The Canadian comic is fronting a new campaign with a unique remake of an old Christmas classic
Comedian Katherine Ryan will front the new advertisement campaign from Electronic Arts and Internet Matters as part of their new initiative to educate parents on the importance of child safety using their video game consoles through parental controls.
The TV personality and mum-of-two will be seen performing a remake of ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ and will feature Ryan wrapping gifts at home as she poetically details how parental controls are free, easy to use and allow parents to set limits on what their child can play, for how long and monitor who they interact with. Her remake of the Christmas classic also reminds parents how controls can stop children from in-game spending.
The Canadian explained that she backed the campaign by Internet Matters and EA after wanting to place more boundaries and ‘stay in control’ of her own daughter Violet’s video gaming.
“I’ll support any measure that helps my children play more responsibly – especially if it’s simple for me to do. Sure, the festive season can be a crazy time – last minute present-wrapping, cooking, indulging – there’s so many jobs to do; but this really is one of the most important things parents and guardians can do ahead of the festivities.”
Ryan also explained that she fully endorsed the campaign because Internet Matters not only give guidance on setting up parental controls but also advise families to get involved with their children’s gaming hobby and to have open conversations about safe video gaming as the best way for parents and guardians to protect their children from risks.
She added: “By setting up parental controls ahead of giving Violet her console, she gets to enjoy it but I still get to feel like I’m in control. Crucially, by doing it before she starts using it, I am giving myself a break, by preventing any arguments over how much time she’s spending video gaming, how she’s connecting with others and how much money she’s spending. It’s a win, win.”
The new advertisement comes as new research from the not-for-profit Internet Matters shows almost half (45%) of parents buying consoles don’t intend to set up parental controls before giving them to their child and how a third (32%) who hadn’t set up controls on consoles said they couldn’t see the value in doing so or didn’t understand them. The online survey carried out earlier this year with 2008 participants also confirmed nearly a third of those parents had simply forgotten to set up parental controls on their consoles before giving them to their children.
EA’s Chief Experience Officer Chris Bruzzo also underlined the importance of their new initiative to educate parents on child safety while gaming: “We know that the holidays can be stressful for many parents and guardians and we want to help them navigate the gifting of a new video games console to make it as seamless as possible. That’s why we encourage all parents and guardians to set up parental controls before handing it over. Controls can really put your mind at ease that your children are playing responsibly, without the need to constantly monitor them.
“Alongside open discussions with your children regarding healthy play time, age-appropriate video games, in-game spend and online behaviour, parental controls can ensure that children and guardians/parents alike have a positive experience while playing video games. Our festive edition of the ‘Play Together/Play Smart’ campaign aims to raise awareness of these tools to make sure parents are aware of the choices they can make around how their children play.”
Internet Matters CEO Carolyn Bunting (MBE) also added: “With Christmas around the corner Katherine’s video comes at a vital time and we hope it will help give parents some clarity about the importance of parental controls. Setting up your child’s console before you gift it to them helps give you peace of mind over Christmas to allow them to enjoy their time safely and responsibly.
“The more that parents can get involved in their child’s world of video gaming, the more they will be able to understand how they can support them in playing and address some of their concerns.”
For any parents needing advice on how to set up parental controls on a child’s console, they can visit Internet Matters at www.internetmatters.org/nightbeforevideogames.