Video game enthusiasm is very common among today’s children, and many young people regularly engage in gaming sessions, either alone or with a group of friends.
While it’s great to encourage the exploration of new hobbies, many parents wonder whether video games are safe for their kids.
It’s a great question, but one that’s difficult to answer in short. Questioning whether video games are safe is just as general as asking whether TV, movies, music, and books are safe.
To find a satisfactory answer, parents need to dig a little deeper.
Determining Video Game Safety
If you’re trying to discover whether video games are safe for your kids, there are a few different factors you need to examine.
- Rating and Content: Video games come with ratings, just like movies and TV shows. Each rating covers the recommended age limits and the content that factors into a game’s rating. (The most appropriate ratings for children are E ratings and T ratings).
- Time Investment: You may also want to consider how much time your child spends playing video games. An hour or two here and there is generally fine, but children should not spend all day sitting in front of a screen.
- Interaction Capabilities: Some online games allow players to interact with people across the world, so in these situations, it’s important to be aware of who your child interacts with.
The Benefits of Gaming
Video games can be a fun, beneficial hobby for children to engage in, as gameplay can promote relaxation, improve cognitive skills, and encourage active problem-solving. In addition, taking part in gaming sessions online with friends can enhance your child’s social skills, as well as their efficiency when working in teams.
Making Informed Decisions
If you’re a parent, it’s normal to have concerns about your children and their exposure to video games. While you want your kids to have fun and enjoy themselves the way their peers do, you also want to ensure their safety.
To help you decide whether you’re going to allow your kids to play a certain game, it’s a good idea to check the game’s rating and research the title online. Additionally, you might want to get involved when your children are gaming. Observe their activity while they’re playing a new game (at least at first), or better yet, make gaming a family activity.
Handling video games as a parent is similar to handling the safety of other forms of media. When the right conditions are met, video games can be a fun, safe way for kids to enjoy their free time.