When Atari released its commercial version of Pong during the seventies, it was the first videogame that received attention other than from enthusiastic gaming pioneers in R&D labs. Within less than a decade, children were able to spend time and dime in fully equiped arcades. Some parents responded by buying television connected game consoles to duplicate the thrill of the arcades, but to do so within the protected environment of the home. This can be considered one of the first acts of parental mediation on children's digital game behavior.
Today, games are technologically advanced, ubiquitously available, and have become a mainstream entertainment option, eagerly consumed by the great majority of children who have access to them. However, they have additionally become a controversial means of entertainment, as possible effects on the individual or society are being discussed by popular media and even gouvernments. This makes parental mediation of digital games a complicated balancing act between respecting a child's cultural needs and wishes, and the parent's factual knowledge and norms/beliefs, influenced by more general views on what is regarded to be "healthy" behavior.
Taking into account that children mainly play digital games at home, it is striking to see how little is actually known about parental dealings with games. Therefore, questions such as: "what are parental motivations for mediation", "What strategies do parents use, why are they used, and can they be predicted?", and "how do parental mediation influence their children's game experiences?' played a central role within my contribution to this European Union project at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).