Are you aware what games your child is playing on their tablet or computer? Are those games age appropriate and are you comfortable with their content?
One way to find out is to go to the Federal Government’s classification web site: www.classification.gov.au.
The Apple App Store has information about the age appropriateness of apps, as does the Google Play Store for Android
An example that has been in the news for some years is Grand Theft Auto V. It is rated as R18+ because of its “High impact themes and drug use”.
Target removed the game from its shelves in December 2014 due to its depiction of violence against women.
Grand Theft Auto III is available for iPads and is age restricted by Apple:
You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.
- Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence
- Frequent/Intense Mature/Suggestive Themes
- Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity
- Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
- Infrequent/Mild Simulated Gambling
- Frequent/Intense Profanity or Crude Humor
- Frequent/Intense Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
However, anyone with an Apple ID can download and use apps and games from iTunes without proving their age. The same applies to any games that are available for download – if your child is able to pay for the game (or access a pirated copy) then they can download and install it on their device.
Computers and tablets are only as useful as the content used on them. These interactions have an impact on your child’s development. Games, videos and online content that involve violence, gambling and pornography should not be accessed by children. Rather, we should encourage experiences that engage beneficial social and emotional skills like empathy, cooperation, mental focus, and self-regulation.
Parenting does not end when you hand a device to your child. They may not be able to make good decisions about what content to interact with on their device and on the internet. It is essential that we as parents support our kids to make the right choices. This means communicating with them about their device use, playing with them and offering games and content that are age appropriate and match the values you want your child to learn. You also have the option to use parenting controls on their device.
Common Sense Media can help you to evaluate and choose relevant, age appropriate and constructive content for you children.