I remember when I used to play Trap Shoot and Tetris on my desktop computer. I’d play them after I’ve had a really long, tiring day to destress and have some simple fun. My parents weren’t worried even if I play for hours because they know that those games are harmless. Nowadays, there’re still a lot of wholesome online games such as Neon Invaders which is inspired by the arcade classic Space Invaders as well as 3D Pool which is a version of 8 ball billiards. They’re reminiscent of those that I used to play and which you can play anytime at https://plays.org/. However, there’re online games today that’re quite alarming because they’re unsuitable for kids.
Dangers of Online Gaming
Although gaming is a fun and sociable way to spend time, there’re a few dangers you need to be aware of to help kids stay safe and have a positive gaming experience. Playing online games can offer young people a sense of escape from the reality of the world, and the social aspect of some games can help children feel like they’re part of a community. However, without the right guidance on what games to play or when to play, children can be exposed to certain dangers such as in-game bullying, online grooming, and even gaming addiction.
Probable Risks and Ways to Support Children in Building Resilience and Making Safer Choices
A. Online Game Addiction
Many parents worry that their children may be becoming addicted to their video game hobby. This isn’t surprising because those who enjoy playing video games for leisure will do so eagerly which can lead to a desire for children to play longer and more often. It’s essential for parents to guide children with screen time limits as they develop their own healthy boundaries. Changing behavior is about helping children form new habits rather than a chemical withdrawal like substance abuse.
B. Contact With Strangers
Video games are more fun when played with other people. Recently that has changed from playing with people in the same room to playing with people online. Also, the level and types of communication online games offer has evolved notably over recent years. Whereas games were seen separately to social media, they now greatly overlap with online social sharing sites. Furthermore, players don’t necessarily know who they’re playing with. Parents need to understand the games their children are playing and how to set them up safely.
C. Online Gaming Health
There’ve been studies (one study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine) that suggest situations in which someone spends hours sitting in one place can increase the risk of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Since video games are perceived to be a sedentary hobby, it’s good advice to ensure kids take breaks every hour. This will keep them moving and it offers a chance for a change of activity. Another issue is that of flickering lights from video games triggering seizures. The Epilepsy Foudation has already issued new guidelines to help avoid these rare cases.
D. Effects on Behavior
Parents worry that that the interactive nature of video games will affect their children’s behavior. This is particularly true where younger players experience more violent games not necessarily designed for their age. In their book, Moral Combat, Markey and Ferguson show that although the rise of video game sales to teenagers has risen suddenly over the years, there’s been no correlating rise in violent crime. It’s important though that parents use the PEGI ratings and related information that provides a detailed account of the violence, language, and sex contained in a video game.