December 16, 2019
Online platforms have an incredible ability to bring people together, forge new friendships and build communities. But this level of connectivity can also raise concerns around ensuring children’s safety online. Creating a safe and positive experience for all our players is deeply important to everyone in our industry, many of whom not only create video games but also enjoy them with their own families. That’s why as a community, we are continually working to keep our platforms safe and enjoyable for all players, particularly children.
Our industry has developed several safeguards to enhance player safety, including:
- Technological tools to detect harmful activity, including systems that allow players to report and/or block others acting in inappropriate ways;
- Work with law enforcement authorities where circumstances require elevated enforcement actions; and
- Partnerships with third-party groups, like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and EVERFI, to develop games and teaching materials that promote online safety and digital literacy.
We also encourage parents to play with their kids to understand the games they are playing and how they are interacting with others. At the same time, we understand the concerns and challenges that parents face raising children in this digital age. Monitoring every online interaction is a tall order – and likely unrealistic. That’s why we offer a number of tools and materials to help parents navigate the video game ecosystem:
- Every video game platform provides parental controls to manage your family’s video game use.
- Parentaltools.org is a comprehensive resource for step-by-step instructions for creating child accounts and setting password-protected controls on all video game platforms, including the ability to limit or block online interactions with other players and restrict access to only age-appropriate games.
- The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) provides ratings for age appropriateness as well as the “Users Interact” notice to inform parents when a game includes online interactions among players.
- The ESRB also provides a family discussion guide to help parents initiate an ongoing dialogue with their children about video games and set ground rules about what, when, how and with whom their children play.
Our industry takes the issue of player safety very seriously and will continue to work to find new ways to maintain a safe, engaging experience for all players.