Summer’s out and it’s a well-deserved break from school. It’s also the perfect time for kids and younger adults to catch up on the video games that might have been put on hold. That’s why it’s also the ideal time for parents and guardians to refresh their understanding of managing and ensuring a positive gaming experience for their household’s younger players who might use interactive tools available on PlayStation to play with friends over the summer break.

At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we’re always working hard to ensure our player community can have fun and enjoy the positive impact of video games and interactive entertainment. We work hard so that millions of PlayStation players have a comfortable, safe, and accessible environment to play. Today, we’ve interviewed seven experts from the team to share the importance video games have in their household and their favorite online safety tips.

Managing Playtime

With schools closed for summer break, my two children love spending extra time connecting with friends on the PlayStation 5 (PS5) console. As the family manager of their child accounts, my favorite safety tip is managing playtime, which I do via the official companion app PlayStation App on my smartphone.

Our summer days are less structured, so I may allow more or less play time depending on what we have scheduled any given day. I also like to change daily start and stop times including extending playtime later at night if, for example,we are hosting a sleepover. Using the PlayStation App, I’m able to make playtime adjustments quickly and easily, since family plans often change at the last minute. 

Learn more about how to set playtime controls on PlayStation by visiting here

Sean W.

Program Director, Child Safety and Education
Favorite Game Genre – Survival Horror

Know the Rules

PlayStation is for everyone. There are players who enjoy immersive single player experiences while others enjoy competitive multiplayer. Those who gravitate towards competitive gaming recognize that special feeling when playing with friends and sharing the thrill of victory in a fiercely contested match. I personally enjoy a mix of both.

Competitive experiences often rely on real-time communication, coordination, and teamwork. When speaking with friends – or strangers, depending on your privacy settings – a good tip is to remember to keep your communication respectful.

Knowing the rules  – and following them – will not only keep you in the game, it helps me and the Online Safety team keep PlayStation the best place to play for everyone. 

If it’s been a minute since you last read the PlayStation Network Code of Conduct, please take a moment to check it out here.

Brielle P.

Online Safety Communications Specialist
Favorite Game Genre: Action/Adventure and FPS

Privacy Setting

As an ambivert, I thrive on social interactions, but I’m also quite reserved when it comes to sharing personal information, especially online. This is why the privacy settings are my favorite safety feature. I can adjust who can send me friend requests, who can see my profile picture, online status, what I’m playing, etc. 

For those of us who are privacy geeks, diving into the myriad of options can be entertaining (believe it or not). But if you can’t be bothered, PlayStation gives you the option to choose between four pre-set privacy profiles, which are very intuitive: social and open, team player, friend focused, and solo and focused. 

Learn more about privacy settings here.

Carlota E.

Quality Specialist – Online Safety
Favorite Game Genre: Puzzle 

Blocking by Default

When playing online multiplayer games, the vast majority of players I encounter are positive and add value to my time spent on my PS5. However, sometimes there are interactions that aren’t as positive, that results in me having to take action to report the offending player. Reporting can take time, especially during a critical moment in a match, so I want to be efficient but also keep me safe and keep me playing.

The blocking by default feature on PlayStation is one of my favorite Safety features, because it automatically selects to block the user I’m reporting after submitting a report. This lets me get back to my game quickly with the peace of mind that I won’t encounter the user that gave me a negative experience again. 

Learn more about reporting on PlayStation by visiting here

Connor K.

Sr. Program Manager, Online Safety Engineering
Favorite Game Genre – ARPG

Setting Spending Limits

Many school-aged gamers look forward to summer break as a time when they can spend more time diving into their favorite games, either alone or with friends. This also serves as an opportunity to spend their money in the PlayStation Store, but within limits.

My favorite summer safety tip is for parents: Talk to your kids and learn about games they want to play. Different games have different prices. Some are free to play, but may offer digital add-on content. By setting a monthly spending limit, you can teach your child to spend wisely while making their own purchasing decisions. Learn more about how to set a monthly spending limit by visiting here.

Daniel Y.

Senior Corporate Counsel, UX & Console Product Counsel
Favorite Game Genre – Sports games

Prepping before gameplay

As a mother of two small children, I spend my days in a state of fulfillment (in other words, delightful chaos.) To me, games are like a parenting partner that supports us — In the long waiting line of a hospital when a younger child gets sick and you can’t leave the older one at home alone. Or, on a half day train ride back to visit the grandparents. There are no words to describe how the ‘health meter’ of parents have been saved because the younger ones were busy and entertained!

Making preparations before starting gameplay is my favorite safety tip especially for those with young players.  Set rules with your child through conversations before they pick up games to play. Also, create and set a playing environment suitable for their age and developmental level. It is not just children who can get absorbed in a game that they forget the rules – adults do it too.  But having the right environment and guardrails set up in advance, especially with parental control settings will help prevent potential troubles or arguments, and help parents feel comfortable as they watch their children dive into their gaming adventures.

Learn more about setting up family accounts on PlayStation by visiting here

Hinako M.

Product Manager, Product Planning & Management 
Favorite Game Genre – RPG

Voice Chat Reporting

Video games are a constant source of entertainment, relaxation, and fun in my family. Connecting and playing with other members of the community is often a part of that. One of my favorite safety features is the voice chat reporting function offered on the PS5 console, which allows me to report a 40-second clip of the last 5 minutes of voice chat. Should a negative interaction occur, it’s great to know that the voice chat reporting function is available and easy to use. 

Learn more about how to report a voice chat on PS5 consoles here.

Sarah B.

Corporate Counsel, Consumer Experience
Favorite Game Genre – Multiplayer party royale