With so many home consoles (not to mention the sheer number of games out there), it can be difficult to keep track of what kids and their friends are playing. Fortunately, nearly every single piece of gaming hardware has some form of parental controls built in to prevent young people from playing games that may expose them to content you think is inappropriate for their age. The GameSpot staff has put together part one of this straightforward guide to help you set up your gaming hardware based on the level of restrictions you want, such as no access to ultraviolent M-rated games. However, each platform is a little different, so we've broken them into different sections you can find below. In addition, you'll find a guide to ESRB ratings--similar to the ratings system used for movies--that should help get you started.
ESRB Ratings Guide Do M, E, E10+, T, or RP mean anything to you? If not, take a few minutes to brush up on the Entertainment Software Rating Board's system that rates games based on the content included. These ratings can be found on the lower, left-hand side of every video game box. Ratings descriptions are from the ESRB's official guidelines, which can be found here.
Xbox 360 Parental Controls Find out how you can access and change settings for the Xbox 360 and its online gaming service, Xbox Live.
PlayStation 3 Parental Controls Sony offers its own version of parental controls for its home console and its online browser.
Nintendo Wii Parental Controls Take a look at how you can block inappropriate content on Nintendo's system. .
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