Digital distribution service Metaboli has announced the launch of a new parental control feature based on nationwide research from online parenting resource Mumsnet.
The new tool allows parents to set up each child with its own Metaboli account and pre-select the games they can play, according to age certification, genre or on a case-by-case basis. Parents can also use a weekly calendar to dictate how long a child can play for and when.
At the same time Metaboli has revealed details of a UK study which shows that 45 per cent of parents are unaware of the content of the games their children play, rising to 66 per cent for children over 11 years old.
Only 29 per cent admitted to being concerned about how much time was spent playing games though, with just 17 per cent claiming they found it difficult to monitor the games being played. 14 per cent agreed that they spent too much money on buying new games.
However, a total of 94 per cent of parents found that arguments over whose turn it was to play games was a problem.
On a positive note 72 per cent thought that playing games helps to teach new skills and 27 per cent thought that it "teaches them about the world".
The statistics follow results recently published by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which found that 62 per cent of parents in the US thought games were a positive part of their children's lives.
"We welcome the introduction by Metaboli of an easy-to-use parental control feature which will help parents have greater power over their children's gaming, said Carrie Longton, co-founder of Mumsnet.
"Although many parents are already actively monitoring and supervising their children as they play PC games, this pack will make mums lives much easier," she added.