Wednesday 17 July 2019

Age restrictions in esports are important.

Know the ratings.
When games are age-restricted, it means that they are legally restricted for all children under the specified age, but advisory for children of and above the specified age.

However, it has come to Mind Sports South Africa's attention that there are many private operators outside of MSSA who are playing 'fast-and-loose' by allowing underaged participants to participate in their esports events.

Age restictions exist for good reason. The age restrictions set are there to protect children from harmful influences in order to limit harmful and negative restricting material that may not be age appropriate.

According to the Films and Publications Board: "
As the primary focus of the Films and Publications Act of South Africa is to protect children from harmful content, we urge parents, caregivers and the public at large to take note of the following tips:

  • Download Applications “Apps” on your device. These Apps monitor your child’s online activities and can be set to:
  • o Alert you when your child logs on to an App.
    o Allow you to set limits of how much time they can spend online using their devices.
    o Alerts you when the child tries to download an App.
    o Allows you to grant permission for your child to download an App.
  • Always supervise your children when they are online and get to know the games they play or videos they access on platforms such as YouTube.
  • Be aware that the internet does not only offer fun activities, there are also criminal activities.
  • Teach children not to share personal information and to ensure their privacy setting are always on.
  • Assist them to identify activities or people that make them feel uncomfortable and to report such activities immediately to their parents.
  • Teach children to block any person who bullies them and to report to an adult.
  • Ensure that the devices they have access to are restricted to age suitable content.
  • Many social networks require users to be 13 years or older. If your children have social media accounts, ensure that you check their privacy settings and who they interact with."
It should be noted that operaters of gaming events who ignore the age restrictions as set, risk more than damaging their own reputation and legal standing, they risk the well-being of all the children that participate.

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