What’s this Xbox 360 Family Timer you speak of?

In the Microsoft and Parent Teacher Association (PTA) ‘Safety is no game”. Is your family set?’ campaign, the goal is to educate people on family settings. In a announcement by Robbie Bach, the Xbox 360 is to receive a “Family Timer” option.

“As a leader in interactive entertainment, it’s Microsoft’s responsibility to provide parents with tools they can use to manage their children’s video gaming and online experiences, and we have made that a priority from the very start,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment & Devices Division at Microsoft.

Coming in a early December update to the Xbox 360,

The Family Timer will enable parents for the first time to set the appropriate amount of gaming and entertainment time on the Xbox 360 for their kids, on a daily or weekly basis.

Great news for parents in so many ways, but what about the kids in other areas? Gaming in general is still under a stigma of a kids only activity and this will do much to foster that already false sentiment. It’s nice to see this getting added to the Xbox 360, but what’s really needed is a way to keep under aged kids off of Xbox Live. Older gamers need some love too. Parents will have a much needed tool, but lets not over look the fact that those same parents are very much likely to be gamers themselves.  Coming from a fairly older gamer, it’s pretty unpleasant to continue to hear kid after kid unable to behave appropriately in a public setting, even it is in a virtual sense.

[Full details on Family timer]

-William “thewilleffect” Bell-

4 Responses

  1. […] post by thewilleffect and software by Elliott […]

  2. I’m not sure what they could do about that beyond informing parents of the issue… I guess if they were set up as under 13 or whatever, they’d have kids settings and that would be severely limited anyway. I guess it depends what we consider the cut off age, though. I’ve admittedly played with some very nice kids in age groups that people tend to be very negative about.

    The timer is a good step, I suppose. They need to really make it obvious how to set it up for parents not into these things. The local news had a report on online gaming recently, particularly on Live, and it was surprisingly balanced (they played against someone yelling out all sorts of racial slurs). They noted MS’s tools and what we can do, but in interviewing parents it was clear none of them understood what to do whatsoever. They didn’t even understand the controller enough to be able to even plod through the options for set up of the thing.

    Maybe what needs to be done is an opening portion that asks if you’re a parent and if you have video game experience… then what to do next could be explained. Even better would be if this was voice controlled, because who could screw that up? Of course, every system would need a mic lol.

  3. Great points Tony. Sadly technofobia will stop everything in its tracks. The current Family Settings are a miss for most as they are already. Most electronics have some kind of a menu like system, so the 360 shouldn’t be any different. Once again, sadly that’s not the case.

  4. This could also be useful for people who wanna limit their time they wanna play a certain game.
    I know Im always getting into a game and before I know it its nearly 2 hours later and I missed my show.

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