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Posts with tag parental-controls

Parental controls to restrict in-game purchases

In-game stores in Hearthstone and World of Warcraft have left Blizzard's parental controls with some catching up to do in order to keep youngsters from accidentally racking up credit card bills. As of now, parental controls will prevent in-game purchases in Diablo, Hearthstone, and WoW by default.

If you don't use parental controls, but want to start, just log on to your Battle.net account and go to Settings > Parental Controls to be walked through the setup. If you use parental controls but don't want to block in-game purchases, you can turn them on by following these steps:
  1. Log in to Battle.net and visit the Retrieve Parental Controls page.
  2. Enter your Parental Controls email address.
  3. Click the Send Parental Controls Email button.
  4. Check your Parental Controls email for a message from Blizzard Entertainment.
  5. Click the link under the account user's name. This will take you to the Parental Controls setup page.
  6. Under the Purchase Settings section, check Allow in-game purchases, and click the Save Settings button.
For more details on parental controls, check out the parental controls FAQ.

Filed under: News items

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

Battle.net parental controls guide

We've talked before about using parental controls to opt out of Real ID and we've talked about the new Battle.net site, but we haven't actually talked about setting up an account for your child ... until now.

The gallery below is a walk-through on what settings are available and how to set them up for your child. If you are taking the route of electronically limiting your child's play time, I highly recommend setting up both limitations and a schedule. This way, you don't have to be constantly checking to see if your child is playing outside his approved play schedule. However, it's a very good idea to look over your child's shoulder to make sure he's not griefing the locals or using language that previous generations would wash out mouths for.

Filed under: Blizzard, Account Security

Customizing and opting out of Real ID

This is not a discussion of the good (yay, crossrealm chat!) and the bad (boo, privacy fail) of Real ID. This is a guide for how to truly opt out of this feature and how to adjust the settings if you do participate in game.

To be clear, everyone who does not have a parentally controlled account has in fact opted into Real ID, due to a security flaw. Addons have access to the name on your account right now. So you need to be very careful about what addons you download -- make sure they are reputable. In order to actually opt out, you need to set up parental controls on your account. This is not an easy task. Previous to the Battle.net merge, you could just go to a page and set them up. Done. Now, you must set up an account as one that is under parental control. Once your account is that of a child's (a several-step process), your settings default to Real ID-disabled. Any Real ID friends you have will no longer be friends. In order to enable it, you need to check the Enable Real ID box.

Setting up parental controls:
  1. Go to the appropriate battle.net site for your region. (That link should take you there.)
  2. Push the Create or Manage a Battle.net Account button.
  3. Log in as normal.
  4. Click on Parental Controls, which is an option listed under Manage My Games. (And, if you're like me, you'll be sad that you are still not in the beta.)
  5. Choose the No - Setup Parental Controls button.
  6. Fill in your info as both the child's account and your own. (Why they make this distinction, I don't know. Parental controls always used to be an option for adults to manage their own game time.)
  7. You will receive an email. You need to save this email, because the link in there is the only way to get to the parental controls. Otherwise, you have to make Blizzard resend it. Click the link to get into the controls.
  8. Save Settings and then be told it will take up to 30 minutes to go into effect.
That is how to opt out. How to optimize opting in is after the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Account Security

WoW Rookie: Putting a leash on playtimes for young players


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

When school's out, WoW's in ... Is that the usual state of affairs at your house? If you want to limit the times when your kids can log in – protecting evening study time and bedtime, or setting weekend, holiday and vacation limits – then you need Blizzard's parental control feature. Parental control settings allow you to choose blocks of time that an account is and is not accessible for play. Players cannot log in during restricted hours, and they'll be automatically logged out if they play past their allowed time window.

The parental control is part of the account user interface on the web. Anyone who has access to an account's log-in and password can set up parental controls on the account. Once parental controls have been created, they may be modified only with access via a parental control password.

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Filed under: Tips, Features, WoW Rookie, Account Security

WoW as a bargaining chip


My wife is a shrewd little fox. She knows just how much I love the fact that she plays the game with me so sometimes, when we have our little domestic arguments, she makes sure to cancel her WoW account just to drive home a point. Of course, it doesn't mean much since we're both paid up for the next few months, but the message is clear -- "we make up (or you see things my way) or I'm quitting the game!" Of course, we don't reconcile merely because I'll be losing my favorite playing partner, but I have to confess that it doesn't make me happy one bit.

For parents, World of Warcraft can be a useful bargaining chip for their kids with the parental controls feature. It's easy enough to control WoW time if kids aren't doing their homework, floundering in school, or simply not doing their chores. Conversely, a friend of mine gave his son a WoW subscription when he did well in school. World of Warcraft can be so much fun and addicting that it's often used as a social tool, and it's often upsetting when our friends quit playing the game. How many of us have had friends whose significant others have "allowed" them to play the game after, say, a wonderful date?

I'm not sure if it only applies to me, but because I play the game with many of my RL friends and my family, I use the lure of WoW to full effect. I once had my brother do a specific task for the promise of an upgrade to The Burning Crusade. A little before he finished what I asked him to do, I secretly upgraded his account so he could finally make his Blood Elf Priest. Kind of manipulative, I know, but we did end up having a lot of fun leveling our alts together. How about you? How much a part of your life is WoW and has it ever been used as a bargaining chip in your social life?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor

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