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Internet Matters and EA Launch Play Together / Play Smart Campaign

For a lot of parents and carers, spending the summer holidays playing video games is something they usually leave to the kids.

However, a new Play Together / Play Smart campaign launched today by Internet Matters in partnership with Electronic Arts is encouraging parents and carers to get more involved in video gaming to help them understand the benefits for children and the simple steps they can take to use tools to ensure they’re playing safely and responsibly.

The new Play Together/Play Smart hub from Internet Matters and Electronic Arts help parents and carers talk about gaming with their children, join in and get a better understanding of the features available for children to play better, safer, and more responsibly. 

It includes step-by-step advice on how to set up parental controls, set boundaries on screen time, manage in-game spending, advice on age-appropriate games and support for their child’s development. It also puts even the most anxious parents on the starting block, with a guide to the top five games that parents can try safely and responsibly.

It is the first joint initiative between Internet Matters and Electronic Arts, a global leader in entertainment with titles including FIFA 21, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and The Sims, which has become a partner of the not-for-profit organisation as part of its commitment to positive gaming.

It comes as a new survey by Internet Matters of 2,000 UK parents reveals how those who get involved and play video games with their children are far more likely to recognise the benefits – yet only one in four (25%) are doing this most or all of the time. 

Ian Wright, the former England footballer and TV pundit said: “I’m a big believer in getting involved and supporting the things that my kids and grandkids love. I play video games with my children and grandchildren, it’s something that connects us and it also means I know exactly what they are doing online. Life is so different to when we were kids and time together is important, so it’s vital that we as parents feel connected and understand children’s online activity. 

“I know it may feel alien for some parents at first, but playing video games together will allow you to talk openly with your kids about what they’re up to, both online and offline, so you can feel confident that they’re gaming safely and responsibly.

“The Play Together/Play Smart campaign with Electronic Arts and Internet Matters is important because it helps parents and carers take a positive leading role in helping their children play in a safe and fair way that supports the benefits and positive experience of the digital world.”

Samantha Ebelthite, Head of Global Commercial Markets Intelligence at Electronic Arts, said: “We’re proud to be teaming up with Internet Matters to encourage parents and guardians to get involved with their children’s gaming, and also make it easier for them to understand how to use the controls that exist on all devices to help set boundaries. 

“We understand that navigating the world of video games can seem alien and tough for parents. That’s why we take our responsibility seriously to provide tools, on platforms and in games like FIFA, to help parents and players manage the way they play. 

“With the tools in place, we’re looking to ensure that parents and players know how to use them effectively. The Play Together/Play Smart campaign is the first in a number of joint initiatives that we’re planning over the year and we hope it gives parents and carers a greater understanding of how they can get involved and support their children while having fun at the same time.”

CEO of Internet Matters, Carolyn Bunting (MBE), said: “The more that parents can get involved in their child’s world of video gaming, the more they will be able to understand how they can support them in playing games safely and address some of their concerns.

“That’s why our partnership with Electronic Arts is so important as we can provide resources for parents that will give them the confidence to talk to their child about safe gaming, set boundaries – and hopefully join in by taking up a game or two that they can play with their kids this summer.”

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.