A Parent’s Guide to Online Gaming

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The video games your kids play on the internet today are a lot more complicated than when we were kids. Where the games of our parents’ generation might have entailed a board, cards, or at their most innovative, console system; not so with the youth of today. Not only is the technology more advanced, but also a very complicated mish-mash of names, locations, lingo, and language that can leave you with no concept of what your youngsters are saying.

Finding yourself getting agitated for feeling out of the loop or having no control over what exactly they may be exposed to? Take back your parental control and start getting involved with what your kids are really getting into. You as a parent must make the difficult choices at times by deciding just how much time they can spend playing video games, how much violence they are to be exposed to, and who are they calling or “team members” they are playing and virtually interacting with. Hopefully, they are not just making “friends” with complete strangers and spending all their time “gaming”.

While we can not help you to make some of these tough choices, like who your kids should talk to or play with, we can definitely help you to at least recognize what your child may be getting themselves into. By arming yourself with some knowledge, warning signs to look for, and a little common sense, you can certainly become your own kid protectors.

The Easy Stuff
The simplest kind of internet video game these days are Flash or Java driven video games that you normally see running inside your internet browser. If this is the kind of video game your kids are into, then you can relax a bit and check to see what rating the game carries. These video games provide a great way for some friendly competition amongst friends. These kinds of games are also less complicated and are more easily mastered

Interactive Games and Finding Something to Shoot
These types of video games are definitely more violent for your kids. If you start to see your kid not having a desire to see you or become distant, it may be due to them being too wrapped up in this type of interactive and violent game. In which case, you should do some investigating of your own to see who they are communicating with while playing and just how violent some of these games are. Some of these types of  “Finding Something to Shoot” web content can be quite graphic and gory in nature. Depending on your level of comfort as far as violence is concerned, some of these games may help in allowing your child to “blow off some steam”. However, many times children will find it difficult to differentiate fantasy gaming and what is reality. Make sure they see the line between what takes place in the video game and what occurs in the real world, what’s alright to replicate and what’s NOT.

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