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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MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
Andrew EisenAccounts are already linked. Have been for quite a while. Also, Mario vs. Donkey Kong was announced as a cross-buy title during last January's Nintendo Direct.02/27/2015 - 9:25pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/20…/…/27/olli-olli-3ds-wii-u-cross-buy/ I wounder if this is a sign that Nintendo may finally link accounts across the 3ds/wiiu in the near future.02/27/2015 - 9:18pm
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MechaTama31I don't even want to know...02/27/2015 - 8:22pm
 

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