Over 50% of U.K. Parents Allow Kids to Play Games Meant for 18+

More than half of parents let their children play games recommended for adults only in the U.K., according to a survey from Childcare.co.uk.

The U.K. uses the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating system, which classifies games under 3, 7, 12, 16, and 18. The survey noted that parents allow their children to play these PEGI 18 titles “without supervision or knowledge of the game beforehand.” Of the 2,171 respondents, 72% were mothers. The parents surveyed overall had children from the ages of five to 16, 53% of which were boys, and 47% girls.

The survey, found by GamaSutra, also revealed that 86% of respondents don’t pay attention to the ratings assigned to games. Many parents surveyed feel differently about film ratings, as only 23% responded that they don’t concern themselves over film age restrictions.

Childcare’s Richard Conway commented on the conundrum parents are faced with in picking and choosing appropriate content for their kids.

“It’s difficult in this day and age to govern what your child is exposed to, because if your 10-year-old has friends who are playing ‘Fortnite’, which is rated 12, you want them to be included in the fun,” Conway said. “However, it’s always worth looking into the game to see if it’s suitable rather than leaving them to their own devices. What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict. It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behavior or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.”

It’s unclear if Conway’s note about children “mimicking” negative content in video games comes from personal experience or research, but it is perhaps notable that 43% of the parents surveyed have “seen a negative change in their child’s behavior since playing games aimed at adults” and 22% said their kids now understand and use bad language after playing.

Almost half (48%) of parents indicated that they fear their child may be addicted to video games. While the World Health Organization did recently submit “gaming disorder” as a part of consideration for their most recent edition of the International Classification of Diseases, parents can be assured that the symptoms that would qualify one to receive such a diagnosis are far more severe than a child throwing a tantrum when they don’t get to play “Pokemon Go.”

More Gaming

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • Gears 5 - Xbox Game Studios

    'Gears 5' Will Exclude Smoking Depictions After Concerns Raised by Youth Anti-Tobacco Org (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Gears 5,” the forthcoming installment in the “Gears of Wars” third-person shooter game franchise, will be a smoke-free establishment. The game, set for Sept. 10 release, comes from Xbox Game Studios and game developer The Coalition. The decision to remove all smoking references from “Gears 5” came after not-for-profit anti-smoking organization Truth Initiative approached Turner, [...]

  • Amazon Game Studios - Lord of

    Amazon Teams on 'Lord of the Rings'-Prequel Massively Multiplayer Game

    Amazon announced plans for a massively multiplayer online game set in J.R.R. Tokien’s Middle-earth — but in an era well before the events in “The Lord of the Rings.” Amazon Game Studios has teamed with Leyou Technologies, a Hong Kong-based games company. The companies will jointly develop the free-to-play game for PC and console platforms, [...]

  • Nintendo Switch Lite

    Nintendo Launches Switch Lite Handheld-Only Game System for $200

    Nintendo Switch is getting a cheaper, more colorful little sibling: Switch Lite, a device designed specifically to play Nintendo Switch games in handheld mode. The Switch Lite system is set to ship Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $199.99 — $100 less than the flagship Switch, which works in both handheld and TV-connected [...]

  • Walter Scopely Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: How Scopely Turns TV Hits Into Video Game Gold

    “Star Trek,” “The Walking Dead” and “Wheel of Fortune” are more than just iconic TV brands; they’re the intellectual property powering mobile games on course to reach $100 million each. And they’re all produced by Scopely, a Los Angeles-based video game business led by co-CEO Walter Driver, who has made a specialty of adapting from [...]

  • Peter Ramsey

    'Spider-Verse' Co-Director Peter Ramsey to Speak at 2019 View Conference

    Peter Ramsey, who won an Oscar this year for co-directing the hit animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” has joined the long list of high-level speakers for the 2019 View Conference, which runs from Oct. 21-25 in Turin, Italy. “I’m delighted to announce that Peter Ramsey, who is the first African American director to win [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content