What You Wish You Knew: A Parent’s Guide to Video Games, Parental Controls, and Online Safety is a guide to help parents and guardians better understand potential dangers. Advanced game consoles coupled with high-speed internet allow your children to play games online with people all over the world. Many games feature social and interactive elements such as chat or online competitions; others can be expanded or altered by downloading player-created content on the Internet. In addition, gaming can often affect young people’s mental health, lowering self-esteem and self-efficacy, and increasing anxiety, aggression, and even clinical symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
While video games feature built-in, adjustable safety and privacy settings, there is always the risk of bullying, exposure to inappropriate content, and online predators. By educating, monitoring, and limiting video game use, your child’s mental, physical, and emotional health can be supported and maintained. Video games can be a great source of entertainment and learning for the whole family, but it ’s important for parents to fully appreciate what the experience of playing games today encompasses.W