She might be able to keep Lucas Neill on his feet against the Italians when playing FIFA World Cup on her Xbox, but the recently appointed ambassador for the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (iGEA) still thinks leaning to one side prevents her ball from entering the gutter when playing Tenpin Bowling on Wii Sports.
Sports reporter, Stephanie Brantz is the first ambassador appointed by the iGEA, an industry body representing Australian companies that publish, market and distribute video and computer games.
Mother of three enthusiastic gamers, Patrick (15), Lewis (10) and Lindsay (8), Stephanie is a huge advocate of a balanced regime of recreational activities including video gaming time. As ambassador, she will be involved in helping parents understand how to manage the medium to give their child the best gaming experience.
Stephanie’s appointment also follows recent sales data highlighting family games as the largest and fastest growing category and research on more and more families playing computer games together. Whilst Stephanie is a big gamer herself, she wasn‟t always as accomplished when it came to interactive gaming or exactly what games her kids were playing.
“After I discovered Lewis playing his older brothers game which wasn’t appropriate, I’ve developed a much more hands-on approach and I’ve had plenty of laughs and tears (when I beat them) along the way. I’ve had some fantastic family challenges with the kids and my husband, Simon Hill (Fox Sports presenter). Fun aside, it also helps me know what they’re playing and for how long and it’s another way to engage in one of their interests,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie’s appointment coincides with the Federal Governments discussion paper on a proposed R18+ rating for games – a move she’s in full support of. “Video games, like film and other media, should be classified correctly so there’s no room for doubt among parents. It’s up to parents to supervise and know what games their kids play but we need the full gamut of classification guidelines to make more informed choices.
“Previously, people have questioned whether an R18+ rating will expose Australia to unlimited high level content but this is simply not the case. The Classification Board will still refuse games that exceed the adult rating guidelines,” said Stephanie.
Ron Curry, CEO of iGEA is looking forward to Stephanie‟s insights and sharing her enthusiasm for family gaming.
When asked who the most talented gamer is in her household, Stephanie nominates Patrick (15), but adds, “I‟m the reigning household champion of all DS Brain Training games and can hold my own, and a tune on Singstar.”
A copy of iGEA‟s submission can be found at http://igea.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/iGEA-R18+-Submission.pdf