National Video Game Day 2024 - Nintendo of America Inc.

July 8, 2024

On July 8, 2024 the United States celebrates National Video Game Day. To celebrate, FOSI asked its video game member companies about all things online safety and video games. Nicola Wright, the Director of User Trust & Online Safety at Nintendo, had the following advice to share.

What is your #1 piece of online safety advice for parents of young gamers?   

Keep an open line of communication with your kids about what games they’re playing and what they’re doing in the games. It’s a great way to connect with them on something they care about. And make sure games are not a taboo subject. This helps kids feel comfortable asking their parent or a trusted adult if they need help navigating an online experience. It also allows parents and guardians to guide their children toward age-appropriate games based on ESRB ratings, and gives them opportunities to teach their children how to be good digital citizens.  

As a video game company, how do you strive to prioritize online safety?

Nintendo’s mission is to put smiles on faces, and that’s why prioritizing online safety is so important to us— we want our players to smile!

For example, when included, our online play features are always thoughtfully designed and often allow players to customize their experiences. Some games include traditional online competitive play whereas others have online play that was designed so players can only take actions that benefit other players. Creative solutions play a key role in our approach to online safety.

To help adults manage their family experiences, we created a Nintendo Switch Parental Controls mobile app, which makes setting system rules simple and straightforward. 

And our Commitment to Safer Gaming speaks to the importance we place on safe, positive and respectful interaction between our players, and how we collaborate with others in the gaming and tech industries.

What advice do you have for wary parents whose kids would like to get into gaming? 

The first step should be to choose games that are age-appropriate by checking the ESRB ratings and then have fun playing with your kids!  It’s a great way to connect with kids, and for kids to share something in common with their real-life friends when they’re hanging out or talking on the playground. It also lets parents and guardians figure out what household rules should be set, and what parental controls should be used to enforce those rules.

The future of tech looks a bit different than the world we are in now. As AI and genAI become more common in video games and elsewhere, how should parents and kids navigate these changes? Is there anything potentially unsafe they should look out for?

Nintendo works to deliver enjoyable experiences to all of our customers, and in so doing, we hope to bring smiles to parents and children, too. Regardless of whether something is related to A.I., as an industry, we will continue to pay the highest attention to anything that may affect player safety.

And finally, just for fun, what’s your favorite video game, and why?

Lately I’ve been racing my teenage son in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.  Admittedly, he wins most of the time, but we have a lot of laughs and it’s easy to play a few, quick races between everything else we have going on.  

Written by

Nicola Wright

Nicola Wright is the Director of User Trust & Online Safety at Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Washington. As one of the longest serving team members in the Business Affairs division at Nintendo, Nicola plays an integral role in shaping areas such as community building, online safety, parental controls, user-generated content and platform moderation. Her work at Nintendo has long involved weaving the values of trust and safety into all aspects of the business, including seven years leading the company’s product clearance team. Nicola has also been deeply involved for more than two decades with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the non-profit, self-regulatory body for the video game industry. Nicola’s passion for online safety connects directly with Nintendo’s continuing mission to create unique entertainment that puts smiles on the faces of people all over the world.