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Online Gaming

As well as social media there is also online gaming where the same rules to stay safe apply, however, there are many concerns that come along with this, for instance:

  1. Online Gaming Addiction
  2. Contact with Strangers
  3. Online Gaming Health
  4. Online Video Game Costs and Gambling
  5. Online Gaming Effects on Behaviour

Internet matters provides information on parental controls and more information to do with online gaming from the basics, the risks, the benefits and the resources that are available: https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/online-gaming-advice/the-basics/#advice

Further to this there is also more information regarding online gaming: https://www.internetmatters.org/about-us/our-partners/supercell-internet-matters-corporate-partner/gaming-advice/

Online Gaming Safety tips and checklist for Parents 11-13: https://pwxp5srs168nsac2n3fnjyaa-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Internet-Matters-Guide-Gaming-advice-PreTeens.pdf

Online Gaming Safety tips and checklist for Parents 14+: https://pwxp5srs168nsac2n3fnjyaa-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Internet-Matters-Guide-Gaming-advice-Teens.pdf

Mobile Gaming: https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/online-gaming-advice/mobile-gaming-tips-for-parents/

There are also benefits to Online Gaming such as:

  • A great source to develop early learning skills for younger children 
  • Enhances memory, brain’s speed, and concentration
  • Improved multi-tasking skills
  • Builds skills for future careers
  • Promotes teamwork and builds confidence

More information about the benefits of Online Gaming: https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/online-gaming-advice/online-gaming-the-benefits/

Online Gaming Top Tips

  • Encourage your child to take regular breaks
  • Play games in open spaces
  • Show them how to stay respectful while gaming
  • Encourage them to try challenging games that offer variation in activities
  • Encourage your child to notice enjoyment and frustrations
  • Explain the importance of protecting their personal information
  • Make gaming active
  • Give them tools to use when things go wrong

Online Gaming Addiction

“a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.” World Health Organization 2018

According to the UK Addiction Treatment Centres, and other sources, there are several signs that parents, friends and family could watch out for that could point to harmless gaming becoming an addiction. 

These Include:

• A personality change in the gamer, with he or she becoming more introverted, argumentative, or showing big mood swings which could be linked with how “well” the game is going.

• Unusual preoccupation with the idea of getting back online to play

•Self-imposed isolation in order to guarantee uninterrupted play

• Feelings of irritability and restlessness when not playing games •Lying about the amount of time spent gaming

• Persistent headaches caused by too much screen time

• Ditching or avoiding other interests and hobbies – such as stopping playing football or after-school clubs

• Poorer performance at school or at work

• Diminished personal hygiene and poor diet

• Fatigue through lack of sleep

Some Top Tips to remember are:

• Get involved by finding out what type of games are being played

• Play games together with your child and keep technology in shared spaces

• Talk to them about who they are playing with and what info is being shared

• Talk about financial costs of games

• Discuss what they would do if they were bullied online, and what the appropriate steps to take are

• Ensure you have setup accounts yourself on regular checked email addresses and with appropriate settings

• Agree how long is appropriate to play in one session and how many sessions in a day

Resources

https://gamequitters.com/video-game-addiction/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53253195

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53337020

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