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The gaming industry is booming and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. In the past 10 years, the industry has grown from $25 billion to $115 billion! With that growth, there is also an increase in both games and players. The result? More families playing games together.
But with any new technology comes new risks, especially in a family setting. There is a lot of concern around safety when it comes to gaming, especially when children are involved. Parents need to be aware of these risks so they can make the best decisions for their family’s needs and their child’s safety.
A few things you want to consider first should be:
- Make sure the game is age-appropriate for your child. If you don’t know the age of the game, check it online or ask the store associate.
- Ensure your child has an open dialogue with you about their gaming habits, who they play games with, what they play, and how often they play.
- Set limits on how much time your children can spend playing video games each day. For example, limit it to two hours total per day or one hour per day on weekdays and two hours per day on weekends.
Don’t Forget to Get Outside, Too
My Kids Vision recommends that children of all ages spend at least 90 minutes outside each day. Adequate time spent in nature is found to develop confidence, boost creativity, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a sense of environmental stewardship.
They suggest you try the following ideas to increase outside time:
- Plant an edible garden
- Create art projects using materials found in nature
- Build a bird feeder
- Take a hike to a scenic spot like a waterfall
- Make sure your user name does not include your child’s full name, school, date of birth, the town in which you live, or phone number.
- If you’re playing online, the same is true about not sharing any personal information.
- You can report and mute anyone who’s abusive, threatening, or who tries to bully your child.
- Every game and console is different, so make sure you always check to see what your options are for your privacy setting.
- Lots of games are free-to-play but there are a lot of options for spending money buying items to enhance the game. Again, check the game settings to take that option away from your kid’s gaming.
One of the biggest and most famous games of all time is Minecraft. If you have a gaming console in your home, it’s more than likely you’re playing it. In 2022, Minecraft had over 170 million average active users per month.
In the game, players explore a blocky, 3D world with virtually infinite terrain. Players can discover and extract raw materials, craft tools, and items, and build structures, earthworks, and simple machines.
You can create your own family-friendly mine craft server to ensure your children play safely. Find Minecraft banner designs with an online banner maker to help attract other players. To create an attractive banner, select a template and then customize it with your own images, fonts, backgrounds, and design assets.
Games to Play as a Family
There’s a wide variety of games available on almost every platform. But you may be limited with the PS4 or Xbox One, for fun, family-friendly, easy to pick up and play games for the younger end of the spectrum. If you have younger kids in the house, you may be better off with the Nintendo Switch. It has a wider range of family-friendly options. It also offers a more nuanced parental control feature.
LEGO Disney Pixar’s The Incredibles allows players to explore action-packed story levels and an epic hub world – including Municiberg, as they use their unique ‘Super’ abilities to bring the city’s Super Villains to justice. Gamers can also team up with family and friends in 2 player co-op to assemble incredible LEGO builds.
Just Dance Now plays some of today’s biggest hits (for kids and adults) and gets you to dance along. The all-new songs for kids in the 2020 edition include (of course) “Baby Shark,” as well as a track from Frozen 2.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will bring out the inner kid in everyone. One to four players can race around new courses as well as classics like Wario’s goldmine and Rainbow Road.
It’s important to have a shared understanding of what constitutes healthy, safe, and fun gaming.
We can make sure that our family gaming experience is healthy, safe, and fun for everyone by being aware of the risks involved in video games. We can help our kids personalize their Minecraft game to help them feel a real sense of ownership while being mindful of how being outdoors and playing can be just as exciting. Striking a smart and safe balance with your kids can ensure everyone is happy.
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