We’re currently at a thin line from one generation to another. With the increasing popularity of video games, not even parents keep up with what they’re kids are playing, not even when it comes to violent games or ones with explicit content. According to a recent survey, more than 50% of parents let their kids play 18+ Video games, without checking their PEGI ratings.
The survey comes from Childcare.co.uk, collecting data from 2,000 parents on their platform. The results are disturbing to say the least, as 86% of them admitted that they don’t follow age restrictions on video games, easily found with the PEGI rating system on the game’s box, compared to just a quarter (23%) who said they didn’t follow age restrictions on films.
What we’re talking about here, in reality, is 10-14 years old kids being able to play 18+ games without their parents even knowing. As with movies, parents should be concerned on that matter, maybe even more given the immersion of video games.
Another notable result of the survey is that nearly half (43%) of parents have seen a negative change in their child’s behavior, after playing 18+ video games and almost a quarter (22%) of the 2,171 respondents said their kids now use negative or offensive language since playing these games.
We’ve seen more extreme behaviors like that over the past months, like a 9-year-old kid smashing a TV after losing a Fortnite game. The minimum effort for parents to pay attention to what their kids are playing is checking the PEGI label on the video game boxes.
Concluding the survey, Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk said:
“It’s difficult in this day and age to govern what your child is exposed to because if your 10-year-old has friends who are playing Fortnite, which is rated 12, you want them to be included in the fun. However, it’s always worth looking into the game to see if it’s suitable rather than leaving them to their own devices.
“What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict. It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behavior or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.”
It’s high time for parents to take responsibility for letting their kids play video games. Overall, playing video games as a kid is harmless, if it is done in a useful and attended way. Let’s hope that as the popularity of video games is rising, parents will be more concern about video games, as they are with movies and TV series.