PLAYTESTING FAQ FOR PARENTS & GUARDIANS
We are excited to have your child come in for a playtest with us!
We strive to create a safe and fun environment for our playtesters, and part of doing that is ensuring you (as the parent or legal guardian) have all the info you need to make an informed decision about signing your child up to playtest.
We put together this FAQ based on questions we’ve been asked in the past.
If you have any more questions, though, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What will my child be expected to do?
- Can my child schedule a playtest session without my consent?
- Will my child playtest a violent or inappropriate game?
- Do I need to attend the study with my child?
- What does my child need to bring to the study?
- My child has special needs, can they still participate?
1. What will my child be expected to do?
Every study is a little different!
Your child will be asked to play a game. Depending on the age of your child, they may be asked to answer some questions about the game verbally or via a survey.
All participants are given regular breaks, and are informed of the anticipated session length when scheduling with us.
2. Can my child schedule a playtest session without my consent?
No. We always contact the parent or legal guardian and speak with them directly to schedule a playtest.
We ask for the parent or guardian’s contact information when any minor (17 or under) signs up. The parent or guardian must fill out the sign-up information for any child who is 12 or under.
3. Will my child playtest a violent or inappropriate game?
We want you to have complete control over the types of content your child will play.
When you receive a scheduling call, we will tell you what our rating estimate is for the game in the study, and a summary of any questionable content your child might see (such as cartoon violence or bathroom humor).
Then, you can decide whether you would like to schedule your child for that particular study. Declining a study does not affect your eligibility for studies in general.
Although games we test are often too early in development to have their official ESRB ratings yet (E for Everyone, E10+, or Teen), we make every attempt to match children to appropriate games based on what we estimate the rating will be and the target audience of the game.
The ESRB rating is a standardized way of determining which audience is appropriate for a particular game — kind of like a movie rating (E is roughly equivalent to a G movie rating, for example).
If you don’t know much about the official ESRB ratings yet, you can read more about them at the Official ESRB Website.
4. Do I need to attend the study with my child?
We encourage the legal guardians or family members of younger children (12 and under) to remain in the lab with their child.
The legal guardian or approved family member of any minor (ages 17 and under) is welcome to stay in the lab with their child as well — it’s entirely up to you.
We will ask your preference when you drop your child off for the study. Regardless of your choice, a lab staff member will stay with your child.
If you choose to stay, you will be able to observe the study as it takes place. Because of this, you will also be asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
We also occasionally have co-operative play studies, so let us know when you sign up if you are open to playing with your child.
5. What does my child need to bring to the study?
We must have a consent form signed by the legal guardian of the child before they can test a game with us. We can give you a copy of the document to sign ahead of time, or you can come into the lab with your child and sign a copy there.
Unfortunately, if you forget or misplace the consent form and the child’s parent or legal guardian is not able to sign one at the lab, the child will not be able to participate in their scheduled playtest. No exceptions — we want the experience to be a safe and happy one for the whole family!
We will also have water and other beverages available for your child. Please let us know of any allergies.
6. My child has special needs, can they still participate?
Special needs do not affect eligibility for studies. Just let us know about any special needs your child has when you sign them up, or tell us when we call you to schedule a session!
We will do our best to make any necessary accommodations, so your child has the best possible experience.
Ready to sign up… ?
Are you 13 or older?
Sign up here!
Are you 12 or younger?
Have your parent or legal guardian sign you up here!
Please note: Sessions are unpaid, but many developers offer tokens of appreciation for your time. Sessions generally last 1-2 hours, and are held at our secret lab in San Diego.