In December 2021, the UK gaming industry sold £200 million worth of consoles. Gaming software is a popular Christmas gift, but are parents aware of the risks? We have come up with 5 important gaming safety tips for youngsters.
1. Play the game
Most games have content warnings if they have content or gameplay that is dangerous or inappropriate for some users or age groups. This is also shown in age ratings. Play the game WITH your children, and you’ll have a better idea of what they’re doing and how they’re engaging with the content.
2. Parental controls!
In the game settings, you can prohibit online access, expletives, gaming with strangers, and chat rooms. Check console settings to restrict your child’s exposure to inappropriate games.
Discuss the content of your children’s games and whether it is appropriate for them. Communication is particularly important if kids encounter harmful online or gaming settings with bullying or expletives.
4. Set limits
Find out how much time your child spends on their game console to keep them from becoming addicted or dependent on it. Setting clear time limits can reduce these hazards and avoid arguments..
5. Check Payments
Most recent game consoles offer rapid downloads. Avoid keeping your payment data after past purchases to limit your child’s possibility of buying a game without your permission.
Why do children love gaming so much?
Many youngsters find a sense of community through the games they play with friends and family, but with increased accessibility come growing risks.
Many modern games incorporate online elements to allow players to speak with others. This is fantastic for friendship groups to play together, but also allows strangers to play and converse. Bullying and violent language are widespread in chat rooms, and online grooming is a possibility, with people acting as much younger than they are to approach minors. Most games include the option to turn off chat capabilities or restrict who players can talk with to reduce these hazards.
We recommend parents/guardians verify the content and ratings of their children’s games to determine if they’re age-appropriate. If the game isn’t acceptable, explain why and propose alternate games until they’re old enough.
Bullying is frequent in online games, so check in with your kids to make sure they can play in a safe atmosphere. Learn the game’s help options for bullying so you know where to report other players.
Reading all of this can be frightening, but of course we must put it in perspective. The best thing we can do is educate our children and make sure that they feel they can share with you any moments when they feel uncomfortable or worried.