FAQ

General

Why Do You Call it Game Nanny?

I didn’t have a nanny for my kids but I always thought that if I had one, my nanny would tell me each day “Well we had a good day today but …” and then give me the highlights. Game Nanny does just that for your kid’s XBox purchasing. If there’s nothing to tell, Game Nanny will sit quietly and just watch what’s going on but the minute something breaks your parenting rules, well, Game Nanny will tell you.

Are you anti gaming?

Oh heck no. I’m not a big gamer personally but I did grow up playing video games and I am intrigued by the rich and engaging story lines that today’s games offer. Now, that said, I do think that video games can lead to addictive types of behavior and that as parents, it is very, very hard to understand what our kids are doing when they game.

Is Game Nanny XBox Only?

Game Nanny is XBox only for now. Stay tuned. I haven’t even talked about the Steam bill my kid racked up…

How Else Can I Use Game Nanny?

Game Nanny can monitor five things for you:

What is Transaction Monitoring?

A transaction is a fancy word for something that you do online, generally a purchase. Transaction Monitoring means that Game Nanny watches what happens on your kid’s account and alerts you when it varies from rules you define.

What Gaming Platforms Does Game Nanny Support?

Today we support the XBox store. We are very, very aware of the need for this on Steam and other platforms. Stay tuned.

Why Do I Need Game Nanny?

If you’ve never had this problem, you might not. But do you really know how your kid spends $$$ on the XBox store? I thought I did but I had no idea.

How is Game Nanny Licensed?

SeiraWatch is a software as a service (SAAS) product licensed on a recurring billing basis. Prices are on the pricing page.

What Does Game Nanny Cost?

Please see our pricing page.

Is There a Free Version?

At this time there is no free trial or free version of Game Nanny. This is an entirely sales funded project. You can always sign up for one month and just cancel your account right away if you’re unsure about it. You don’t have to call us to cancel or anything silly - we’ll nag you once or twice during the cancellation process and then let you cancel.

Content Level

One of the features in the non basic version of Game Nanny is monitoring the content level of purchases. Let’s say that your kid asks you “Can I buy the Last Getaway Costume Set”. No matter how attentive a parent you are, we are all busy and are you really going to look up on the web and discover that this is an M17+ rated item with warnings of Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes and Violence? Don’t believe me, here it is in all its “glory”. Not concerned yet, here’s an example of another XBox purchase.

Game Nanny is smart enough to read the web page for all your kid’s XBox purchases and put in your report the rating info and warnings for each purchase.

Why do I have to give you my XBox password?

The way Game Nanny works is that it logs into your XBox account for you and literally reads your bill. That’s why we need your password. When Microsoft offers an API that lets us do this without your password, we’ll definitely use it.

Are Passwords Encrypted?

Absolutely. And all logins are done by SSL.

How do I get my kid to give me their password?

Simple - you tell them to. My personal belief is that any parent has the right to their kid’s passwords as a means of safe guarding them in what can be a dangerous context – online.

My kid doesn’t want to give me his password, help!

This is actually pretty simple – you can just have your kid put their password into Game Nanny – without you seeing it. For security’s sake, once a password is entered into Game Nanny, it is never displayed again. This way your kid can enter their password without you ever having access to it.

I don’t have a kid but I have a significant other …

We hear you. The same ways that a kid can waste money online with an XBox, well, a significant other, generally a husband, can too. Yes you can use this to watch your significant other’s online gaming spending.

Monitoring

How does monitoring spending work?

Microsoft’s XBox Online has a very comprehensive online invoice feature where everything that you spend is identified. Game Nanny understands how to read this invoice and tally up the spending and remember “Ok little Billy has a budget of $10 per week and this week, so far, he spent $8.32; today he spent $11.99 so oh crap, time to email Mom”.

Why do I care about changes to my kid’s Gamer Tag?

This is subtle and requires an understanding of online social dynamics so bear with me. A gamer tag is your kid’s online nick name or “handle” and when people play online, it is how other people see them i.e. they don’t see “Bob Thornton” is playing but “CoolGamerGuy23” is playing. The first reason to care is that Microsoft charges you $8.99 per change so two changes in a day, something that I have personally seen, is $18 which is a lot of money for twiddling a record in a database. Now the reason that you can’t simply change this for free is to discourage the online activity known as griefing. Griefing is when you harass someone online i.e. “giving them grief”. Let’s say your kid is in a fight with their best friend. Griefing might amount to sniping at them in a game when you’re playing together or it might mean saying mean and hateful things about them. The means by which people get away with this is by changing their Gamer Tag so that the person they are fighting with doesn’t realize that the person giving them grief is actually someone they know. They just think that someone on the Internet is being mean to them – not an uncommon occurrence.

Why do I care about changes to my kid’s profile picture?

For a kid who is very big into online gaming, their profile is a representation of who they are (or want to be but that’s another discussion) and I believe that it is a pretty good signal of either who they think they are or what they are trying to communicate to someone else. Let’s say that your kid changes their profile picture to this or maybe this, wouldn’t you want to know that? Whether or not to take action is up to you as a parent, but wouldn’t you want to know? Game Nanny doesn’t judge, that’s a parent’s job, but Game Nanny lets you know “Ok this image just changed, perhaps you want to go look”.

Other

I mostly use a phone - any problems with that?

Nope. My wife is very, very phone centric; if there was an issue, I’d have been told about it. All versions are tested on both iPhones, iPad, Google Play / Android and Chrome. All web pages are responsive using bootstrap.

Is the story about why you were founded true?

Absolutely. I’m a father of an Xbox loving (addicted??) teen and when he got into trouble using his Xbox, I wrote this as a way for him to be able to play his games again. Your next question is likely something on the order of punishment and, yes, this was dealt with and reparations are in progress but the simple fact is that gaming is to modern teens what hanging out at the mall was to kids in the 80s / 90s. Taking it away entirely isn’t actually an option as this is one of kids main social interactions today.

Sure. I’m fuzzygroup on skype and normally online. There is also the Happy Hour as an option.