Online Gaming Risks Your Kids Should Know
The gaming world is growing incessantly across the globe. The penetration of mobile and Internet technologies has allowed a huge population, especially kids to go online and play their favourite video games with people that are equally interested in the activity.
But with all the fun comes a new set of risks that parents should take into consideration when allowing their kids to go online. The set of risks that we are going to discuss in the post were previously restricted only to social media. It is also because previously video games didn’t require an internet connection to play.
So, with time the gaming industry has evolved and the risks associated with gaming have also increased. Thus, it is important for you to understand the risks involved in online gaming.
Online Gaming Risks Your Kids Should Know
Here are some of the online gaming risks that you should take into consideration while allowing your kids to participate in any online giving activity. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Online Game Addiction
There have been many news stories about children getting addicted to online gaming. Well, addiction can happen with any hobby that you undertake. The addiction can be playing football, reading books, preparing food, and so on. Similarly, one can get addicted to online gaming as well. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has added gaming under ‘disorders due to addictive behaviours’ category. The addiction related to online gaming has been very much associated with the increased levels of dopamine release in the brain while indulging in any gaming activity.
2. Contact With Strangers
One of the main reasons why children like to go online to play video games is that they are able to play the game in teams with peers and strangers. They are able to interact with other users using the chat functions in the video game. Thus, they can very much engage with strangers which might expose them to offensive or harmful circumstances. It can even lead to exploitation or harmful grooming. The strangers can even use the camera functions to connect with your kids and get information about your place. Contact with strangers can lead to many more harmful interactions that you will not like your kids to have.
3. Privacy Issues
If your child doesn’t have any information about the right to privacy, he or she might be exploited to reveal their personal information online. Most cybercriminals are always on the lookout for people who have no knowledge about their right to privacy. These are the people who go on to share crucial information related to their personal life. Your kids might reveal the information like where they live or where they go to play for the school they attend. People with criminal intentions can use this information and inflict harm to your children.
4. Online Hate and Cyberbullying
There have been many stories documented around online hate and cyberbullying. Kids all around the world have been subjected to cyberbullying and even your kids run the risk of getting bullied online. Cyberbullying and harassment mostly comes from their peers and the people your kids know. All online gaming has become more and more competitive, the in-game communication between players can get heated at times. This can very much create a toxic experience for your kid who was online only to have fun.
5. Harmful Content
Online gaming can pose many risks to your child’s safety but none can match the detrimental impacts of harmful content. Harmful or inappropriate content can affect your child’s behaviour and development. The harmful content can be content that has violence, sexualized imagery, and anything that insides your kids to take part in any dangerous physical and emotional activity. The content can popup within the gameplay or can be shared by people your kid is playing with. This can lead to desensitization which often is a result of regular consumption of extreme or explicit content.
6. In-App Purchases
Lastly, we will have to talk about the in-app purchases that your kids can do playing online games. We all know that consumer spending on online products and services has almost doubled in the past few years. And due to that, your kid runs the risk of getting used to spending money on needless things. Some of the top-grossing online games like Call of Duty, Fortnite, and PUBG allow players to upgrade their weapons and player accessories by paying a certain amount. You can make purchases by paying for them or by watching online advertisements. While your kid page for the ‘loot box’, the content in the box is not guaranteed. It can either be what your kid was looking for or something else. This can trigger repeated purchases which is just not what any parent would want to happen.
It can be a little difficult to track your kids’ activity online. But, it is important that you regulate your kids’ online activities and have clear communication about what all things can happen when they are online. Now that you know the possible risk of online gaming, you are in a better position to have a good conversation around the same with your kid. We hope this piece of content brought great value to you. Have questions? Feel free to put them down in the comments section. We would love to hear from you!
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