The days of Nintendo and Atari are long gone. Children no longer have to invite their buddies over for a sleepover to play video games together. With technological advances in video gaming, kids can connect with their buddies over the web to play games. Major gaming systems such as Xbox and PlayStation allow for children to play games with each other connected through the web. Many of the gaming system have online subscriptions that can be purchased such as Xbox live. A child can get online with their gaming console and play games with somebody on the other side of the world. When kids connect with their buddies online, it’s as if they are sitting in the living room together playing. All of the major gaming systems, including Xbox and PlayStation, come with headsets so gamers can talk to each other while playing. Although this fun and exciting, it can also be very frightening as a parent. Through the online gaming accounts they can also connect with other gamers online. Most of them are complete strangers. The age for gamers is very broad, from young kids to senior citizens. With that comes added danger and another way for predators to stalk and prey on kids. Also the language on the gaming systems can be advanced, and because the competitors may be someone your child doesn’t know bullying can take place. Many of the games today can be played in groups, where there is large number of individuals communicating with one another through the gaming system, which can lead to several people gaining up on one individual. These new generation games are a lot different than the “old school” games. Violence, theft, and language are just a few things that have changed since the old days. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when allowing your child to play online games. 


Safety Tips:  

  • Become familiar with your child’s gaming system. Understand the gaming system capabilities etc.… Does the gaming system connect to the web, does the gaming system have a current subscription… 
  • Make sure the gaming system is placed in an open area of the house so it can easily be monitored. 
  • Limit the amount of time your child spends on the gaming system. If allowed, some children will spend hours and hours on a games system. 
  • Talk to your child about the importance of not sharing information with strangers through the game system 
  • Make sure the gaming device is set to where all communication can be heard from the tv speakers. 
  • Become familiar with the content ratings for the games your child is playing.  Make sure your child is playing games that are appropriate for his or her age.