Soccer Legend Rio Ferdinand Urges Adults to "Set Parameters" Over Money and Time Kids Spend on Video Games

Soccer Legend Rio Ferdinand Urges Adults to "Set Parameters" Over Money and Time Kids Spend on Video Games

The former pro footballer wants to help educate parents about loot boxes.

Rio Ferdinand, former pro soccer player for Manchester United and the England national team, has started up a new campaign with Ask About Games. Dubbed "Get Smart About P.L.A.Y.," the goal is to encourage parents to be aware of their children's investment in games, in both time and cash.

In a promotional video for the campaign, Ferdinand sits down with the kids to play some Volta in FIFA 20, cheering and hollering at the screen. All the while, his voiceover talks about the enjoyment of playing games with his kids while also being conscious of their engagement with the game itself.

"The Get Smart About Play campaign provides parents and guardians with practical tips on how to achieve balance and set parameters on the amount of time and money you spend on play," Ferdinand says.

It ranges from understanding the games children are playing to establishing limits on game time and using parental controls to establish hard limits. The YouTube description also mentions some handy notes about PEGI ratings from AskAboutGames, a joint venture between the VSC Rating Board and games trade body Ukie that answers questions parents have about the games their kids play.

As pressure in the UK has mounted for loot box legislation, as well as here in the United States, it makes sense that organizations are trying to encourage parents to be mindful of these games. It seems fairly well-intentioned, and loot boxes have become commonplace in many games over the last few years.

Having the star power of Rio Ferdinand playing FIFA 20 in the video, with FIFA 20's Ultimate Team mode one prime example of loot box monetization, sends a pretty strong message.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.