Every mother has, at some point, worried about what their children are exposed to when they're on the Internet. We all know that there's only so much you can do and as kids become smarter and smarter about accessing content they know they shouldn't (and keeping it under the radar!) it's important for moms to know what they should be doing to limit their children's expose to mature content online.
Motherpedia has written extensively over the last few years on topics such as talking to teens about sex, safe web surfing, and the perils of adult games for those who are too young to understand. We want to talk about mature video games a little more in this article: there are serious issues at hand that you ought to keep in mind when letting your child have access to a computer or similar device (iPads can be just as problematic).
As far as we're concerned, the biggest problem with keeping kids away from adult games is that a lot of the time, they're completely free to access. You may have remembered that 10 or 20 years ago, video games were quite expensive things to buy and you had to have a credit card in order to get access to various titles online. The landscape has completely changed recently and some of the world's most popular video games – such as League of Legends and Fortnite – allow individuals to jump into the action completely free of charge. Yup: you just need an email address and that's pretty much it. Madness in my opinion: but you've got to understand these things in order to combat them.
For us here at Motherpedia, we think that the biggest issue by far is that many of these free video games have chat rooms, voice channels and ways to send images to people that make them a minefield for any kid that just wants to relax after a hard day at school. We personally think that monitoring gameplay is quite hard for mothers, but they need to have a frank and honest discussion about what children might be exposed to when they pick up these games that cost nothing to play. Make sure they know that if they ever have any issues of seeing something inappropriate, someone saying naughty things or otherwise acting in a way they shouldn't, you can be the first person they come to.
Ultimately, there needs to be a level of trust and understanding between children and their parents: you give them the freedom to play video games aimed at adults and in return, they promise to alert you to anything that isn't quite right. We suggest disabling chat communications for children under the age of 12 where possible: most games will have an online guide somewhere helping you to do this.
Games aimed at mature audiences can be just fine for kids, but make sure they're prepared for what they might see and establish that you won't get angry at them no matter what happens – this is the best way to deal with potentially problematic situations when your child starts playing popular free to play titles. From us here at Motherpedia, we wish you the best of luck. Video games are fun and honestly, they're a great way to keep your kids busy while you're making dinner and tidying up. Use them to your advantage – just make sure your kids know who to turn to if there's a problem!