As parents you are probably already aware of the fact that most kids love video games and almost all kids are on the lookout for the newest video games and video game technology. As parents we need to be aware of the fact that what used to be a solitary event in our children’s lives is no longer that, and the reason for this is the Internet. Because of the introduction of the Internet parents are now faced with the fact that their kids can play video games online and interact with numerous people, and most of those people are complete strangers. So as parents you are probably wondering what it is that you can do to help keep your child safe, not to mention how to be smart about online gaming and the reason for this is that as a parent it is your job to teach your kid how to stay safe and make smart decisions about online gaming.
Here are some tips that you should keep in mind so that you can be sure you are making smart online gaming choices.
The most important thing you can know about staying safe is to follow the most basic rule of online safety. Most parents are already aware of the most basic rule of online safety, but for those of you who are new to the Internet and the online gaming rules, the most basic rule for any online program is to never give out full name, full address, phone number or other information that may identify you. But when it comes to online gaming, your gender and age can be harder to keep hidden because of live voice chatting.
If you are going to be using live voice chatting then you should try and use a voice mask. This is an actual program that Microsoft and some other companies use to help protect online gamer’s identity. Basically what the voice mask does is that it changes your voice to that of a robot, adult or even a little girl, you get to decide which mask you are going to use and because it disguises your voice people have no general idea of how old you are or what sex you are. Another good thing about these voice masks is that it protects female gamers from online harassment, as well as younger gamers, because of the fact that nobody knows who you are and the fact that there are a lot of players who do not like playing with people who are using a voice mask.
Another thing that you can do is to not use the live voice chatting feature. In fact most of your serious gamers tend to not use this feature because it is actually a distraction, but they do use it to a point. Basically what you need to watch out for is people who are talking more than they are playing; most of the time these people are looking to cause trouble, and you only need to watch out for these people if you are using the live voice chat feature.
As a parent you also need to be aware of the fact that not all online gaming devices come with parental controls. Some, like Xbox, have built in parental controls so you can only allow your children to use the live voice chat when you feel they are ready for it, but not all of the online gaming devices have this feature so you should look into what is being offered with the gaming system in terms of parental controls.