If you have small children and want to protect them from games that are not rated for their age group, there is an easy solution on the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 allows you to set parental controls called Family Settings which allow you to do do things like limit the amount of time an account can be on for, set ESRB ratings as well as ratings for other media as well, and setting a password so the settings can not be changed. Microsoft has a whole page setup online for teaching parents how to customize these settings but I’ve listed out the steps here.
Xbox 360 Console Family Settings
Family Settings are customizable tools that help you create a family-friendly gaming and entertainment experience.
Family Settings let you:
- Decide what your kids can play, both online and off.
- Set levels of protection for games, videos, and Xbox LIVE.
- Use a pass code to protect your own Family Settings.
- Set limits on console play time using the Family Timer.
Managing the Console
Once you determine Family Settings for your console, these settings come into play whenever the console is turned on. Console Controls help parents keep an eye on not only games but also movies and online access.
To see these settings, go to My Xbox, open System Settings, and select Family Settings, Console Controls.
Console Controls settings include:
- Game Ratings: Select the games you want your child to play, from EC (Early Childhood) to M (Mature).
- Video Ratings: Xbox 360 recognizes ratings encoded into movies, TV shows, and other videos.
- Access to Xbox LIVE: Allow or prevent the console from connecting to Xbox LIVE.
- Xbox LIVE Membership Creation: Decide whether to allow or prevent the ability to create new Xbox LIVE memberships from the console.
- Xbox LIVE Marketplace Content: Decide whether you want to be able to see restricted content while browsing Xbox LIVE Marketplace. This setting also affects access to the Inside Xbox news feed from the Xbox Dashboard.
- Family Timer: Set the amount of time that the console can be used on a daily or weekly basis.
- Set Pass Code: Limit who can access or change the Family Settings on your console.
- Turn off Family Settings: No kids? No problem! Shut down Family Settings!
Managing Activity on Xbox LIVE
Xbox LIVE Family Settings relate to the online interaction with other users and access to the features of Xbox LIVE. See Xbox LIVE Family Settings for more information.
By changing some of these settings, you are actively participating in creating an safer gaming environment for your child. That means it’s your responsibility as a parent to monitor what your children are watching or playing and your right as a parent to decide what are and aren’t appropriate for them to view. Your children may hate you a little for doing it but you are the parent. Be the parent.