The Dangers of Gaming

It’s the first week of our digital detox challenge! Families and children are participating in this challenge to unplug. Especially now during the pandemic, we all spend too much time on our phones, playing video games, watching TV, online learning, etc. This challenge was designed to allow families to create more time together. Kids are reading books, building living room forts, going outside, and communicating with their parents.


Interested in implementing your own digital detox for your family? Click here to learn more.

This challenge has led to the topic of the dangers of gaming. Fortnite, Mindcraft, and Apex are popular games many kids are playing. However, many parents are asking, “Can strangers approach my kids on video games?” The answer is yes.


What are the dangers of gaming?
Predators go where the kids are. The NPD Group reported at 73% of Americans ages 2 and older play video games.


What can you do to keep your child safe?


1. As a parent, it is important to look at the privacy settings and parental controls of each game. With Fortnite, some of the settings require users to play in a party with people they know, eliminating the ability for a stranger to play with them. It is important to stay up-to-date with the latest privacy settings on each game your child is playing. Communicating this with your child and making rules is essential to their safety. Make sure they know the difference between online friends and real friends – online friends are actually strangers.


2. Set up times where your kids can game with their real friends. Get with the other parents to have this time scheduled and monitored. This way, you know who they are playing with and you know what game they are playing. Many of these games, for example Among Us, require 4 kids to play. This can make it difficult to coordinate with their friends. In this instance, you could allow your kids to play with others, but make sure you are around and monitoring their activity.


This may be foreign to you. However, if you are allowing your child to play these games, it is important you know how the game works, where the chats come from, and what settings are appropriate.


Unfortunately, predators are targeting our children online every day. These online friendships can grow and become relationships that are unsafe and inappropriate. Following these two tips will keep your child safe while they are gaming.


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The mission of the Safe Surfin’ Foundation is not only to protect youth from those who would do them harm, but pro-actively educating them in the safe and responsible use of today’s ever-changing technology. Together, we’re improving and saving lives. Help us continue educating kids online by donating today.