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Protect your children: How to set Nintendo Wii parental controls

A short guide to setting up your Wii to only let your child play acceptable games.

Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii has plenty of great games for children and adults. However, it also has a handful of incredibly violent titles that can be fun for adults but completely inappropriate for children. While Super Mario Galaxy is a fun, cute game children can enjoy, No More Heroes is an ultraviolent gorefest and Manhunt 2 will probably give them all nightmares. Fortunately, the Wii has a built-in parental control system that lets you limit what games your children can play. This handy guide can help you set up your Wii to make certain your children will only play appropriate games.

Please note: The Nintendo Wii uses game ratings designed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Like the MPAA and movie ratings, the ESRB divides games into age-based categories, including E for Everyone, T for Teen, and M for Mature. For more information on the ESRB rating system, visit their Web site.

Step 1: Turn on your Wii. It should open to the Wii menu. If it automatically plays a game, press the "Home" button on your remote and return to the Wii menu.

Step 2: Enter the "Wii Options" menu.

Step 3: Enter the "Wii Settings" menu.

Step 4: Select the right arrow button to enter the "Wii System Settings 2" menu.

Step 5: Enter the "Parental Controls" menu.

Step 6: Select "Yes."

Step 7: Enter a 4-digit PIN. This number will be used to lock down the Wii so it doesn't play unacceptable games. Use a number that you can remember, but not one that your children can guess.

Step 8: Select a question you want the Wii to ask if you forget the PIN.

Step 9: Enter the answer to that question. Again, make it something that you can remember, but not one that your children can guess.

Step 10: Enter the "Game settings and PIN" menu.

Step 11: Select "Highest game rating allowed."

Step 12: Using the arrows on the right side of the screen, select the highest ESRB game rating you want the Wii to play without prompting for your PIN.

Step 13: Select "OK."

Step 14: Select "Confirm." Your Wii is now set to only play games of your preferred ESRB rating or lower. If anyone tries to load a higher rated game, the Wii will ask for your PIN.