This is an undeniable fact that gaming is fun and helps improve your mood, reduce stress, and enhance your decision-making skills. Ever since the advent of technological advancements in the gaming industry, online games have become increasingly popular among people of all age groups. Many internet service providers (such as spectrum internet) offer specific internet packages and modems for avid gamers. There are countless questions in people’s minds when it comes to online gaming. So, let’s answer some of these concerns.
What does the term ‘Video Games’ Entail?
A video game is a broad term. It includes a wide range of games, from the simplest ones like Solitaire to the highly complicated ones such as PUBG or DOTA 2, etc. Technological advancements facilitated game developers in creating massively multiplayer online games (MMOG’s) with virtual reality worlds. With progress in game development, players enjoy playing the game, interact with other players, collect in-game assets, and carry out transactions using actual money.
Most video games are either played on laptops, computers, smartphones or, game consoles, etc. Some games can be downloaded from the internet for free while others are purchased and downloaded on various devices. Whereas, some games are solely played online.
Games Are Rated Based on Their Content
All games are evaluated based on their content suitability. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is the regulatory authority that evaluates all sorts of video games. The ESRB also provides a rating system that helps parents make a better-informed decision before they purchase a game for their kids.
The ESRB rating system comprises 2 elements:
- Symbols that suggest the appropriate ages for players for any particular game.
- Descriptions for each game that help parents understand what features of the game were considered for rating.
Every parent should act responsibly and check both aspects while purchasing a game. The rating symbol is usually given on the front side of the game box whereas, the content descriptions are mentioned at the back.
Online Games & Related Safety Issues
Computers, laptops, consoles, TVs, etc. are continuously improving due to technological advancements. Manufacturers are adding special improvements to all of these gadgets for gaming fans. To cater to the safety concerns of parents, these gadgets come pre-equipped with various safety measures. These safety measures are commonly known as parental controls.
These special features allow parents to control and monitor the online activities of their kids. Parents can use these settings to limit the screen time of their kids. They can also filter out certain websites and content. Moreover, parents can limit the type of interactions, your kids may have with players during a game.
Tips to Help Parents Instill Healthy Gaming Habits in Kids
All parents feel concerned about their kids’ safety as well as their mental and physical health. All online games rely on the internet to work. It is an undeniable fact that cyberbullying, cheating, and all other inappropriate things also happen through the internet. Parents can help their kids develop healthy gaming habits by following these tips.
#1. Consider Your Kids’ Age Group
Before you decide to buy or deny your kids a game they want to play, you must review its ESRB ratings and descriptions to understand what kind of game it is. If it appears to be a reasonable game, there should be no problem. If you think it is not appropriate for your kids, try to be reasonable with them and convince them why they shouldn’t play that game. It is never a good idea to just say no without giving a reasonable explanation to your kids.
#2. Ensure Safety Measures Are in Place
Take a closer look at the device your kids use or will use to play games. Make sure all possible safety measures are in place. You can get some help from the retailer or watch online video tutorials to ensure the safety measures are working. If your kids hook up gaming consoles to the TV, it gets easier for you to set parental controls. Many cable service providers such as Spectrum Cable also provide parental control features with their services.
#3. Talk to Your Kids and Set Ground Rules
The best safety measure and precaution you can take as a parent is talking to your kids. Set some ground rules regarding gameplay. Set a time and a limit for when, what, and how much they can play. It is also important to notice who they play with. Be sure to instill a sense of responsibility and respect in your children. Befriend them so that they can come to you if they face issues like cyberbullying.