You do not have to search very far to find data, studies and other info about the amount of time that is spent online either on PC’s or game consoles.
In an effort to help families work together in this area Microsoft has created a website with several industry partners and organizations to help families approach gaming and online time with some tools to make it the best experience possible.
The site contains info such as:
- Family Tools
- Helpful Hints
- Expert Tips
- Family Spotlights
- Just for Kids
- Family Challenge
- A newsletter that can be signed up for to keep you up to date
The premise of getting game smart is based on a couple of key areas:
- Taking the Get Game Smart Pledge to discuss rules and responsible choices
- Setting up Parental Controls on gaming consoles and PC.
Everything else branches out from those two points.
Here is what the Family Pledge says:
As a family, we pledge to:
- Talk about WHAT KIND OF MEDIA CONTENT (games, TV shows, Web sites) is accepted in our home. When in doubt, we will check with retailers or online (e.g., www.esrb.org) for additional information on rating systems and advice.
- Set LIMITS around the amount of time spent in front of a screen including playing video games, watching TV or using the computer.
- Learn about and set-up PARENTAL CONTROLS on our video game consoles and computers.
- Practice ONLINE SAFETY by keeping personal information private, reporting cyberbullying, and understanding who it’s appropriate to communicate or play with online.
- Talk about our family’s media choices, and discuss the IMAGES and MESSAGES we see in video games, on the Web and TV.
- Enjoy gaming and PLAY TOGETHER.
Sounds pretty reasonable and smart to me. No matter what is provided on this site they are just tools. Ultimately, these types of things take involvement from the entire family and parents must hold the standards for their children.