Rule Your Xbox 360 Family With An Iron Fist

Being the parent of a nine-year-old boy and a gamer, I'm a huge fan of parental settings.

I love the fact that all of my consoles are a bazillion times more robust in helping me parent than are TVs or movie theatres. And the Xbox Live dashboard update coming in November adds quite a bit more tools to parental settings on the Xbox 360.

As you can see in the video, you can now do things like add exceptions to all of those harsh rules you lay down for your kids in terms of what games they can and can't play on the 360. That means less trips to the TV to tap in your parental unlock code, which is a big win in my book.

You can also turn on a feature called "Family Programming", which disables all mature content on the dashboard. Finally, the console has default settings that it determines based on the age of the gamer, breaking them down into one of three categories: child, teen or adult. Of course you can just turn that stuff off and customise the hell out of it.

My favourite option? The ability to boot someone out of your family. The next time Tristan gets out of hand I'm marching him downstairs to show him just how easy it would be to rid myself of the extra headaches. :D


    ...Are you serious?!? This is bubble wrap parenting at its worst. If you don't know what your kid is watching/playing on his/her console and have to rely on some stupid lockout system then you are a terrible parent. How about spending time WITH your kids while they play games with some violence or questionable language. I sat around in 96 when I was 10 years old playing Resident Evil with my dad and I remember it being some of the most fun I've had with a console. Stop using shitty parenting systems and actually PARENT your own kids!

    I can appreciate this, and I'm sure there will be many parents out there who will also do so. For instance, I really like the game exception rule. Maybe they can help foster that rule with game lockouts. So, say for instance, anybody who attempted to play Gears 2 would be unable to do so without the password. Or perhaps allow a certain amount of time with a single game only. So you could only play Gears 2 (just an example, as it is a mature game) a certain amount of time per week. See, I like playing with my 7 year old nephew, and I think he'd be ok with doing some fun things in Forge with me in Halo 3 or Reach. He might even be ok in the game if I remove any true violence. But by that token, I dont want him playing something like Dead Rising either. I wouldn't be reliant on a system like this, as I actually take an interest in what he watches and plays, (for the most part, he plays Carnival Games on Wii), but I appreciate it as an option and applaud MS for making such a family friendly console. Now, if they could fix LIVE...

      Uhhhhhh whats wrong with LIVE? It's still as awsome as ever.

    Game Execptions sound cool and all especially here in Australia where all sorts of things are rated M that are aimed at kids (look at the Spiderman Games, The Force Unleashed etc)

    However I can't be bothered with these parental lockouts - just keep an eye on what your kid is playing

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