Online games are one of the significant ways of spending free time by children and teenagers nowadays. With the constant process of Internet access simplification and acceleration, they are rapidly gaining an audience through the whole world. Online gaming in a broad sense can mean a lot. This can be, for example, playing chess online, or use standard games for PC or console. But most often we are talking about the category of the most popular computer, console and mobile games, the gameplay of which is imprisoned primarily on the collective online game. (Children do not need to get together; everyone can play from their home).
Do not leave online games without praise: after all, this is a great way to develop team skills in children, as well as reactions and thinking. But everything should be normalized and correct to make the right sense. (We’ll talk about the main dangers a little later.) Popular online games’ types As we said, there are many popular forms of online games, and they can vary greatly in their root essence. Let’s try to identify the main categories of the present.
- Web games and applications
Here we are talking about games that can be run directly from a website on the Internet, or through a mobile application. Basically, these are low-demand solutions.
- Console Games
This is all that runs through special gaming consoles (which today are also full-fledged media centers): for example, xBox or PlayStation. The console is connected to an ordinary TV, you can buy it in the store. Games are also bought in the store on discs, or loaded into the device memory when buying online.
- Mobile Games
These are games to download to your phone. Initially, they can be presented as free, but in the process of the game they will begin to demand contributions for the convenience and privileges, without which a normal gameplay becomes impossible.
- Handheld Games
Online games designed specifically for mini-consoles, for example, Nintendo DSI. Main risks of online gaming
1. Invalid content
Some online games are for adults and have an age limit. There is a lot of violence and sexual scenes that children should not see. Therefore, it is important to check before buying what the children will play. To block such games on computers, consoles and mobile devices, automatic parental controls are provided, and the games themselves are marked with an age restriction icon.
Online gaming is often too tight for children. Excessive time for games strongly affects kid’s school results and health, and if you prohibit a child who is drawn into an uncontrollable game mode to play, it can cause him psychological discomfort. It is important not to bring to such situations and to look for ways of contact with the child when he begins to become isolated in the online world against the backdrop, probably, of personal failures or negative emotional background in the house (between parents, for example).
Online game is an active competition between people. Emotions in multiplayer mode can beat over the edge, and there’s the opportunity to talk and correspond with messages during the gaming process is realized in almost all popular games. All of this is a good ground for threats and insults.
According to statistics, the indicators of aggressive behavior to different age groups of children (in general, up to 16 years) are from 3 to 6.5%. It is this number of children that faces threats, and this is a very high indicator: only social networks in this regard are more dangerous. Also, children simply encounter obscene language during the game with
It is important for parents to know that their kid’s gaming profile is confidential and contains a minimum of information about: no photos and real names. It is also important to explain to the child that he does not transfer personal information about himself to outsiders; and if the child is uncomfortable from someone’s behavior, he must immediately leave game or block the “aggressor”.
4. “Pay to pay” model
Lots of online games are free at the first sight. But when the player is drawn in after a free period, the game begins to offer additional options. They are designed to make the game process more pleasant, easier and steeper, but they cost real money. Sometimes a person cannot even finish the game to the end without money injections. This model applies to mobile gaming applications today, too.
Make sure that any automatic card purchase options are disabled. In other words, check that the child can’t spend your money in two clicks. If necessary, enter a password. If the cases when small children spent large sums of parents on anything, even without realizing it (with older children you can somehow consciously talk about this).
Additional useful tips to keen child safe
There are some other additional points to ensure safe online gaming for children.
- Before buying a game, check its age rating;
- Talk with children about the danger of transferring personal data to strangers;
- Raise the child to play honestly and respect the opponents in any situation;
- Use parental control apps on PCs, mobile devices, and consoles;
- Set daily terms for online gaming (diplomatically);
- Protect your devices with antivirus software;
- Check your child’s skills in blocking unacceptable statements or aggressive