The world of gaming could be extremely nasty, as we all know. While the adults have found ways to deal with it, this nastiness could have a severe impact on the young minds that also play these games. It all comes down to the parents to ensure that their children don’t fall prey to all the nastiness and are kept safe.

Here’s some of the top advice for parents to ensure that their kids play the best online games free safely:

1. Check the age ratings of the game

The games also come with a clear warning.

Most games bought from the store or downloaded from app stores have an age rating, suggesting which age group and above can play it safely. It is important you note this, and accordingly, decide if your child should play the game. With browser-based online games and Steam games, finding such ratings becomes harder, so you would need to dig deeper.

The games also come with a clear warning if the game consists of violence, horror or sexual content. As a parent, it becomes your duty to decide whether your kid should play such a game.

2. Keep track of the chats

Most online games come with a chat option.

Most online games come with a chat option, generally text and sometimes audio. With multiplayer games online, players from all over the world come together to play a game. While most people are only concerned with playing, there are some elements that are toxic and dangerous.

Cyberbullying is very common in the gaming community, often disguised as "trash talking". These people try to use offensive and abusive words against others, only to hurt them. Cyberbullying is one of the biggest causes of teen suicides, so you must keep a track on who is saying what to your child.

Another sinister group of people found online are the "groomers"; people who manipulate children for sexual intents. Your child, especially if going through puberty, can easily fall prey to these predators. As a parent, you must keep an eye on this too. Generally, if your child emerges distressed after playing a game, maybe it is time to check who they’ve been talking too.

3. Keep personal information safe

In any kind of social interaction on the Internet, personal information is the most at risk. Small details like the city of residence or school name might look harmless in isolation, but they can be extremely harmful in the long run. Digital Impersonation is one of the crimes enabled by access to somebody's personal information. There are also many criminals who can track children using such information and prey on them. Experience our online browser games at Manti Games to enjoy life without the risk of disclosing of confidential information.

As a parent, it is your duty to explain to your kids what they should and shouldn't share with others while playing online. Sharing some information like name and gender is okay, but more personal information like school name and phone numbers should be strictly off the table. Children must also be taught to not believe whatever others tell them online. Most games come with privacy settings that hide all information shared on your profile from others, so remember to turn it on.

4. Mind the purchases

Adopt a different approach

The practice of in-app purchases is common across all games today. It means that while the game itself and most of its features are free, there are some additional features that must be bought to be accessed. In order to skip levels without the work too, purchases are required.

It was found that many children used in-app purchases and most of them did so without the parents' consent. It means they were essentially committing theft by using your money without informing you. It is an alarming trait and you must avoid such thing from happening from the very start.

One thing you can do is check whether the game has in-app purchases or not, and go with the ones that don't. However, since the choice of the game doesn't always fall on you, you would have to adopt a different approach. Tell your kids that in case they need to buy any additional features, they can always come to you. Also, explain to them how using the money to get ahead in the game is cheating and real gamers don't do that. By using such logic instead of saying "no" outright, you would both win their trust and stop them from acquiring money by other means.

5. Block and Report

Children don't really know which conversations should be avoided and how to avoid them. Predators know this too well and exploit it for their own benefit. It comes down to parents to ensure that the children don't fall prey to this.

You must begin by clearly telling your children that if there is someone making them feel uncomfortable or at risk, they must avoid them instantly. Every multiplayer game has a mute/block feature. By "muting" someone you won't see their messages nor can they see yours. By "blocking" someone, you can ensure that the person can have no interaction with your profile in any way.

However, sometimes things might get worse and your child might feel threatened. If your kids feel this way, encourage them to use the Report feature. This will send the malicious person’s profile to the game forum for inspection, and they might ban his account if he is found to be dangerous for the community. In any case, teaching your children to take active steps against such people is necessary.

6. Set break periods

Every gamer has a tendency to get immersed in the game once they start playing.

Every gamer has a tendency to get immersed in the game once they start playing. But not only is this behavior harmful, it is also even more harmful to children whose bodies are not yet prepared for taking the prolonged stress. Parents should find interesting ways to limit the gaming hours without upsetting the children.

For instance, make gaming look like a treat instead of a right. Reward your kids with gaming hours whenever they finish their homework or do something good. Alternatively, fix gaming hours for your kids and add the condition that they must finish all their work before that. Such methods would go a long way in ensuring your kids don’t spend their whole day in front of a screen.

Conclusion

The world of online gaming can turn ugly fast, but smart parents know well how to shield their children from it. With this advice, you can keep the harmful effects of online gaming at bay to a large extent. If you also want to experience more free games to entertain yourself, check our online games couples at Manti Games that always suit the parents.

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Topic revision: r2 - 26 Nov 2018, DavidSpen
 
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