Family Fun with Playstation - some guidelines for safe play

It's no secret that my children are keen gamers. Me? I have so far failed to grasp the art of operating controllers while concentrating on the screen. I might be mostly clueless about how to play but I still keep a close eye on what they are playing and who with.

Ignorance is no defence in law they say and I think this applies to parenting young gamers too. I'm not suggesting you sit with them every second they are playing but responsible purchasing and vetting loaned games is vital along with the occasional supervision session, and unexpectedly popping your head round the screen to check what's on there is the very least you can do.

Making sure playdates away from home don't feature a session on an inappropriate game is a must too. You might not want to sound like "that" parent insisting another family follow your rules but you'd be surprised what some parents are happy to allow.

Games are age-rated for a reason and if you can't be sure your 5 year old won't be playing GTA maybe you'd be better inviting their friend back to your house instead where you can be confident that play will be age appropriate.

We recently got the chance to play some family friendly games at a Playstation schocase event recently. I discovered PlayLink games which are fun for all the family and found I particularly liked Knowledge is Power and That's You - fun games for all ages which can be played with mobile phones instead of controllers.

Knowledge is Power is a fun quiz and I quickly found it put me on level playing field with my children - hey might be able to name YouTubers but I know bands of the 80's! I soon got the hang of splatting or freezing my opponent too to gain a cheeky advantage.

That's You is hilarious featuring the players testing how well they know each other. Who would be the most likely to shoot first and talk later? Should I be worried that we all agreed my angelic looking 11 year old mermaid and unicorn loving daughter was so that person?

Obviously these games are safe as houses and suitable for all, young and old. But if a walk round the game store or a glance at the screen leaves you bewildered, here are some top tips from Playstation for parents and carers.

Written with help from gaming expert (you might have seen her on Go 8 Bit) podcaster and mum of two, Ellie Gibson, the guide contains information about using parental controls, the benefits of gaming, how to decipher PEGI ratings and more.

With Christmas coming up and consoles and games being on lots of Christmas lists, it's worth taking the time to read through and ensure you confident about what to buy and how to keep your family safe while having lots of fun. And don't forget to buy darts online and PlayLink games- they would be great fun for festive family get-togethers.

Disclaimer: We were guests and had lots of fun at the Playstation family showcase event for the purpose of this honest review.