UK teachers threaten to report underage gamers
"We are advised to contact the police and children's social care"
A group of UK teachers are threatening to go to war on underage gaming, warning parents they could report them to the police or social services if their child is playing inappropriate titles.
The Nantwich Education Partnership is formed of 16 schools in Cheshire and sent the following letter (as reported by The Sunday Times) to parents:
"If your child is allowed to have inappropriate access to any game, or associated product, that is designated 18+ we are advised to contact the police and children's social care as this is deemed neglectful."
The group warned that exposure to adult rated games could make children "vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation or extreme violence" and lead to sexual behaviours.
"We are trying to help parents to keep their children as safe as possible in this digital era. It is so easy for children to end up in the wrong place and parents find it helpful to have some very clear guidelines," said headteacher and the drafter of the letter, Mary Hennessy Jones.
UKIE's Dr Jo Twist reacted to the news with the suggestion that parents use the information and ratings available to them to choose games suitable for their children.
"There are thousands of games that are suitable for all ages, and there are some games that deal with adult themes in the same way that some films, television programmes and books do," Twist told Eurogamer.
"We have PEGI age ratings and parental controls on all consoles to ensure games that are meant for more mature audiences are not played by children. Parents should use all the guidance and tools that are available, and make sure that they talk to their children about what they are playing, what content is suitable for them and what is not. The ratings and online information services like AskAboutGames.com are there to help them with these conversations."