During quarantine, gaming has become a popular interactive indoor activity for kids and families. Catherine Jensen, VP of Consumer Experience for Sony Interactive Entertainment, shares some insights and tips about having fun and staying safer online

Parental controls remove barriers to play

My team has the opportunity to connect people through entertainment – and the connection is so important as we navigate this new normal. One of our charters at PlayStation is to remove barriers to experiencing great play – and family safety is top of mind. Setting up parental controls through Family Management settings on your console will help ensure that your family is getting the most out of your online gaming experience.

Settings menu
Parental Controls/Family Management can be found under Settings

Connection is key; and so is good online behavior

My oldest son was in the military and when he was deployed, using PlayStation was a way that he was able to connect with his family and friends through online play. And today, even though he’s out of the service, he still connects to people that he served with using PlayStation. Online play is about that personal connection, and the way that people can relate and share online. Act as a role model and practice good behavior on PlayStation Network by reviewing the Community Code of Conduct to foster positive connections online.

Help your kids mitigate negative social experiences online

As kids are spending so much more time online, parents and guardians should take an active role in their child’s online experience by fostering conversations around appropriate and inappropriate behaviors online. One game I love that helps prompt these conversations is Concrete Genie. Parents can watch in story mode with their kids and use the main character, Ash’s, experiences as a way to talk about social experiences, anti-bullying or what might be happening online. Parents can also show their children how to report players and inappropriate content on the PlayStation Network and how to block players to prevent unwanted social interaction.

Understand game ratings and choose appropriate content for your child online

In addition to Concrete Genie, we also love to play Everybody’s Golf. Both are family-friendly games that everyone can play together – all skills welcome. My daughters were big fans of Spyro (the crazy purple dragon) on PS2, and the remastered PS4 version is awesome! The most important thing to keep in mind is to be involved in what your child is choosing to play online. PlayStation displays game ratings on our packaging and online store to help you make the most informed gaming choices for your family.

Take an active role in your child’s gaming experience

While many parents have shifted to at-home working, it can be a challenge to juggle work and parenting responsibilities. However, it’s important to continue to talk to your kids about their play experiences. Make an effort to play games, both on and offline, as a family and try to instill a daily routine with plenty of breaks from screen time throughout the work day.

For more information on online safety, visit the PlayStation Safety hub here: PlayStation Safety