Online gaming is a popular hobby for adolescents worldwide. However, the gaming world is not immune to the issue of cyberbullying. In this blog post, we'll explore the connection between online gaming and cyberbullying and provide strategies to help both players and parents ensure a safe gaming environment for all.
The Link Between Gaming and Cyberbullying
Online games often involve interaction with other players through chat, voice, or text. While most players are friendly, some may engage in cyberbullying, targeting their fellow gamers with hurtful comments, harassment, or exclusion.
Protecting Yourself as a Player
- Use Mute and Block Features: Most online games have mute and block options. Don't hesitate to use them if you encounter a cyber bully.
- Report Offenders: Report cyberbullies to the game administrators. They can take action against offenders to ensure a safer gaming environment.
- Play with Friends: Whenever possible, play with friends you trust.
- Don't Share Personal Information: Never share personal information with fellow gamers, as it can be used against you.
- Join a New Game: If you want to keep playing, but can't seem to resolve the issue, you can always leave and join a new game.
Protecting Your Child from Cyberbullying
Parents need to be aware that some players may engage in cyberbullying, targeting gamers with hurtful comments, harassment, or exclusion.
- Communication: Maintain open and honest communication with your child about their online gaming experiences. Encourage them to share any negative encounters.
- Privacy Settings: Help your child set privacy settings on their gaming accounts to limit contact with strangers.
- Monitoring Playtime: Keep an eye on the amount of time your child spends gaming and ensure it doesn't interfere with other responsibilities. Utilize tools like the Strata Hub app to set screen time settings if necessary.
- Reporting Mechanisms: Teach your child how to report abusive behavior in games and make sure they know it's okay to use these features. Many games monitor the chat and kick out players that are bullying. However, one of the best ways to help them monitor is to report those that are bullying.
- Encourage Gaming with Friends or Each Other: Encourage your child to play games with friends they know and trust. Often, if your child has created/started the game, they can remove players at will, and many games have multiplayer settings that allow you to play with your children.
Online gaming is meant to be a fun and social experience. Gaming can have many benefits, from complex problem-solving to peer-to-peer learning. By staying vigilant and following these tips, players, and parents can ensure gaming remains enjoyable and free from cyberbullying. For parents, actively engaging with their children's online gaming experiences and implementing safety measures can help create a secure gaming environment for children.