Games allow players to have fun, learn and engage. While playing they get closer and closer to the end or don’t make it and try again in order to achieve the goal of a score or a higher level. Many will recognize this cycle in every game, which is the main motivation for players to keep going. However, peer pressure and money are also a crucial incentive for player to stay in the game.
Do you want to better monitor your child’s gaming behaviour? We recommend taking a closer look at the following factors. Spoiler alert: it’s not (just) about control, instead, it is crucial that you understand the gaming world better to be able to guide your children through the digital world.
1. Game on
The incentive to repetitively play a game for many hours, can increase the risk of addiction. It is totally normal for your child to have the eagerness to play their favourite game all the time. However, it is crucial to recognize toxic gaming behaviour, which could be exemplified in skipping meals and stress over gaming.
What can you do?
Set up a certain time for your child to game, you can track the time manually or use a timer to be notified when their time limit is reached. Additionally, it is important to explore the games that your child plays and look closer into the way in which these games attract players. Another important way to encourage open discussion about gaming is to ask your kids about the game and the reason behind their enthusiasm to play it all the time. This helps you discover the patterns of your child’s interest and the elements within a game that attract kids the most.
2. Peer pressure
Many games are also social platforms, as you can play with other gamers and friends. This is a crucial form of social contact and friendship. This feature is also often used by games to keep players connected for as long as possible. Tournaments are a great example of this, because if your child is not online, others will win, therefore, the incentive to win is what makes your child attracted to the game and find it difficult to leave. Additionally, games often give rewards for players to log in on a daily basis which stimulates the competitive urge to be on the game every day.
What can you do?
Start a conversation about who your child plays with online; are they friends from their neighbourhood / class or online friends across the globe? Why and when does your child want to log in the game? Understanding your child’s gaming behaviour is a very important part of helping them adopt a healthy gaming behaviour. You can also use the parental control tools to determine whether your child can chat with strangers or not and with whom they can play online.
3. Money Money Money
When your child cannot get further in a game, often, players have to buy extra lives or a new skin. Your child will want to spend their pocket or your own money on it. This could be dangerous because due to your kid’s young age, they do not yet understand the value of money.
What you can do?
Again, conversation is very important in this case. You have to be well informed and understand the methods game makers use to convince users to buy in-game purchases. This will help you start a conversation with your child and determine whether something is worth a purchase or not.
It is good to know that in-game purchases are not about what you find valuable and fun, but whether it is worth something or not. It is also possible to set how much money can be spent in games, and we believe that permission must first be given for a purchase. For example, it is not purely a transaction moment between child and parent, but really a moment when you can start a conversation with your child about the game.
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