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Online Gaming Safety Tips: Not All Fun and Games

Blog - 18 May 2023

Online Gaming Safety Tips: Not All Fun and Games

With around 81% of children aged 8 to 17 having played an online game (State of Play Research, eSafety Commissioner 2023), children and games are almost inseparable in today's digital-heavy world. This is why it’s important to implement online gaming safety with children.

Although online games can be great fun – and even educational – for your child, there’s a need to make sure parents and carers are creating a safe environment to help manage the risks that are around children.

Many games can improve your child’s coordination and problem-solving skills, as well as provide entertainment through interactive play. However, it’s also important to be aware of the negative impacts that could potentially pose harm for your child from participating in online gaming.

As a guide from the eSafety Commissioner, there are 5 basic ways to create a safer gaming environment for your child. Read our online gaming safety tips below:

  • Prepare by locating the computer or game consoles in an open area of your home
  • Build good habits around online gaming safety by helping your child to protect their privacy online and teach them not to click on links provided by strangers
  • Stay involved and talk regularly with your child about their gaming interests, as well as monitoring their time spent online
  • Be aware of what they are playing as online games can vary in their level of violent or sexual content which may not be suitable for your child
  • Empower your child to help them make wise decisions for themselves when online gaming, rather than telling them what to do as it will help build their confidence and resilience

So, how do you know if your child is spending too much time gaming or if they’re practising online gaming safely? Well, there is no magic number of hours to answer that question. The best way to find out is by looking out for some key signs such as:

  • Less interest in social activities and withdrawn from family
  • Not doing so well at school
  • Reduced personal hygiene
  • Obsession with particular games or websites
  • Appearing angry or anxious when away from the computer

There are ways to address ‘too much gaming’ to your child by setting firm limits as a family, but there may also be underlying issues related to problematic internet use, such as depression and anxiety. If you notice any changes that concern you, you can get help for your child through a counselling or supports service. For more advice for parents and carers read Camp Australia’s eSafety Blog now.

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