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Steam Parental Control confirmed by Steam Support

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From user The iTea Guy in the Steam Client Beta support forum:

My Client has been putting me into "Kid Mode", i have not configured or set it up at all, and you cant turn it odd without a PIN which again "I never setup". only way to get out is to sign out and Back in, but shortly after browsing my library it turns it back on again.

philipla from Support:

That definitely shouldn't be happening. Can you tell me more about the circumstances in which this mode gets enabled for you?

It sounds like the scenario is this: You login, switch to Big Picture mode, go to your library, and everything is OK. At some undetermined point during browsing your library, the client flips into Kid Mode, and then you have to restart Steam, at which point the cycle eventually repeats?

It's very interesting to see parental controls being implemented (referred to by Valve as 'Kid Mode'), and it's a step in the right direction for the Steam client.


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Adding parental controls makes me think about the way in which we'll be interacting with games as families in the future. With traditional consoles it was easy - a PS2 was just a box you put discs into, and no harm could really come as long as you placed discs with inappropriate content out of reach (although a child could delete savegames!). However I'm a bit wary of leaving my son Benjamin (now 21 months old) playing with a PS3 or Xbox controller - he could accidentally make purchases or view inappropriate content or delete all my downloads, which is where parental controls have been really handy.


I wonder how our Steam accounts will get used when he gets to 6 or 7 years old.. will he have his own account with content I've preapproved, or will the tool like parental controls be developed enough to allow him to use my library, but in a limited way? Looking forward to seeing what Valve do.

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For those wanting such a feature today you can set up child accounts in Windows to limit access to programs and games (either determined automatically by the ESRB/PEGI/etc. age rating or manually selected on a case-by-case basis) which works for individual Steam games and anything else; for Windows 7 and 8 this is built in while for XP and Vista you'll need to install Family Safety. This also works for Windows Store apps on Windows 8/RT (so you can use the same account for app purchases while only giving each child access to specific games and/or age ratings).

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