Play it Safe: Video Games and Your Children
A generation ago, the dangers kids faced in Colorado Springs were a million miles away from the ones they face in today's digital age. One cause for concern is video games due to their interactive nature. Some of the ways a parent can ensure their kids are playing video games safely are covered below.
Is it Age-Appropriate?
The video content rating system used in the United States is the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) system and is broken down as follows:
EC (Early Child). Suitable for kids three and older. The game doesn't contain any inappropriate material.
E (Everyone). Suitable for kids six and older. The game may contain minimal violence, slapstick comedy, or crude language.
E 10+ (Everyone 10+). For gamers 10 and up. As with E-rated games, these games often contain crude language and violence.
T. These games are suitable for 13-year-olds and up. Titles may include violent content and mild or strong language.
Mature (17+). These products may contain violence, blood, language, and some sexual content.
Adults only (18+). Suitable only for adults and may contain more graphic violence, gore, and sexual content.
RP (Rating Pending). The title is awaiting a final rating.
Play the Game
Play the game with your kids. You'll be able to see who they're talking to, who's trying to talk to them, and the subjects discussed. It's especially important if your child is autistic, as they may be at higher risk of developing addictive gameplay patterns.
Install a robust security product on any gaming device, and keep it updated. In addition, download the latest software upgrades onto your devices, as they will contain the latest security fixes. Furthermore, ensure your kids create solid passwords and make sure they realize the importance of not divulging the information.
Children with autism are often more drawn to video games. One to two hours a day is fine for kids on the spectrum; any longer, and they may become over engaged. Be realistic with your time limits. Half an hour is fine for a five-year-old playing Animal Crossing but is short of the time required for 17-year-olds completing levels in Call of Duty.
Most consoles give you the option of restricting what your child can access, and using parental controls will allow you to determine what they can watch and download. Certain games also have privacy settings, so you can control what information other online gamers can access about your child.
Wipe Clean Any Old Devices
Before throwing away old gaming devices, clear all the information referring to your child or anyone else in the family. It will avoid your accounts getting hacked and your kid's identity being compromised.
To ensure you get the best out of your gaming experience, it's always a good idea to have the latest up-to-date gear. To learn more about what's what in technology, visit Tech Pro Daily.
Enjoyable Yet Safe
Keeping your child safe while playing video games doesn't mean they'll get any less enjoyment out of paying. What it gives you is peace of mind.
Learn more about autism and how it can affect families by visiting Autism Vision of Colorado.
For more information, also visit Daniel Sherwin's website at dadsolo.com
Cover image from user NaBUru38 on Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.