This past Black Friday, mostly on a whim, we braved one of the craziest of shopping destinations... the toy store! From F.A.O.'s stuffed giraffes to the gaming section, everyplace was an absolute madhouse and it was pretty clear everyone, except us, was on a strategically planned mission. One thing I did have was Billie's List and a whole host of other insight from this past November's Activision Game Summit. Held once again in New York at the Metropolitan Pavilion with the lovely Korie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame hosting, the events take away this season was keeping children safe. Keep reading for:
Last year's summit was a really, really great event with a fantastic panel sharing a lot of food for thought. Much of the information gleaned then is still very pertinent now and this year they seemed to delve further into the subject of safety. Choking hazards and age appropriateness are now joined by detailed ratings to think about, unexpected hidden fees and children potentially playing games with adult strangers. Pretty sobering but something incredibly helpful at the event that I really wanted to share here is what was deemed Billie's List of Terms Every Person Should Know. Keep it handy this holiday shopping season:
1) MMO or MMOG - which stands for a massively multiplayer online game. These games include interacting and playing with strangers which can create the need for a lot of monitoring.
2) Free to Play - While these games are initially free to download they often have premium fees that children may not fully understand. They stress limits need to be set and monitoring any potential in app fees. Otherwise this can happen.
3) Profile - A game may allow public profiles to be created, making it important to monitor the information children enter. They say a child's age, phone number, address or name should be present.
4) Friends List - Similar to the above they say it's important not to allow adult strangers to friend children via their games and to go into the controls to automatically prevent this.
5) Fun - which was pretty much the adage here. It's not about you, it's about them. We all loved things as kids that adults just didn't get, although now they mention moderation and the American Academy of Pediatrics's, engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day recommendation. Choose wisely!
Which is why I personally love the rated E for everyone games like their new SpongeBobSquarePants Planktons Robotic Revenge.
A big thank you to Activision for their invitation to this years event and for the new releases above!
SpongeBobSquarePants Robotic Revenge for Wii, Wipeout Xbox 360, Tranformers Wii and action figure, Skylanders Swamp Force Xbox 360 c/o Activision. #ATVIFamGames
Image: mam for Gave That