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Parent's Guide to Gaming with PlayVS
Parent's Guide to Gaming with PlayVS

How to get involved with your child’s latest extracurricular activity

Updated over a week ago

Though there are many documented benefits to gaming, this doesn’t mean that children should dive into these creative worlds without a guide. This is where parent involvement in their child’s gaming habits can play a critical role in ensuring that through all of the fun, their child is staying safe while online. Here are a few ways to get involved with your child as they are exploring all that PlayVS has to offer:

Gaming with PlayVS

What games can my child play?

Students can participate in a variety of games at PlayVS. Action-focused players might start with Super Smash Bros.™ Ultimate or Rocket League, whereas strategy-focused players might lean towards League of Legends or Hearthstone. Each of these games offers unique opportunities to play against other players across the country on behalf of their community, the same as joining their high school’s football or baseball team. For more information on the games offered by PlayVS, check out our Game Title Overview!

How much do these games cost?

The cost of these games can also vary. Many of the game titles we offer are free to download, while others can cost the industry-standard $69.99 for a brand-new game. However, before making any purchases, we encourage your child to check in with the esports coach at their school, as they may already own these games and have them ready for the child to participate in!

Are these games appropriate for my child?

Yes! The ESRB, or the Entertainment Software Rating Board, rates each of the games offered by PlayVS as either T for Teen or E for Everyone. Since 1994, this council has provided ratings and content descriptors for nearly every game released in North America.

Monitoring Your Child’s Gaming Habits

Setting Parental Controls

Parental controls on a gaming device allow a parent or guardian to monitor their child’s gaming habits even when they are not around. These controls can block video games based on the ESRB rating, limit or block in-game purchases, set time limits for the amount of time a child spends gaming, and choose who a child can communicate with while playing. For a detailed breakdown based on your child’s device, see the ESRB Parental Controls guide here.

Managing Screen Time

While this is arguably one of the more difficult challenges a parent can face with a child who enjoys gaming, there are steps parents can take to monitor the time their child spends online without negatively impacting their experience.

  • Communicate Regularly - According to the ESRB, holding a conversation with your child can not only set clear expectations for gaming but show that you understand and support their passion.

  • Stay Clear & Consistent - The limits to playing, the consequences for breaking the limits, and the application of these limits should be clear and consistent regardless of the amount of time you and your child agree to spend playing video games.

  • Continually Reassess the Rules - As your child matures, or after time has passed, you may find that the limits were too strict or loose for their current lifestyle. Staying flexible will allow you to understand the logical “stopping points” of a gaming session, and reduce any opportunities for negative reactions when enforcing the rules you’ve agreed on.

  • Observe, or even Play! - Being around your child while they are gaming helps build your knowledge and informs your decisions when implementing any gameplay limits. Over time, you’ll learn which games can or cannot be paused, and that all games have a natural flow of gameplay that, when stopped, can be a perfect time to step in.

Online Safety

As online information, including video games, is widely available, it is important to maintain a safe space for you and your child. Utilizing parental controls will help limit communications and the amount of personal information your child shares online and ensure their emotional and physical well-being is prioritized while playing games.

PlayVS handles your private information with care, and remains transparent with how you and your child’s information is processed and shared. For more information, view our Privacy Policy here. Additionally, to align with federal guidelines, PlayVS is COPPA-certified for users under 13 years of age.

Communicating with your Child’s Coach

Your child’s coach serves as the faculty representative for their gaming experiences while at school. Reaching out to them by email or during office hours gives parents the opportunity to discuss their child’s behaviors and fully understand the commitment that their child is making by competing on their school’s team.


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