Do Game Consoles Sold In Europe Have Power Buttons?

from the dept-of-redundancy dept

As Mike noted earlier, a new EU study says that video games are good for kids. But the BBC picked up on another angle of the report, saying that games should have a “red button” parents can press to disable inappropriate games their kids are playing. That makes you wonder: if game consoles sold in Europe don’t have power buttons, how do people there turn them on? Because isn’t that what such a “red button” would be, just a good ol’ power switch? Ok, to be fair, many consoles’ power buttons these days aren’t red, but still — if parents need a way to stop their kids playing, new laws or rules to force console makers to add a “red button” are pretty unnecessary when parents already have the ability to turn the consoles or computers off. But a law forcing parents to take responsibility is a much harder sell than putting blame on the game makers.

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Comments on “Do Game Consoles Sold In Europe Have Power Buttons?”

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Simon (profile) says:

Whoever wrote this is a _______

I think just about everyone realizes that this whole article is just making fun of a figure of speach used incorrectly, it’s obvious what they were trying to say is that video games should have easier access to parental controlls than what the few consoles have now.

I can’t believe this actually got posted, and people are taking it seriousley, I’m disappointed…

Someone should slap whoever wrote this 😉

Ed says:

Re: Whoever wrote this is a _______

No, it is you who is missing the point. I am a parent of three (ages 16, 10 and 7)and I AM all of the parental control they will ever need. When I say turn it off, that means NOW.
If I do not want them to play a game, I do not buy it for them, nor do I let them buy it. If they are being punished, I take the powercords and put them in my car when I go to work.
Please explain what type of “easier access” a console or game manufacturer could provide?
I take responsibility for my children, how about you?

usmcdvldg says:

Re: Re: Whoever wrote this is a _______

Holy fucking shit! A responsible parent??? OMG not in America, how do you possibly do it without legislators legalizing abilities for you.

Why are my civil liberties always under assault because parents don’t know how to be parents. ( I know off topic a little in this case)

When I was a kid, my mom yelling no would have been enough to make me stop breathing until I received permission let alone playing a video game.

wnyght says:

Re: Re: Re:

How about mom and dad smack little billy upside the head when he acts out at 6 or 7, that way he knows whats coming if he disobeys orders at 13 or 14.

Because somewhere along the way, the governing population came up with the idea that it is child abuse to slap the shit out of a kid who wont listen to words or other “easy to handle” punishments like having time out, (LOL!) or having their stuff taken away. People have forgoten that children are not mature enough to handle a mature punishment, but what the children do understand is very basic, pain. Children are more likly to fear a wap upside the head, then having to waste an hour staring at a corner of a wall. And their will be people that read this post and freak out because i said, “children are more likly to FEAR”, but, unfortunatly, fear is one of the best ways to control people, and one of the ONLY to control children. Plain and simple. Anyone that cannot accept that reality needs to consider never having children.

K.J. says:

Parental Controls are built into every current console

The Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 all have parental control settings available for concerned parents. With a few button presses, a parent can restrict what games can be played on the consoles based on the age ratings for that region. So parents can restrict what games their kids can play based on the ratings provided by the ESRB in the USA, BBFC/PEGI in Europe, OFLC in Australia and CERO in Japan, among others.

Games have their ratings encoded on the disk, or in the file in the case of downloadable games, and the console will follow whatever the parental setting is for that particular console and region. No ‘red button’ necessary.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Parental Controls are built into every current console

>The Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 all have parental >control settings available for concerned parents. With a >few button presses, a parent can restrict what games can be >played on the consoles based on the age ratings for that >region. So parents can restrict what games their kids can >play based on the ratings provided by the ESRB in the USA, >BBFC/PEGI in Europe, OFLC in Australia and CERO in Japan, >among others.

And If you want to know how to set your parental controls ask your kid.

PaulT (profile) says:


The problem with the obvious existing solutions is that they require parents to actively, you know, parent. Most of the problems “addressed” by this suggestion haven’t got anything to do with consoles, it’s just that parents are too damn lazy to take an active interest in what their kids are doing.

