Video games are an old and popular medium of entertainment. Ever since the Nintendo games, video games have developed considerably in terms of graphics, speed and user-friendliness. The next trend threatens to take parents off-guard. With the Internet, virtually all modern game consoles offer the user the possibility to surf the net. The game console has thus become analogous to the computer a fact that not many parents have quite understood yet. In an earlier post, I argued the necessity of keeping computers within the eyesight of parents while the children use them. The same applies to video game consoles.
One fashionable activity with game consoles is online gaming. Children can play games and interact with all types of people from all over the planet. Children adore this and do it very often. Parents fail to understand the risks of this activity as they are not well-publicized. In fact, the same perils that occur while surfing on the net occur in online gaming as well. Pedophiles looking for easy prey can also infiltrate the online game world as they have on the internet. Most online gaming occurs without any type of filtering. It is often seen that teenagers are playing with adults.
Upon having studied the behavior of children while playing online, one surprising thing that I have discovered is the vulgarity of the language being employed by the players. Online games often permit live chatting between players. Sometimes, they involve texts only but other times it’s vocal through the use of microphones and webcams. If a young child is playing with an adult, one can imagine the kind of language that child will be exposed to.
It must also be borne in mind that chatting allows the child to befriend the opponents they face in the online arenas. It is not uncommon to find pseudo-friendships being developed. In their innocence, children may be tempted to reveal private information to their opponents. It is therefore important not to place game consoles in places where children can play unsupervised.
This article is being written to sensitize people to the dangers of online gaming for young children. It is necessary for all parents to monitor the type of games being played by their children. By watching them play, a lot of information can be gleaned from them. Moreover, by asking questions, you will also encourage communication with your offspring and avoid pitfalls ahead.