The growing popularity of games and the availability of the Internet have taken gaming to a whole new level for today's generation of youth. Not only have online games become competitive, they have also posed new risks to what was once a harmless enjoyable activity as little as a generation ago.
The explosion of the online gaming industry has brought dangers and addictive behaviors. This is why online gaming has become the new "drugware" of choice at the risk of your child's psychological and physical well being.
Online Gaming Addiction
Online gaming has affected children as well as some adults. Online gaming rehabilitation facilities are gradually being established both on the Internet and offline to assist people with game addiction. Medical professionals are beginning to recognize online gaming as a real addiction just like gambling, alcohol, and drugs. Gaming addiction can perpetrate a host of physical and mental issues that can be difficult to reverse, as well as expose your child inappropriate subject matter and potential predators.
If your child is spending a significant amount of time playing online games, these are a few of the signs that they may be getting addicted:
- Non-Stop Talking: When you try to talk to your child they will constantly talk about their success with online gaming. They become obsessed with strategies for winning and will always make it the center of conversation.
- Decline in Personal Hygiene: You may notice a decline in your child's personal hygiene because they do not want to spend one minute away from the game to attend to personal hygiene.
- Child Becomes Violent: A significant part of the content in online games is violence. If your child spends a lot of time viewing this type of content they may begin to see violence as an acceptable act. If you try to discontinue them from playing games they resort to violence.
- Loss of Interest: Your child may begin to lose interest in the daily activities they once enjoyed including friendships, school, and extracurricular activities. In addition to this, you may notice that their school grades are beginning to suffer and they are becoming more recluse.
- Sacrifices: If your child is addicted to online games he/she will sacrifice everything to spend time in front of a game. This includes skipping school, not sleeping, and sacrificing food in exchange for online gaming.
There are also dangers that your child faces when playing online games. Many of the games contain chat rooms where you can meet other gamers. This is the perfect place for online predators to hang out.
If you suspect your child is getting addicted to online games, you can opt to store the computer in a central area of the house and use the parental controls that are on the PC. If you allow your child to play for a limited time, make sure you monitor the content and the people they are chatting with. If you feel it is necessary, seek rehabilitation for online game addiction.