Microsoft, the company behind the Xbox games console, has announced the results of some new research which suggests that video games are not as bad for kids as some would have us believe. However, the real surprise has been that kids want their parents to keep a closer eye on what they do whilst gaming.

The latest Play Smart, Play Safe survey of some 2500 parents concludes that the majority of them throughout Europe and the US "view video games positively, with 61 percent stating that games are a great social experience." What's more, 75 percent of parents reckon that video gaming can be beneficial to kids and families alike.

The survey also revealed, overwhelmingly, that parents actively want to take responsibility for ensuring their children are playing suitable video games. Last year only 60 percent said they were sufficiently informed about built-in parental control functionality on games consoles and computers, this year that figure has risen to 75 percent. Still, the majority (62 percent) said that they welcome additional functions to help manage kids gaming time.

It is not all rose tinted stuff though, as 42 percent of parents admitted to being concerned with whom their kids might be interacting during online gaming sessions and 47 percent of the 1000 kids asked actually reckon their parents are not up to the job of monitoring what they play. Perhaps surprisingly, 60 percent of kids actually want a more pro-active approach from their parents in this regard.

In a Winder Family survey conducted this afternoon, 100 percent of parents and children agreed that Microsoft should ensure that The Lost and Damned is patched so that it works properly or give those poor schmucks who bought the constantly freezing GTA IV DLC their money back. Funny how surveys can often reveal the answers you want, isn't it?

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

I got that same TLAD problem. Have you heard anything from MS or RSG as a journalist about this? I want my money back. Dont know where to start tho.

Not yet, but as a buyer I am going to start asking for my money back on Monday and see what response I get. If they refuse, or ignore me, I will go to Trading Standards here in the UK and see what they have to say about a no refunds policy for a game that does not work. I can play for around 10 minutes before it freezes, pathetic! There seem to be enough people having similar problems for this to get some legal grip I would imagine.

Thankfully, my son is responsible enough of the time he's spending on online games like WoW, I just have to monitor him when he visits sites that sell wow gold for the skill of his character.