There is no doubt that online gaming can bring great fun to your child. It can also be a way to loosen up and unwind from school. Many games improve skills such as coordination, problem-solving and multi-tasking. Additionally, they are able to practice social skills while interacting with other players.
However, too much of something may negatively impact a person. Practice how to game online safely. Be aware of it’s limitations and learn how it can affect your child.
Types of Online Games
Web Games: Internet games that can be found through specific websites or mobile phone apps. These also include games played via social media, for example Facebook.
Console Games: Can be played through entertainment consoles that are connected to TVs, such as PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo. Games are purchased in stores or downloaded online.
Mobile Games: Games that can be downloaded to your mobile phone. Most of the games can be downloaded for free, however some may introduce charges to gain more features.
Handheld Games: Online gaming played on handheld devices such as Nintendo Switch or PlayStation Vita.
Is your child spending too much time gaming?
Being aware of some of the risks can help you and your child to stay safe.
Some signs of over-playing:
- less interaction with friends and family to play more games
- decline in school performance
- tiredness, sleep disturbance, headaches or eye strain
- changes in eating patterns
- poor personal hygiene
- obsession with particular websites or games
- feelings of irritability/anger when asked to take a break from online games
- appears anxious/restless when unable to play
Creating a safer gaming environment
1. Play as a family!
Engage with your children around the video game. By getting to know their favorite activity, you can understand and learn how they perceive things. Studies have shown that playing video games as a family can impact your child’s development positively and improved long-term relationships. It keeps you and your family virtually safe.
2. Build good habits
Help your child protect their privacy by using a screen name and not their real name. Avoid opening links received from strangers which can expose the device to viruses.
3. Be aware
Explore the age guidelines and the level of violent or sexual content of every game before allowing your child to play it. Review sites are a good source of information.
To find out more helpful tips on safe gaming, click here.
If you require any advice about your child and online gaming, please seek help from a professional psychologist or your school counselor.
Check out the UAE initiative launch of Child Digital Safety.
Report any cyber crimes online through the following:
- the eCrime website
- Dubai Police’s website
- the ‘My Safe Society’ app launched by the UAE’s federal Public prosecution (the app is available on iTunes or Google Play)
You can also report cyber crimes to the nearest police station in your area, or call 999 for help.
If you’re facing any struggle with compulsive gaming, visit Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous.
Watch: Hooked on Gaming