Online gaming has many advantages for young people, but there are also significant risks that could harm their welfare.
Games can give kids a sense of escape from the realities of the outside world, and some games’ social components can make kids feel like they belong to a group. On the other hand, children can be exposed to risks like in-game bullying, online grooming, or, in some extreme situations, gaming addiction if they don’t receive the proper supervision on what games to play or when to play them.
We’ve listed some of the possible concerns below, along with suggestions for how you may assist young people in understanding these problems, developing their resilience, and making safer gaming decisions.
Identifying the symptoms:
Online gaming addiction has received much attention in the media as one of the risks connected to video games. Many parents and caregivers are concerned that their kids could develop an addiction to playing video games.
This is not shocking at all. Like any activity, whether it be reading, chess, or sports, those that enjoy playing video games for fun will do so passionately and profoundly. Children may feel inclined to play more frequently and for more extended periods. Video games are, of course, developed to minimize obstacles to repeated play and maximize enjoyment. Parents should set screen time restrictions to help their children establish healthy boundaries (accessible on consoles and cell phones).
Addiction to video games is a disorder:
These concerns have grown as a result of the World Health Organization (WHO) adding “gaming” to its category 06 lists of disorders brought on by addictive behaviors, including gambling, alcohol, and narcotics. Experts have sharply disagreed on whether video games should be included in the ICD-11 list.
When accepted, this criteria seeks to categorize extreme behavior as an addiction. The typical child who engages in extensive gaming is not dependent. Only when gaming severely interferes with other aspects of their lives, such as their studies, relationships, personal hygiene, health, and other areas. It begins to fit this diagnostic when kids play video games for at least a year despite the unfavorable consequences.
It’s also critical to realize that the brain’s dopamine production from games is just a tenth of that produced by pharmacological substances that can be addictive. Instead of the chemical withdrawal associated with substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms from video games may manifest as aggressive or irritable behavior and other mood-related effects. To change their behavior, addiction treatment focuses on teaching kids new habits.
The control of internet interactions:
Video games are a lot more enjoyable when played with others, just like many other things in life. Playing with others in the same place has recently given way to playing with others online.
Additionally, the number of players who can take part in a single game has increased significantly. The addition of 100 strangers in the same battle to the death is one of the reasons Fortnite is so popular.
Social networking usage in games is rising:
Additionally, the quality and variety of communication offered by online games have changed substantially in recent years. Games were once thought of independently from social media, but they now heavily intersect with these platforms. Playing a video game like Roblox is now more likely than any other place for most kids to have their first online interaction with strangers.
Personas are used to conceal real identities:
Players in these games frequently have no idea who they are playing against. Online avatars in the games may claim to be other kids, but it can be challenging to verify this. As a result, parents and other caregivers must be aware of the games their kids are playing and how to set them up safely.
When done properly, playing with other kids online can increase a child’s delight and put them in touch with people from all over the world who have various cultures and viewpoints.
Possibility of physical effect:
Video games are viewed as a sedentary pastime. However, a lot of contemporary games and technology intentionally promote mobility. Games may actually be a terrific way to get the family active, whether this is by bringing the family outside for walks with Pokemon Go! or dancing around the living room with Just Dance.
Ensuring that kids take breaks and get some exercise:
Studies indicate that prolonged periods of time spent stationary may raise the chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). However, this can occur while engaging in any stationary leisure activity, such as reading, listening to music, or watching television.
It is wise to make sure kids take breaks every hour when they are only playing games on screens. This will not only keep them active but also give them a chance to switch up their activity.
Bright flashing lights, which are frequently a component of video game experiences, are another area for concern. According to the most recent research, only a very small percentage of people who already have photosensitive epilepsy can experience seizures brought on by playing video games, similar to how watching television or attending a concert can cause seizures.
A thorough investigation into this topic was conducted by the National Epilepsy Society and the government’s Consumer Safety Unit, and it was concluded that playing video games does not cause epilepsy.
Application of in-game and in-app purchases:
Participating in online video games requires fairly complex hardware as well as a fast internet connection. This may give the impression that you must provide your child with the most modern technology.
Nevertheless, there are numerous ways for your youngster to enjoy video games online without becoming broke. A good illustration of this is previous cellphones and tablet computers. Even more dated models can provide a complete online gaming experience. Even on less powerful devices, children can access the game through apps like Roblox.
Freemium games with in-app and in-game purchases:
Parents should be informed of additional expenses that arise after the game is downloaded or purchased the first time. Offering free games but charging for in-game characters or content is a method that is becoming more and more common for funding the creation of video games. One free game that generates significant revenue from in-app purchases to unlock new clothes and dances is Fortnite.
Carmen Troy is a UK-based professional academic writer who has been in writing for over 5
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