An online game is a video game played over some form of computer network. This network is usually the internet or equivalent technology, but games have always used whatever technology was current: modems before the Internet, and hard wired terminals before modems. The expansion of online gaming has reflected the overall expansion of computer networks from small local networks to the internet and the growth of internet access itself. Online games can range from simple text based environments to games incorporating complex graphics and virtual worlds populated by many players simultaneously. Many online games have associated online communities, making online games a form of social activity beyond single player games.
Online Gaming – Advantages, Disadvantages, Threats and Their Solutions
Online gaming is one the fastest growing trend in today’s generation. Keeping kids in mind, it is both useful as well as harmful for them. Hence, it is not advisable to keep them totally away from gaming. You could be doing them more harm than good, by banning them from playing games online.
In this post, we shall talk about some of the solutions to make online gaming a safe and enjoyable experience for children, by considering their benefits and drawbacks.
Few disadvantages of online gaming for kids are:
- Internet is an open place where you can access a vast amount of information. Kids may download games from less reputed sites. As a result, they end up downloading spam, viruses, malicious software etc.
- Some people out there are always trying to find ways to take undue advantage of kids. Kids are fooled and cheated and can also be abused and harassed online.
Now some advantages:
- Online gaming makes the kid sharper and mentally more active. The games generally have various levels or missions to be completed in limited times. This helps the kids in learning about time management.
- Mind and hand coordination. This is one of the main and important advantages that the kids experience while playing online games. He/she learns to coordinate his/her mind with the actions of his hands. While executing those actions, they also develop mental strength.
- Kids tend to become socially active, as they interact and play with complete strangers online. It helps them in their social life too.
Even though gaming has some drawbacks, parents can still protect their kids from becoming victims to online attacks. Since it can still be very useful for kids, parents should avoid banning their kids completely from playing games online. Rather, you will need to make some strict rules to be followed by kids.
- Secrecy – You can teach kids to keep their personal information a secret, especially not to share it on the unknown sites.
- All the online games need passwords to access. Teach your kid not to share this password with anyone to avoid cheating, and getting hacked.
- They should never to give out their personal or real names online, unless the website has a good reputation.
- You could teach them some general etiquette like paying fair game with fellow players.
- Never trust anyone whom you meet online. Never agree to meet them in person.
- Most importantly, online gaming should be played only be for fun, and not for any accessing age restricted activities like gambling.
These are some things you can ask or tell your kid to take care of, but as a parent, there are few steps you can take to make Online Gaming a safe and enjoyable experience for them.
Some of them are:
- Antivirus software is very essential, and more importantly, it should be updated everyday. It will protect your computer from common viruses automatically. They also come with parental guidance features, using which you can avoid your children from entering illegal sites and unsafe sites.
- Manually activate the family safety settings in your system. This will block the sites which you do not want your kids to enter.
- Limit their gaming privileges for certain hours in a day. You can suggest and encourage them to play only the safe and fun games like the Minecraft, so that they do not browse for games on their own.
Some solutions if the problem already exists:
- Everyone has their own personal instinct about anything good or bad. Make your kids share everything with you. Make it comfortable for them, so that they will come forward and tell you everything, without the fear of getting punished.
- If someone is pressuring your kid to share personal information, or harassing the kid, you can always file a complaint against the users or websites.
Enjoy the online gaming experience and have great fun, but make sure that you play it safe.