8 Dangerous Online Games Your Kids Should Not Be Playing
Most of us have heard of the recent tragic accident in a Florida home while children were playing online games. While the problem was due to the fact that the games weren’t regulated, it also raised a broader issue: are online games dangerous? Do they contribute to the real danger we see in the real world? It seems everyone is asking these questions because they are worried about the potential effects of playing computer games. Let’s look at what experts have to say.
While it is true that playing games online can lead to distractions and loneliness, it is also true that there are benefits to playing computer games. As far as academic research goes, there are probably fewer risks involved in playing computer games than in watching TV or exercising outdoors. That doesn’t mean playing games are completely safe. However, there are some specific things parents or anyone else who is concerned about the dangers of online gaming should be aware of:
One of the most common dangers of online games is bullying. The recent craze with virtual friendship sites like Myspace and Facebook has created an increased need for communication, which is often characterized by bullying. This problem isn’t limited to social networking; anyone can create a profile that puts them in the direct vicinity of others. Kids frequently play these virtual games because they want to build a network of friends they chat with and become friends with. Unfortunately, there is nothing inherent about video game characters that make them automatically cruel or abusive.
Just because someone chooses to spend time playing World of Warcraft does not mean they are going to develop a video game addiction. There are many different types of addictions and they are all treatable, just as alcoholism or smoking is treatable. Those who develop a problem with online games could very well be suffering from a more serious type of mental disorder such as depression or even teenage pregnancy.
Online gaming also represents another form of unhealthy competition. Video game addicts often compete with other individuals who have the same obsession or game as they do. It is far from uncommon for gamers to fight over a popular gaming platform, such as PlayStation or Xbox. These battles can turn brutal, and can even result in physical harm, as has been seen on a number of occasions. What are the dangers of playing games online? These dangers are very real and should be taken seriously.
Gaming disorders are also a growing issue. Although the specific term for this disorder is “gambling disorder”, it is easy to see it overlaps with other areas of interest. Video gaming involves the use of hand-held devices, such as consoles and computers, that require the player to view a computer screen and use moving elements, such as joysticks or triggers, to move the character on the screen. Because it is so involved, and involves so much focus and attention, it has the potential to create new risks for those who are addicted to games or other forms of media entertainment.
There are also other types of dangers posed by online gaming. Many of these stem from the actual game itself, and are not related to how the player controls the character on the screen. The most common of these are called “romance” games, as they usually include characters that are depicted as being married or engaged in some other sort of romantic relationship. While it is true that romances are always intended to be fictional, the nature of video games means that there can be many elements that can be taken out of the original story in order to make them more appealing to players. If your kids are playing romance games, it would be wise to talk to them about the dangers of playing these games, as there may be many inappropriate actions that can be taken.
As you can see, there are a number of different potential dangers that can be found when children are playing online games. If you feel that your child is addicted to any type of computer game, it would probably be a good idea to talk to him or her about the dangers involved. Make sure that you play with your children, and make sure that they understand the possible dangers that may be involved with their chosen game. While there are plenty of great games out there, it is still important to make sure that you child does not get into any real danger with the games that he or she is playing. By being proactive, you will be able to make sure that your child has a fun and safe experience while playing online games.