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UK parents are ignoring video game age ratings, survey says

Ever walk in to someone’s house and see their 10-year-old on a kill-crazy rampage in GTA 5 and think ‘well that’s a bit worrying, isn’t it?’ Well their parents probably don’t.

A new survey shows 86% of UK parents pay no mind to video game age ratings. Off the 2,000 parents of children aged between five and 16 surveyed, the vast majority don’t follow the PEGI ratings highlighted on download stores and game boxes.

Interestingly, only 23% of the same parents surveyed by Childcare.co.uk ignore similar age guidance when allowing their offspring to watch movies.

43% of those surveyed notice negative behaviour changes when they’re kids are playing adult-themed games. While a third of parents surveyed (34%) say their kids spend four fours playing the games.

However, it doesn’t seem as if the young’uns playing the 18-rated Call of Duty or Doom games of the world, are the issue. It’s more the pre-teens missing out on Fortnite when all their mates are playing and parents caving into the pressure.

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“It’s difficult in this day and age to govern what your child is exposed to, because if your 10-year-old has friends who are playing Fortnite, which is rated 12, you want them to be included in the fun,” said Childcare.co.uk founder Richard Conway. “However, it’s always worth looking into the game to see if it’s suitable rather than leaving them to their own devices.

“What’s interesting is that the majority of parents follow film age ratings, but when it comes to video games they maybe aren’t as strict. It’s important to remember how impressionable children are; if they see behaviour or language in a video game or movie, they may mimic it.”

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