One of the reasons that parents often give when it comes to not liking how much time their children spend playing online games and video games is that it is considered to be an isolating hobby. The children who are gaming aren’t interacting with others socially as they might if they were playing a sport or attending a club, for example, and this can be a problem for parents. Yet children – and some adults – love to play their games. So what can be done?
The truth is that, with a little work and a few changes to routine and how children play, these kinds of games can be very social experiences. Read on to find out what we mean and you might decide it’s time to implement some of these ideas yourself.
Massively Multiplayer Online Games
At any given time, there are sure to be thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of people playing online games. They might be playing Roblox or Minecraft or a game by PlayPhone, or any number of others. The point is, they will all be online at the same time, so there is never any reason why anyone would have to play by themselves.
Of course, as a parent, it’s your job to check these platforms out and ensure the right parental controls are in place, but once you’re happy with the limits you have set, your child can play with lots of others, interacting and learning as they go.
Streaming is ideal for older children, and it is becoming more and more accessible. Rather than playing alone, the gameplay is streamed live on whichever platform you are using – Twitch is a particularly popular one. Playing in this way with lots of people watching and commenting is a fun experience for the teenager, and, if they are particularly entertaining, it can even lead to an income.
Plus, it’s fun for those who love gaming to watch other people streaming too. They will learn a lot and be able to interact with other watchers and the player themselves. Again, they won’t ever be isolated if they can be involved in someone else’s game.
Bonding as a family is something we all want to do more of, but if your child loves to play their video games, you might feel as though you can’t do anything with them, and you all end up doing separate things in the evening and at weekends which can be disheartening and even lonely. It’s certainly frustrating for most parents (which is often why video games get a bad reputation).
What if you could all play together though? What if you could all enjoy the games and spend time together at the same time? This is perfectly achievable. You might ensure you have a stack of family-friendly multiplayer games, for example, or games you can take turns playing and make a competition out of. You can even try streaming together or playing the online massively multiplayer games. Whatever you choose, you don’t have to miss out on your child’s life when you can join in and have some fun.