RebeccaMcMillanPhotography_20230414-04527 gaming header crop

Keeping it safe in the gaming space


Rebecca on May 10, 2023

Recently I booked my son on a holiday course to learn more about Minecraft. He’s getting older and more confident with the game and I knew this holiday programme would be fun and educational. The course required a Microsoft account as he’d be learning on a PC device. We took the time to get his own account setup under the Family Settings, being sure to use his actual birth date for his profile so that safety features were correctly set for his age.

Using the Family Settings reassured him and me that he was going to be safe using the Minecraft game when I wasn’t with him.

Keeping our tamariki safe in the real world and the online world is an-ever constant worry for parents and caregivers. Games are an excellent way to learn, to be entertained, and stimulated. They can be immersive and complex environments to explore and collaborate, to challenge and to create. They can also expose people to things they don’t want to see, or that they’re not ready to see.

Parental controls and family safety features on gaming platforms, streaming services, devices and in App stores offer tools to help keep us and our tamariki safe. We know that safety in everyday gaming is a priority for every parent, and that understanding how to use the tools available can be hard when life if busy.

Microsoft have launched their Xbox Gaming Safety Toolkit which spotlights parental and player controls available on Xbox and within the Xbox Family Settings App. We provided advice and support alongside organisations across Australia and New Zealand with expertise in children’s online safety. The toolkit offers guidance for parents as well as practical case studies by age.

Te Mana Whakaatu - Classification Office have the legislated role to classify games for Aotearoa. Our classifications can give you an age rating and content warnings to help guide you and reassure you about how suitable a game is at different ages. But not all games sold in NZ are required to display NZ ratings and classifications. We’ve put together this handy resource to explain the international classifications that you might see, and to help you understand the nearest equivalent NZ ratings.

Helping parents to understand and make use of safety features is important work that we champion and strive for in our mahi. We support and celebrate Microsoft’s toolkit, as we do any gaming and streaming platform highlighting the ways to make entertainment safe for everyone. This toolkit is practical and features age-appropriate case studies that are eye-opening and incredibly relevant.

Where to find the toolkit on the Xbox site:

Xbox family settings: peace of mind for parents | Xbox (NZ)

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