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Posts with tag internet-safety

5 chat safety tips for young players

5 chat safety tips for young players
It's winter break. The Spawn is seven years old and home for three weeks. She wants to go swimming, have playdates, check out books from the library, play Zelda Windwaker, and collect pets in World of Warcraft. The first four are easy -- there are already safety nets in place. But now I have to get her WoW account safe for little, reading eyes.

  1. Get the Bunny Censor add-on. I'm going to do other things to protect her from chat, but just in case anything gets through, it's hard to be traumatized by "Bunny you!"
  2. Have the talk. Don't talk to anyone. Don't join groups. Be considerate. See Penny Arcade for an excellent depiction of what we parents have to go through in this day and age.
  3. Leave all public chat, especially Trade and General. The command is /leave and then the channel number. So to leave trade chat for most people, type /leave 2.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard releases parental control video

Parental controls are of paramount importance in games such as WoW, which appeal to a wide audience of young and old, and are sufficiently immersive to permit lengthy sessions. Blizzard has long advocated responsible gaming, and WoW Insider is no different. To this end, Blizzard has released a video clearly and carefully laying out all the Parental Control options available to the WoW-playing family.

These include:
  • Limited hours' play per day or per week
  • Scheduled playtimes and preset schedules
  • Limiting of the use of RealID and in-game voice chat
  • Preventing use of Diablo III's Real Money Auction House
  • Automatically generated weekly playtime reports.
These features may be useful for more than just parents. Students wishing to ensure they aren't distracted by WoW could have their own parents set up controls for them, or players who wish to limit themselves for any other reason could do the same. Additionally, any player might appreciate weekly reports of their playtime!

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items

A parent's guide to World of Warcraft for kids

Is WoW appropriate for children? While we're sure the inevitable trolls out there are already clicking straight to the comments to revile the very idea of allowing children into Azeroth, the fact is that with preparation and consistent parent moderation, WoW can be a fine fit for kids -- especially for families with parents who already spend time in Azeroth. It's definitely one of those cases in which your mileage may vary; parents who don't already play or who take a more hands-off approach to gaming will probably want to wait until their little goblins- or worgen-to-be are well into their teen years.

For players whose kids are itching to join in the family fun, though, there are plenty of ways to make World of Warcraft a productive, happy experience for kids, parents, and fellow players alike. Here's the thing: There's more to think about and more ways to throttle age-related issues than simply turning off trade chat and forbidding PUGs before walking into the other room to watch TV. We'll show you how to find the best fit for WoW with kids, teens, and even parents themselves.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Drama Mamas: Liar, liar

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

World of Warcraft has been out so long now that many kids have grown up playing it. Their behavior, world views, opinions, and so forth have changed drastically as they grew from ages 13 to 19. This should not be surprising, as we all were vastly different after six years in childhood. I think it's hard to remember this when you're an adult, when six years normally means some change but not necessarily extreme change in everything about ourselves. Decisions we made at 15, both in game and out, are going to be different from decisions we make after graduating from high school and everything that goes along with that event. This is something I tried to keep in mind when answering this week's letter.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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