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Online Gaming: Information and Support for Parents

Online Gaming Safety

 

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What is online gaming?

Online gaming is where users connect to the internet to play in real time with other
people across the world using a computer, tablet, smartphone or games console.

 

What do I need to be aware of?

· Some games allow children to play and talk to anyone. Children may come across offensive language, bullying and inappropriate content. Users can communicate using instant messaging, video chat or a headset.

· There are games that allow players to buy extra features using the payment details stored on a device. There have been cases where children have spent large amounts of money without realising.

· Children can be persuaded to give out personal details, sometimes without
realising, and talked into chatting on different platforms.

 

What can I do to keep my child safe?

· Set up parental controls on the device your child is using.

· Educate your child about keeping themselves safe online.

· Remind your child not to give out personal information.

· Show an interest in what games they like to play online and encourage them to talk to you about their online activity. This can make it easier for them to discuss a concerning issue with you.

· Read about the game your child is interested in playing and try it yourself beforehand. Sites such as Common Sense Media can be helpful to determine the appropriateness and potential risks of particular games.

· Set clear boundaries on what games your child can play, when and where they play them and how long they can play them for. It is advised that children do not play online games in their bedroom. Online gaming can be addictive and have an effect on your child’s health.

· Check the PEGI rating of a game. These ratings appear on labels displayed on a game’s packaging and provide an indication of how suitable the game is for different age groups.


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