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​UK games industry calls for more parents to turn on console family controls after research reveals only 20% are activated

Press release -

​UK games industry calls for more parents to turn on console family controls after research reveals only 20% are activated

London, 10 January 2020: The UK Interactive Entertainment Association (Ukie) has today launched the Get Smart About P.L.A.Y campaign, encouraging more parents and carers to use tools that manage screen time and in-game purchases on video game consoles.

The campaign follows a recent report from Europe’s video game industry body which found that only one in five parents of children who spend money in video games use the family controls available on gaming devices. This is backed up by a 2019 NSPCC study that revealed just 19% of parents of children aged 5-15 use family controls on internet-connected devices.

A YouGov poll carried out for Ukie also found that more than half of parents and carers in the UK are concerned about how much time their children spend playing games.

Rio Ferdinand, a parent and keen game player, has joined the campaign which provides step by step guides on how to use the controls and the benefits that they provide. Watch Rio in the Get Smart About Campaign launch video ​here

“My kids love playing video games but as a parent it is important for me to be able to manage the amount of time they play,” said Rio Ferdinand. “Family controls can help achieve a balance at home between screen time and other activities. They’re easy to use and save a lot of arguments in the long run.”

The Get Smart About P.L.A.Y campaign provides parents and care-givers with a four-step process to help set parameters around play:

P - Play with your kids. Understand what they play and why.

L - Learn about family controls. Visit for simple step-by-step guides.

A - Ask what your kids think. Discuss ground rules before setting restrictions.

Y - You’re in charge. Set restrictions that work for your family.

“These controls can effectively help manage screen time and age-appropriate play even when you’re not in the room. It doesn’t take long to set up the controls and it means families can enjoy games together safely.” commented Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie. “If a child was given a bike at Christmas, we would expect them to also be given stabilisers - family controls are really no different.”

Videos on how to activate the family controls on all current game consoles can be found at along with more information about the campaign and tips on achieving balance and healthy gameplay within the home.

“The Get Smart About P.L.A.Y campaign’s four-step process encourages families to have open and healthy discussions that will benefit everyone,” said Emma Kenny, one of the UK’s leading TV psychologists.

“Children want their carers to understand their interests, so as important as it is to set limits on the time and money they can spend playing games it’s also important to understand why they play and how much play means to them.”


Press Contacts

t: 020 3927 6430
m: 07802 898110

t: 020 7534 0580

Spokespeople Available for Comment

A radio day will be running with the following spokespeople available for interviews. 

Dr Jo Twist - Ukie CEO
Jo has been CEO of Ukie since 2012. Previously Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Education. London Tech Ambassador and member of the BAFTA Games Committee.

Emma Kenny - TV Psychologist
Emma is a psychologist, TV presenter, writer and expert media commentator, and is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading TV psychological experts.

Willy Guyatt - Tech Journalist
Will is an award-winning communicator, broadcaster and technology journalist who has covered games for over a decade.

Andy Robertson - askaboutgames Editor
Andy is Editor of askaboutgames, a joint venture between the VSC Rating Board and games trade body Ukie run with input and advice from across the games industry.

About Ukie

Ukie is the trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry. Its mission is to make the country the best place to make, sell and play games in the world.

A not-for-profit, it represents over 450 businesses of all sizes - from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers and service companies - working across PC, console, online, mobile, esports and mixed reality games.

Ukie also supports a number of additional initiatives aimed at bolstering the sector. These include its pioneering educational programme Digital Schoolhouse and the London Games Festival, through Games London.

About askaboutgames

askaboutgames is a joint venture between the VSC Rating Board and Ukie, run with input and advice from across the games industry, that aims to advise parents on the best ways to help their children play safe and sensibly.

It gives advice on how parents, carers and families can come together through play. It provides tips on how to activate family controls to help manage spend and play time in a way that works for them. It also provides valuable advice on game age ratings to ensure children are accessing age appropriate games online and offline.

Find out more about askaboutgames at

Research Glossary

‘Europe: In-Game Spending Study’ - November 2019
Report by the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) and Game Track

‘How safe are our children? 2019’- July 2019
Report by NSPCC

YouGov Survey - November 2019
Paid for by the UK Interactive Entertainment Association (Ukie).

Press contacts

Dean Barrett

Dean Barrett

Managing Director +44 (0)20 3927 6430
Ben Skipper

Ben Skipper

Senior Account Manager +44 (0)20 3927 6430

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