challenging?

  • What's appealing about the games your children want? The story or characters? Game features?

Understand the Features
  • Are any of the games you've discussed online-enabled (able to be played over an Internet connection with other players)?

  • What online features and components are possible? Multiplayer games? Player-to-player chat? Purchasing new content?

  • Has your child ever seen or heard inappropriate language or comments from other players when playing a game online? How does he or she react?

Set Some Ground Rules
  • Should your child receive your permission before playing a game online?

  • Are there parental controls set up regarding which games can be played, and whether they may be played online?

  • Do you know whether the games your children want allow for player chat, and if so which type (text, audio, video)?

  • Does your child know what to do, and whom to contact, if being bullied online by another player?