All of the current generation of consoles have built-in parental controls. Most of the kids playing unsuitable games have them bought for them by their parents in the first place. If parents used existing controls and read the ratings on the boxes they were buying, the issue of kids playing unsuitable games wouldn’t exist.

fat Tony says:

In addition

On top of overall failure to parent complaints there is another issue at hand.
Technical Ineptitude.
What parent would admit 15 years ago to not knowing how to do something simple with something that they owned. Sure they may now understand HOW something worked, but they wouldn’t come out and say that they were completely ignorant to its use.
Willful ignorance of the most user friendly of history’s gadgets…is out and out pathetic. Parents now admit not to knowing how to operate anything consisting of more than a clock and a handle. This leads children to go out of the way to learn the intricacies of everything the parents own. Armed with this data many parents are unable to truly shepherd their insolent flock.

If a parent will not take the time to correct the child, the child will not realize consequences of action: good or bad.
After that then they become emboldened by their technical superiority over the ignorant parent they feel untouchable. Soon finding themselves in situations where they are able to communicate with the world at large unprepared to deal with people in a courteous manner(largely due to aforementioned poor parenting).

usmcdvldg says:

Re: In addition

My mom was the most technically inept person you waould ever meat, while I was writing c programs and hanging out on msg boards running up the phone bill, she was trying to figure out which VCR cord to plug into the pc. When it came to games, she would simply sit next to me for 20 or thirty min and watch. She hated video games, but she wanted a feel for what I was doing. And god help me if she said no and i ignored her.

She probably couldn’t have figured out how to turn of a Nintendo, point being she never had to!

Anonymous Coward says:

Legislated ‘good-parenting’ is the biggest joke of our times. Legislators can do nothing to prevent children from playing inappropriate video games, watching R or X rated movies, smoking, or drinking… if parents are not actively involved.

Forcing the industry to include these pointless ‘child safety’ devices is merely a method of increasing the size of the bureaucracy and spend more tax dollars. Such a ‘red button’ is just as easily circumvented as the famous V-chip TVs. A good parent knows what their kids are watching and discusses it with them. A bad (or simply not present parent, much the same thing) does not know, make an effort to find out, or control their kids.

Having a red button becomes completely pointless if it is not used, or if the kid can circumvent it. Having a red button the kid cannot circumvent (being much more technically savvy than their parents on average) makes a product likely to be confusing and too difficult for the parent to operate… therefore making it go unused.

See it for what it is, big government justifying and mandating its existence.

Joe Schmuck says:

Average Techdirt Reader VS Average Parent

Come on people. Think about the average Techdirt reader vs the average parent. When it comes to how to operate your game console, do you think it would be more effective for the average person to have a big red button on the console that, when pressed, prompted for a password, then used that password to enforce game rating restrictions, or to have the current controls in place?

No matter how easy current controls are to use, they could be easier. They could be more intuitive, and they could be more pronounced. I bet the average parent (who doesn’t play with the console him/herself) doesn’t know that there ARE parental controls. Were there parental controls on the Atari 2600? The good old Nintendo? The Dreamcast or Playstation? If I recall correctly, there was a paper slip in the box of my 360 that said something about setting up parental controls, but I surely didn’t read it, and I bet most people don’t even see it.

Some parents don’t game. Shocking, I know; maybe even blasphemous to the average Techdirt reader that some people don’t derive any enjoyment out of using personal computers or video game consoles, but it happens. Those computer illiterate (possibly even technophobic) video game console owners would benefit from having a way to set up parental controls that practically hits them over the head with ease of use, and makes it so blatantly obvious that “THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT USER!”

Mandating it however, that’s harsh. TV’s, cable boxes, maybe even some DVD players have parental controls, but is it a law that they must?

Red Button Parenting Skills says:

Red Button Parenting Skills

Im a parent and uncle, and I have no problem whipping, wapping what ever you want to call it. I call it discipline.

Discipline is typically formed out of some kind of fear and that is my thought process.

And if you are worried your child is going to call social services on you (problem there already but), go ahead and call them first, call the sheriffs dept, local police, who ever. become informed before you take the belt out and whip your child across their bottom. then snatch the chords, computer, cable tv. or better yet, turn the switch off at the fuse box. let them realize how good they have it and who is in charge at the same time.

Earn it and then earn it to keep it.

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