Are all iPhone games safe for your kids? If you think so, you are living under a false illusion. While there’s no doubt that the Apple App Store has several educational and fun games which are good for kids, unfortunately it also hosts several games with abusive language, violence and sexual content which are unsuitable for kids. While Apple defends itself by saying it provides ample age restriction warnings for objectionable content, it’s not an acceptable solution to this sensitive issue. Further, game developers get away by simply assigning certain ratings for published games.
To worsen the situation, the most violent iPhone games are perhaps the most hyped amongst the media. In fact, the more brutal the game and the more gruesome the kills, the more public attention it attracts. While some parents keep a watch on the kind of games their kids play on their iPhone devices, others don’t bother to pay attention to the ratings and the risks involved in certain games. Each child is different and what is right for one might not be for another, so it’s anybody’s guess as to how devastating these games can be for some kids. Parents must never ignore the age warning pop-ups that appear during the installation of any game. In such cases, it’s better to cancel the installation rather than risk your kids to inappropriate content.
There’s no shortage of games which encourage kids to take up smoking, alcohol, abusive language and racism. In fact, the situation was far worse a couple of years ago when Apple allowed developers to publish apps with sexual, violent and inappropriate kid content including animal, shoe, children and fart noises.
Parents must understand the way Apple rates games and other applications to ensure their kids are in safe hands. Apps rated 4+ contain no objectionable material. Games with a 9+ rating may contain mild or infrequent occurrences of cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence, and infrequent or mild mature, suggestive, or horror-themed content which may not be suitable for children under the age of 9. Similarly, games with a 12+ rating may also contain infrequent mild language, frequent or intense cartoon, fantasy or realistic violence, and mild or infrequent mature or suggestive themes, and simulated gambling which may not be suitable for children under the age of 12. Games rated 17+ may also contain frequent and intense mature, horror, and suggestive themes; plus strong sexual content, nudity, strong language, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs which may not be suitable for children under the age of 17.
We strongly encourage parents to activate ‘Parental Controls’ before handing off their iPhone devices to kids for gaming purposes. To enable parental controls for apps, choose the Settings > General > Restrictions -> Enable Restrictions -> Apps and choose the appropriate age level.
While developers argue it’s a matter of parental control, parents often blame and Apple and developers for exposing their kids to unsuitable content via such games. Either way, parents must do more to ensure their kids don’t play dangerous games.
Do you have any tips on how to prevent kids installing and playing age inappropriate games? Leave us a note here.