by Carlo Longino

Filed Under:
children, europe, game consoles

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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  1. identicon
    Joe Schmuck, 14 Feb 2009 @ 9:04pm

    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?

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