With 65 percent of American households playing computer or video games, it is more important than ever for parents and caregivers to be aware of — and have access to — resources and tools to manage their children’s digital media use. This is why Microsoft, along with the nation’s most prominent children’s media advocates and consumer electronics retailer Best Buy, is encouraging families to Get Game Smart with a first-of-its-kind approach to educating and engaging American families.
Get Game Smart is a new public service campaign designed to help parents and kids maintain a dialogue about balanced and age-appropriate media use and, more specifically, video gaming on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and Windows-based PC in their homes.
Get Game Smart gives families resources and incentives to put media use rules and guidelines into effect at home. Families are encouraged to participate in a variety of fun and engaging online and offline activities to help ensure they are using media in ways that are healthy, balanced and appropriate. There is even an opportunity for teens and their parents to become Get Game Smart Ambassadors, where they will actively inspire other families to make safer gaming choices.
“I’m a dad, and I know how important it is for parents to get involved with their children’s video gaming and media experiences, not to mention feel equipped to make sure those experiences are as fun and safe as possible,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division at Microsoft. “Get Game Smart demonstrates Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to this effort and complements the award-winning Family Settings tools we built into our products like Xbox 360 and Windows Vista. These offerings allow families to get the most enjoyment out of today’s digital entertainment.”
The new campaign Web site, http://www.GetGameSmart.com, brings the most current information about parental controls tools, expert tips and resources together online. At GetGameSmart.com, parents and caregivers can find all the information they need to say “yes” to what their kids enjoy, ensuring they use appropriate media safely. An expert blog on the Web site will tackle current issues such as reducing family friction when it comes to video games, and will inform parents of trends so they are ahead of the curve when it comes to video gaming and online safety.
Microsoft hosted a reception in Washington, D.C. on March 4 to discuss thier commitment to equip parents with easy-to-use tools to help ensure their children’s digital entertainment experiences are healthy, balanced and age-appropriate. Here is a video of Robbie Bach, President, Entertainment and Devices Division, speaking at the event.