Free video games consoles have been banned in Australia and New Zealand for a year, as a growing number of parents, educators and even children are turning to online gaming to fill the gap.
According to the ABC, video game consoles were banned in both countries last year as part of an effort to crack down on the spread of harmful video games.
The ABC reports that in the United States, a ban on consoles is due to be lifted on July 1, but that the United Kingdom has already begun allowing it.
“We are going to be the first country in the world to get the ban lifted and the next one after that,” Health Minister Peter Dutton told Sky News.
“This is a huge step forward and we’re delighted that Australia is now moving ahead and getting this done.”
However, it’s not just the consoles that are being banned, as children are being exposed to sexually explicit content on their own devices.
As the ABC reports, some children are playing games like Pokémon Go without the parents’ knowledge, while some are being allowed to use smartphones to play games with the devices.
The United States is also seeing a rise in the number of children being exposed.
According to the New York Times, more than 40 percent of all children ages 6 to 15 have been exposed to sexual content on a mobile device in the past year.
The ban is a big one for children, especially those who are growing up in remote areas, where internet access is not available, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
“In some remote areas people are just using these devices to do their homework, to do some reading and not actually have their parents around,” the ABC’s Sarah Tingle told the Sydney Morning News.
“In some areas, they’re not even in schools.”
The report also reports that a recent study found that the majority of children under the age of 10 are exposed to inappropriate images and videos.
Some parents are not even aware that they are being asked to stop using the devices, the newspaper reports.