Making your game systems kid-safe
A roundup of ways to make sure that your video game systems don't let your children play inappropriate content.
Two decades ago, video games, like comic books before them, were written off as a form of entertainment strictly for children. Just like the comic book industry eventually produced mature, extremely-not-for-kids books like Alan Moore's Watchmen or Garth Ennis' Preacher, the video game industry has produced mature, extremely-not-for-kids games like BioWare's
Fortunately, each of the three major video game consoles (
The Xbox 360 and Wii use the Entertainment Software Rating Board's rating system. The ESRB classifies video games into a variety of age and content-based categories, like movie and television ratings. Games rated E or E10 are appropriate for most audiences, and can be compared with G- and PG-rated movies. Games rated T are most appropriate for teens and older gamers, and can contain violence, suggestive situations, and occasionally strong language. They're the game equivalent of PG-13 movies. Games rated M are intended for users 17 and up, and can include nudity, extreme violence, and very strong language. These are the R-rated titles of the gaming world.
The PlayStation 3 (and Sony's portable gaming system, the
These three guides will walk you through setting up parental controls on each of the three major systems, along with the PSP.