Document Type: Research Paper
Department of Communication and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran
Nanyang Technological University
Despite tremendous popularity of video games, there have been concerns about their detrimental effects on children. The game rating systems were developed to assist parents in monitoring their children’s gaming experiences. This paper explores how parents in Iran, as a society without established media rating systems, control their children’s gaming experiences. Mixed methods of semi-structured in-depth interview with 30 parents and survey with 500 parents are applied. Prominent categories of mediation among Iranian parents include: “restrictive mediation” (limiting the amount of time that children spend on playing video games), “instructive mediation” (warning children of negative effects of video games), and “social co-playing” (sitting near children during gaming sessions to check the game content). We also found that parents who are concerned about negative effects of gaming and parents who consider game rating system as essential exert more mediation over children's gaming experiences. Parents with high level of education, mothers, and parents of younger children apply more any of these three types of mediation. Finally, implications for game policy-making and suggestions for future research are provided.