Safe gaming matters for both gamers and parents
Gaming has become a favorite form of recreation and entertainment for this generation. That said, one must learn to adapt some best practices to ensure that the activity remains fun and healthy at the same time.In this post, we’ll share some tips and considerations to create a conducive gaming habit.
Maintaining Physical and Mental Health
Protect your eyes, take a break. Do take this one seriously! Frequent breaks are necessary for gaming marathons. Do not stay for hours trying to complete missions or win a fight while glued to the screen. Prolonged exposure to the tv/monitor may lead to eye fatigue.
No skipping sleep. Okay, so your current game is absolutely addicting that you can’t stop yourself from completing the next mission or earning a new weapon. With that said, gamers must learn to still maintain a solid sleep schedule no matter how good their game conquest is. Do not let it disrupt your normal body clock as it may affect your sleeping patterns and eventually lead to bigger complications. Complete sleep is your real-world power up.
Maintain hand and wrist health. It is true that injuries happen even while you’re just playing video games especially if you’re into competitive Esports. Too much use of controllers or intense typing and thumb-tapping on keyboards may cause carpal tunnel syndrome which can sever your gaming career if not managed properly. There are simple exercises that you can do in between games to keep your hands and wrists in check.
Motion gaming keeps you moving. There are popular games in the market designed for exercises like dancing (Just Dance, Dance Revolution) and rhythm titles (Guitar Hero). It’s a 2-in-1 package that turns your stationary pastime into an instant exercise. Virtual Reality (VR) games are also a good platform to simulate exercises like boxing and squatting routines.
Play games. Be happy. Some people plug in to wind down. Playing games help them to relax and manage stress away. Playing co-op mode promotes bonding (oftentimes overlooked) between friends, close or even miles apart. Social interaction with a dash of teamwork in games can also be soothing. Try Animal Crossing. Ultimately, if playing games makes you happy, it can’t be that bad, right?
Security considerations for parents
Parents play a significant role in promoting the safety of their children while playing video games. A clear understanding of several key elements will help grasp what a particular title offers — both in content and accessibility.
Age classification. The age-appropriateness of a game is an important factor that should be accounted for. Are you familiar with ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board)? It stipulates information about a game (or app) so parents and consumers are aware of which games are appropriate for their family. ESRB Ratings have 3 parts: Rating Categories, Content Descriptors, and Interactive Elements. With descriptions provided, consider ESRB ratings as your handy, first step to decide whether a game is suitable for your kid.
Account setup and privacy. Today, most games require a user to register and create an account before they can begin playing. It is important to keep an eye on the privacy details they share since many games are connected to the Internet. Guide your children in creating passwords. A two-factor verification method will greatly help to strengthen the level of security. You may also want to consider taking off the location details in your child’s profile for good measure.
Preventing toxic behavior online. With a slew of features including chat and communication, it is vital to curb out troublesome behavior from other people they play with online. Guardians can prevent this in advance by exploring parental controls available in the game settings. Limiting or better yet, disabling certain functions like voice chat might also help.
Try the game yourself. If you’re not fully convinced, try playing the game yourself. This way, you’ll be able to understand the plot and game mechanics. You can also gauge whether the violence, gore, and other dark elements are suitable for a younger audience. Ask yourself, “Will I be relaxed seeing my kid play this kind of game?”.
For some, gaming may be stigmatized as an activity that encourages an unhealthy lifestyle. But changing this stereotype to something more positive is achievable by starting with these simple practices.