Steam Family feature offers better sharing and parental controls

From PC World: PC gaming tends to be a solitary affair, leaving the living room co-op to console players. Even so, Steam has offered some sharing and parental controls before, in features such as Family Sharing and Family View. Today the storefront consolidates a lot of that into the new Steam Family system.

Steam Family has the same sort of visual front-end as streaming services like Netflix, right down to the themed names and profile icons for different users. When you begin setting up a Steam Family system you can share one library among up to six different users, each one designated an Adult or Child. Whether or not a game can be shared among multiple users for one purchase is up to each developer, as it ever was.

Parental controls are now integrated into Steam Family, including restricting games on an individual basis for each Child family member, restricting access to the Steam Store, chat, or community features, and setting playtime limits by hours per day. Parents can get playtime reports, approve or deny requests for game purchases, more playtime, or features, or get access to a child’s account password if it’s been forgotten.

The new features are now live in the beta version of Steam, which can be enabled and disabled in the Interface section of the Steam program settings menu.

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