Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of holistic personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library


A Parent's Guide to Online Gaming, Part 2

By Steve Hall

In part one we talked about online gaming and your children, including FPS games and exposure to violent content. We wrap up this series by talking about RTS games, MMORPGs and the additional threats of addiction and social predators.

RTS stands for Real Time Strategy. Strategy because these games generally take a much larger perspective, casting the player as a general or commander of an army or even the leader of a civilization rather than as a single person. Real Time because the action moves forward whether the player acts or not. The alternative to Real Time is turn-based strategy, where each player moves in turn, taking whatever time they need. Turn based games tend to have deeper strategic components and complex non-military progressions that make them less popular with children. RTS games are a relatively benign genre, as they abstract the violence and conflict out to at least the unit level, removing much of the graphic gore found in FPS games and reducing it to numbers and lost units. They also tend to have complicated decision structures, making playing them a good exercise in critical thinking. Those same quick, complex decisions make this type of game difficult to look away from, particularly if the player is competing online where there may not be a pause button. Due to the less graphic content, this type of game doesn't require as intense parental scrutiny as some others may, but it's a good idea at least to casually observe a game and possibly to learn what the loading screen looks like so you can tell when "Just a minute" means "I'm in the middle of something," and when it means "I just don't want to do whatever you want me to do."

MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. They are descended from older, single player, RPGS. In this context, an RPG is a game that tells an evolving story using characters defined by various skills, attributes, and professions. The Massively Multiplayer part of the name comes from the fact that there can be upwards of several thousand players in a game world that may have surface area to rival small states. It is difficult to express how large and complicated these games can be. Accept that your children will talk about things you don't understand, often about equipment or items they've acquired or battles they've fought. Put on your best "That's nice dear" face and let it go. While it never hurts to try out the games your children play, you wont get nearly as much benefit from logging on to a MMORPG for a bit to see what its like, as they require a sizeable time investment to even get a feel for what's going on.

That time investment gives rise to one of the biggest problems with MMORPGs. A gaming writer once suggested that MMORPG should be pronounced Morgue, because once you go in, you never come out. If your children are starting to get heavily into this type of game, watch how they spend their time. The game will always present something new to do, some greater hill to climb, and it can be easy to get caught up. Talk with your kids, make sure they know the limits on how much of their time they can spend playing, and what they need to get done first. That said; understand that they are often going to be playing the game with other people, to whom they may have made some degree of commitment. Be flexible and use your judgment when deciding whether to let them keep playing. Generally, it's better not to let them start if you aren't sure then to try to get them to stop once they've begun. Lean toward get your homework done first over quit in time to get your homework done.

Playing a game with thousands of others will expose your children to a wide variety of people. Most of them will be harmless, some will be helpful and a few will likely come to be good friends. However, there are a select few with malicious intent, just as there are in any large group. The fear here is much like that felt in letting your children use chat rooms or instant messaging service. The good news is that the type of real social predator parents fear are far less likely to in a game world, because the game itself is much more complicated than simply logging on to a chat room. Make sure your kids know that the danger exists, that they shouldn't let anyone know anything more than generalities about whom they are outside the game, that there are bad people in the world. Ask them about their friends online, see what they know about them, watch for the same warning signs you would with any stranger that spends a lot of time with your kids. Again, most players are harmless or better, but you're far better off being informed and watchful than complacent and hopeful.

We've barely touched the surface of the possibilities of online gaming, but hopefully you are better informed about what your children may be doing. Gaming is as good as any hobby and better than many. It has a lot of positive developmental benefits, but as with any activity out of your control there are things to watch for. Make clear, knowledgeable decisions about what's right with your kids and stick to them. In the long run, they'll thank you for it.

About The Author

Steve Hall is a member of the GrandMatrix team. They provide a broad range of games, puzzles, articles and reviews. Read more articles, download and play the latest PC games for free plus enjoy thousands of user submitted puzzles, quizzes and word games at: http://www.grandmatrix.com.


AND EXPLORE...

Addictions
Astrology
Careers & Employment
Communication
Creativity
Dating
Depression
Diabetes
Diets
Divorce
Education
Environment
Ethics
Exercise
Family
Goal-Setting
Grief & Loss
Happiness
Health
Kids & Teens
Leadership
Love
Marriage
Meditation
Nutrition
Organizing
Parenting
Psychology
Public Speaking
Relationships
Schools
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Spirituality
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure
Women
Writing


From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...
 
Get a free Hypnosis Download at Facebook
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd