Thursday, 1 September 2011

Xbox Security Settings Have It Covered

I'm a geeky girl at heart and I know that not everyone would find the prospect of a live demonstration about Xbox's security settings exciting.... but what can I say? They promised tea and cakes and to share how they were planning to win the Battle for the Living Room. It was a no brainer really.
So last Friday I met with the other LadyGeek #XboxMums at a swanky London hotel for a discussion about the security measures that they already have in place and ways to improve them.

XboxMums and Kudo Tsunoda who threw himself in at the deep end and cared not about the consequences.

We're an interesting group of women, all with different experiences of home gaming and all with different aged children. I suspect that it's pretty difficult to create a secure environment for so many   differing needs but I think that within their 'Family Pack' Xbox have totally nailed it.

The problem as I see it is, that thanks to the modern trend of instruction-less products, us parents have to actively search out information online in order to understand the true capabilities of the amazing bit of kit that sits before us.. But who does that??

Take my family...
I think it's safe to say that we are 'avid gamers'. I had my first computer (a Commodore 64) in 1983 and my children have all grown up with games and technology as a part of their lives. 
No1 son had his first Xbox in 2002 and an Xbox 360 when they launched in December 2005 (they sold out at launch but I tracked one down on ebay in time for Christmas). #GoodMummyKarma
Last year No1 son went away to uni, taking his Xbox 360 with him and after months of begging, pleading and keeping his bedroom tidy I bought Sonny his very own 360 for his tenth birthday.
He took it out of the box and set it up independently. Minor input in the form of asking for the wifi key and he was online and off.
I never considered looking for parental settings because in all honesty I had no idea that they even existed!
I do now though and I have to say that I'm blown away by Xbox's attention to detail.
Did you know that you can age restrict games and online content? So if your sneaky little one tried their luck at age inappropriate title when your back was turned they'd need to know your security pin to even get it to load.
Worried about the length of time they spend gaming? You can set the parental timer so that the console switches off when they've reached their set time limit.
I love this feature - but that's the control freak in me! I especially love the ability to log into your console's settings through the web interface and make these changes from wherever you are.
That's ultimate parent power!

I would love to know about your home gaming habits. Do you have games consoles? Which ones do you own? Do you limit game play time? Do your children play games online? Do you worry about security settings? Do you let you children play games that aren't classified as age appropriate? Do you use security settings on your console? Are there any security settings that you'd like to see in the future?
Please do leave comments and suggestions as they will all be fed back to Xbox.


  1. I had no idea that you could set a timer. That's pretty good.

  2. My son is 12 and my daughter is 7. They are allowed an hour of games at the weekend. We have a really old playstation and an Xbox 360 kinects. The kinects is brilliant but I didn't know about the security settings either.

  3. This is fabulous info. We don't have a need for parental controls at the moment, since it's mainly me and the hubs battling it out over Pinball FX2 on the Xbox360, but as G gets older it will definitely come in handy. I see you were a Commodore 64 fan, we were an Atari 2600 family in 1983. Long live Frogger and Asteroids!

  4. @cupcakesandotherstuff : You can't beat a spot of retro gaming!

  5. This is a really informative post. I had no idea that you could do that. Do other games machines do that too - or is it just the xbox?

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Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Appreciated as always. xx


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