March 18, 2021
A fact of parenting in the 21st century is that, at some point, your child will come to you and ask when they can finally play video games. Take a deep breath: This is normal. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for you to help your child have the gaming experience they want while simultaneously making sure they’re staying safe online.
The National Parents Organization shares a few key things to remember as you delve into uncharted gaming territory.
Familiarize yourself with parental controls
Video games can help kids develop social skills, make connections, and engage their creative sides. Parental controls offer a way for you to keep tabs on your child while at the same time letting them access these benefits. There is a good chance that your child will want to play online games from a laptop or Chromebook. Both kinds of devices offer opportunities to ensure the parental controls are up to snuff. On a Chromebook, for instance, you can set up Google Family Link, which allows you to supervise screen time and set up controls that only let your child access specific websites.
Nip the speed problems now
Online multiplayer games like Minecraft require access to high-quality internet. If you’ve ever heard your child complaining about a stalled screen or inability to play, this is a pretty good indication your internet isn’t up to the task. When investigating your internet speed, it’s important to get an idea of what your actual speed is and why it’s not working. Websites like fast.com provide a snapshot of your internet speed so you know where to go from there. If your internet speed could use a boost, look into 5G connections, which can improve internet speed and make online games smoother to play and download.
Get the right gear
When you’re gaming, the equipment can mean the difference between a frustrating play session and an enlightening one. For instance, a gaming monitor can get rid of some of the aforementioned lag, not to mention that it can provide a clean, crisp image for your child to fully immerse themselves. (After all, having a good graphics card doesn’t mean much if your monitor can’t render the images.)
Buying a gaming monitor takes some careful thought and research, but asking the right questions is a good place to start. What is your preferred refresh rate? What size do you want? Do you want a full experience in 4K display? Be sure to shop around on the internet — you can take advantage of some great manufacturer deals through online discounts.
Another cool piece of equipment to help you and your child create positive gaming memories is a good headset. Gaming headsets can range from the ultra-posh to the ultra-sparse, so it can be difficult to know which direction to go before you make a purchase. When looking around, just keep in mind that a good gaming headset should have three characteristics: a mouthpiece, surround sound, and affordability.
In short: Don’t stress
Your child can achieve an enjoyable experience out of online gaming with these handy tips. Not to mention you get brownie points as a parent for giving them access to the brave (not so) new world of internet games!