FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual Worlds

March 2, 2009 -

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a consumer alert designed to warn parents about the risks their children may face while gaming online.

The alert, Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks, contains the following advice:

According to the [FTC] many virtual worlds say they’re for adults only and try to verify that visitors are over 18 before they can enter. But a posted age requirement may not stop kids — especially curious teens — from finding their way in, either accidentally or otherwise...

If your child gets really interested in online gaming or virtual worlds, watch for changes in their patterns of behavior that could indicate an unhealthy obsession. Nobody knows your child better than you do, so you’re best placed to know what sites may be appropriate for your child.

For more online safety information, the FTC refers parents to OnGuardOnline.gov.


Comments

Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual ...

Here we go, this was issued in January 2009.  This is the FTC operating under President Obama.  He's not your boy, ladies and gentlemen.

He's not your boy. 

Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual

I was about to make a "correction" regarding the phrase 「Nobody knows your child better than you do」, but realized that this is the FTC talking, not the PTC

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual

This just kills me, they act concerned with the gaming industry yet we have perverts, porn, scam artist, pedifiles lurking, enticing, kidnapping, lying, steeling, from all over the world, the WWW is infested with them, fix that, it is more damaging then any video game could ever be, it is the web that is corrupt with these people that have much more ability to harm our children today then any video game. LOL, FTC, please, get your priorities straight.

Disgusted

Lady G

Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual

The WWW pedophile  'infestation' is hugely exaggerated (i.e. lots of people think it exists, so it must be a huge problem, but it doesn't, so it isn't).  Heck, you only have to think about it for a minute to realise how much more complicated it is to stalk kids on the internet than it is to do it in real life.  I mean heck, the first hurdle an internet stalker is going to have to overcome is the fact that his potential victim might live 10,000 miles away.  The second is that his potential victim, who claims to be a 13 year old girl, is probably a 56 year-old balding man with a pot belly.  Internet stalking is so unwieldy that no one is going to do it when there are pre-pubescent girls going to a school right in the stalker's neighbourhood.

In short, the internet makes lots of things easier, but stalking kids isn't one of them.

As for scam artists, yup, they exist, and there are a lot of them - unfortunately most of them are in countries where developed countries' laws can't touch them.  As for porn and perverts, who cares?

But yes, I agree with your basic premise - that the FTC should be using its time and money to address real problems.

Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual ...

So...how is this related to trade? I thought the FTC was about trade...

Reality/////////////////////////////////////Fantasy. Seems like a pretty thick line to me...

Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual

Second Life went beyond a posted warning and now verify age by either Social Security number or driver's liscense.

Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual ...

Is it just me or is this whole 'parental responsiblity' thing starting to catch on?

Nah, can't be... I'm sure by tomorrow we'll see another 'GTA made me do it' story :(

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Re: FTC Issues Consumer Alert on Kids' Exposure to Virtual ...

Haha, FTC once again doing pretty much nothing worthwhile...  wait, they are a government agency.  So I should expect nothing from them, just like I don't from their investigations.

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