UPDATE: Sony has finally addressed this issue! Their recent update allows Sub Account users that are over 18 to upgrade to a Master Account! Original article is below.
I am an older gamer. I am married and have a few kids even. Just like many parents, I am a bit cautious and protective of what content I allow my kids to see. If the movie has an “R” rating or if a game has “Mature” content, of course I am going to verify if it is “appropriate enough” to allow my kid to see.
Because of my cautious attitude, I decided to make a PSN “sub account” for one of my teenagers. It seemed to cover all of the bases, such as blocking mature content, limiting contact with strangers, and preventing making unauthorized purchases. It seemed to be a convenient and perfect way for my 13 year old to enjoy gaming on the PlayStation 3 without me having to worry about any inappropriate activities sneaking in under my radar. That was six years ago.
Fast forward to today and my little 13 year old is now a 19 year old college student. For some odd reason, Sony won’t let me convert my 19 year old’s “sub account” into a regular PSN account. That means all purchases and permissions still need to be approved by the “master account” first. Obviously, my 19 year old isn’t very happy with this inconvenience. I recently found an online forum where many other recently-become-adult gamers and many parents were experiencing the same frustration.
What solution did Sony offer? Well, apparently they just said to create a new PSN account from scratch. After several years of earning trophies, purchasing digital content, building up a friends list, and climbing up on many online leaderboards, my 19 year old doesn’t want to just “create a new account”. In the age of making digital purchases for movies, games and DLC, which can sometimes add up to thousands of dollars after many years, throwing everything away and starting over is not an acceptable option.
So what can be done? If you want to make an account for your kid that is “future proof”, you have to basically lie about your kids age. The problem with that though, is Sony doesn’t allow you to change the birth date at a later time. If you forget the birthdate you made up and the password on the account, you could be locked out for good. It’s not a very good solution, but what else is there?
The only thing I think should be done is everyone needs to rally up and complain to Sony in a big loud voice until they change their policy. People complained about Xbox One and PlayStation 4 having a rumored “anti-used games” policy, and the heads at Sony and Microsoft listened and changed their stance. This is a problem that is going to only get worse as more and more younger gamers grow up to realize that their account can’t “grow up” with them.
Go everywhere on the net and make this an issue to discuss on your favorite site so we can have this backwards policy changed. Think of the children!