December sees the most revenue made by the gaming industry than any other month in the year.
This suggests that gaming software is a common Christmas gift, but are parents aware of the risks that come with certain games?
With this in mind, here are five tips for keeping your children safe whilst gaming.
1 – Check the game’s content
Most games will contain content warnings if they include content or gameplay which could be deemed harmful or inappropriate for certain users or age groups – this can also be reflected through age ratings labelled on the game.
2 – Parental Settings
By checking the game settings, there is often the option to limit certain features of the game such as online access, expletives, gaming with strangers and online chat rooms within the game. It is also worth having a look at console settings to reduce the chances of your child coming across a game with inappropriate content.
3 – Communication is key
Talk to your children about the games they are playing – if you allow an open discussion about the content of these games and whether it’s appropriate. Communication is also vital in the chance that they are experiencing toxic online/ gaming environments with bullying or expletives interrupting their enjoyment.
4 – Set boundaries
It is important to be aware of how long your child is spending on their games console as there is the risk of addiction or dependency forming. Setting clear boundaries for the amount of time they can spend gaming can be important in reducing these risks.
5 – Monitor Payments
Most modern game consoles and systems allow for games to be purchased for instant download. Try and avoid saving your payment details on the system after any previous purchases as this will reduce the chances of your child buying a game without your permission.