What Should I Know About My Child’s Online Gaming?

Based on a Harris Poll survey of 1,178 U.S. youth ages 8 to 18 who play video games, about 8.5% are addicted1. Douglas Gentile, an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University, said:

"This is the first study to tell us the national prevalence of pathological play among youth gamers, and it is almost 1 in 10" 1.

Parents should understand the harmful consequences of this unbalanced behavior, and decide with their children appropriate limits for time spent playing these types of games. If they keep current, keep checking, and keep communicating, parents can ensure video games provide a safe and fun outlet for children.

Keep Current
Online gaming is a technology that connects players together over some form of computer network, typically the Internet. There are many kinds of online games and simulations. Some children may play for excessive amounts of time, to the extent that they are physically and socially harmed. According to the American Psychiatric Association, children that played violent video games have significantly higher feelings of aggression and differences in brain activity during both cognitive motor activity and resting periods 2 This same study reported these children have more trouble paying attention in school, poorer grades in school, more health problems, are more likely to feel "addicted," and even steal to support their habit 2.

Keep Communicating
Explaining the negative consequences of investing excessive time and resources into a virtual world at the expense of neglecting the real world is the first step in protecting children from the effects of online gaming addiction.

Determine, with your children, a reasonable limit for the amount of time they can spend playing games, and/or establish a curfew. Also, encourage your child to add variety into their day by investing their time and efforts into activities that are socially engaging, physically active, or mentally active.

Keep Checking
Typically, the children who are most likely to become addicted to online gaming are those who feel socially uncomfortable, neglected, or lonely. Determine activities that can replace gaming time with other fun activities that provide opportunities for achievement and success.

1 LiveScience.com. (2009, April 20). Some Children Really Are Addicted to Video Games. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/health/090420-children-video-games-addicted.html
2 American Psychiatric Association. (2010, May 24). [News Release] retrieved from


Online Shopping & Banking
10 Tips to Safer Shopping
Avoiding Internet Crooks
Bank Online Safely
Benefits of E-books
Identity Theft Rights
Identity Theft Tax Scams
Online Auction Sites
Online Classifieds - Buying
Online Classifieds - Selling
Secure Social Engineering
Digital Family Life
Addictions and ADHD
Betrayal Online
Child Online Privacy
Children & Anorexia
Children & Inappropriate YouTube Videos
Children and Internet Advertising
Children's Photos Online
Cyberbullying Tips
Dating Online Safely
Digital Dating
Digital Literacy
Family Time
Healthy Digital Family Life
High Risk Behaviors
Impact On Children
Internet Gambling
Internet Pornography
Kids & Online Gaming
Kids Posting on YouTube
Kids’ Mobile Apps
Make Money Websites
Online Gaming & Children
Online Quizzes & Surveys
Oversharing Information Online
Protecting from Predators
Read the Fine Print
Respect Online
Risky Behavior
Safe Online Photo Sharing
Safety & Social Networks
Social Networking and Friction
Teaching Privacy
Teen Asking for Validation?
Too Much Time Online
Video Games
PC Security
Argument with a troll
Block Pornography
Bots, Botnets And Zombies
Coupon Safety
Safe Linking & Attachments
Safe URLs
Search & Collected Info
Search vs Research
Secure Websites
What is Antivirus?
What is Phishing?
Getting Started
Beginners Tips
Email Hacking
Identify Theft
Malicious Software
Organize Net News
Sending Email
Strong Passwords
Technology Overload
Cyberbullying & Online Predators
Cyberbullying Help
Cyberincident Response
Family Blogging
Harassed Online
Online Predators
Online Safety
Recognize a Cyberbully
Report Cyberbullying to Police
Report Cyberbullying to Schools
Safety: Pornography
Mobile Security
Cell Phone & Driving
Cell Phone Theft
Mobile Law Enforcement
Mobile Protection
Mobile Sexting
Parents & Cell Phones
Tweets Archived
Ethics & Legal
Cheating & Technology
Cite Sources and Avoid Plagiarism
Download Music & Videos
Facebook Passwords
Internet Addiction
Internet Content Copyrights
Kids & Impersonation
Online Impersonation
Societal Digital Piracy Costs
Managing your Online Reputation
Online Reputation
Protect Your Online Content
Protecting Privacy on Google
Teens & Reputation