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Family Discussion Guide

Helpful family discussion guide for video games and ESRB ratings

Staying involved is the best way to understand what games your children are playing, and whether they are appropriate. Following is a discussion guide to help parents initiate a conversation with their children about the games they play and why, and reach consensus on appropriate ground rules.

What are your child's favorite games and why?

Which games are on your child's wish list and why?

Which age rating categories are OK for your child to play, which require permission and which are off-limits and why?

Are there specific types of content or content descriptors that are off limits?

Do any of the games your child plays include online multi-player features? If so:

  • Should your child receive your permission before playing a game online? What about playing in tournaments?

  • Are there rules regarding whom your child can play with online?

  • Has your child ever seen or heard inappropriate content from other players when playing a game online?

  • Does your child know what to do, and whom to contact, if being bullied or harassed online by another player or experiencing inappropriate contact? (If not, check here.)

  • Does your child know never to give out personal information to anyone online they don't know?

Helpful family discussion guide for video games and ESRB ratings

Have you set the parental controls on your family's video game system(s) or mobile device(s)? If so:

  • What is the highest rating allowed?

  • Have you also set restrictions on chat, Internet and browser access, amount of time or with whom your children can play online?

Do you and your child understand what (if any) personal information will be collected in the game, why it is being collected and with whom it will be shared? (If not, check the game's privacy policy.)

Are there other house rules regarding which games are allowed and when and how long they can be played (e.g., number of hours each day, and/or only after homework and chores are done)?