Play Together/Play Smart Campaign encourages more and more parents to set up parental controls

Play together / Play smart research cover image

A campaign by Electronic Arts and Internet Matters has successfully encouraged parents to get more involved in video gaming and understand the simple steps they can take to feel confident their children are gaming safely and responsibly.

From Fifa 22 to The Sims, nearly 1 in 3 people in the UK have played an EA game. And as a business, we respect the decisions parents make to limit the time and money their children spend on the devices through which players access our games. We are committed to increasing awareness and understanding of the tools that enable those decisions.

That’s why we partnered with leading online safety organisation Internet Matters to launch our Play Together/Play Smart campaign in 2021: to help parents get closer to the games their children play and gain a better understanding of the tools available to them to support safe and responsible play.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ Campaign

In the run-up to last Christmas, a third of all parents surveyed were considering gifting video games consoles to their children.

Partnering with comedian Katherine Ryan, who delivered a witty and humorous take on the stresses and strains that so many parents experience on Christmas Eve, we encouraged parents to act the night before Christmas to pre-set parental controls.

Watch Katherine Ryan’s parental control remix
Display video transcript
00:00
`{`Music`}`
00:08
twas the night before christmas and
00:11
there's chaos in this house my husband
00:13
is cooking i'm re-gifting this blouse
00:17
the stockings are hung by the fireplace
00:20
with care there's so much to do oh bobby
00:23
where
00:24
is the video games console i think i put
00:26
it in the top of the cupboard i can't
00:28
reach that
00:29
i can the children are nestled all snug
00:32
in their beds our eldest with video
00:34
games dancing in her head
00:36
bobby in his pajamas yum an eye in this
00:39
dress it is christmas eve so the lounge
00:42
is a mess
00:44
when out on the lawn i spot someone in a
00:46
tiz it's our neighbor carol she's had
00:48
too much bugs fizz
00:50
carol
00:51
it's not worth it babe
00:54
bobby walks in with the console in hand
00:56
but prior to wrapping it's vital to
00:58
understand before the playing starts
01:01
before it's tucked under the tree set up
01:04
parental controls it's easy and free you
01:07
can set limits for what and when your
01:09
child can play you need only do once
01:12
then get on with your day
01:13
`{`Music`}`
01:15
long day
01:16
don't put it off you should do it right
01:18
now set restrictions on purchases and
01:20
what services to allow just a few clicks
01:23
for your own peace of mind all password
01:26
protected so if they do try declined
01:30
with parent and child profiles all
01:32
sorted we can let them play freely
01:35
because those worries are thwarted so
01:37
now that's all done and was so easy to
01:40
do i can relax and enjoy christmas how
01:42
about you
01:47
`{`Music`}`
01:50
`{`Applause`}`
01:55
you

Independent research confirms positive impact of campaign

We have been blown away by the campaign’s success – with more parents getting closer to the games their children play while taking advantage of the simple, step-by-step guides to ensure their children play responsibly and have a positive video gaming experience.

Independent research shows that 55% of parents who saw the campaign acted by switching on parental controls – a truly meaningful and significant change in behaviour. Meanwhile, a staggering 81% of parents are now more likely to talk to their children about being safe online when using their games console, while 75% of parents and carers are more likely to set up parental controls on their child’s games console before giving the console to them in future. You can see more information on the impact of the campaign in an infographic at the bottom of this page.

Our commitment to further increase awareness and understanding of parental controls

EA believes that parental controls, coupled with an ongoing and open discussion within the family about play time, spend, age-appropriate games and online behaviour, can help ensure that children enjoy a positive experience while playing video games.

This work is far from done, but we are immensely proud to have raised awareness of parental controls, their benefits and how simple setting them up can be, and to have driven real behavioural change via our Play Together/Play Smart campaign.

If you have not yet set up controls of your own, it is not too late to do so. Visit our campaign hub today to access a treasure trove of practical, step-by-step advice on how to set up parental controls, set boundaries on screen time, and deal with issues such as in-game spending.

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