Protecting young people
Many videogames bought on a CD/DVD can be played against other players using a PC or games console with an Internet connection. In addition, there are plenty of websites that offer the chance to play online games over the Internet, either alone or against others. These range from simple arcade games to massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, which can involve a huge number of players participating in a single online game at the same time. For a detailed description of the different types of online games, see Online game categories.
Many such MMORPGs support virtual communities, and this can expose players to the risks associated with real-time interaction with unknown fellow players.
Such risks include:
Content being created as a result of the game which could be unsuitable for young people and a mismatch with the rating given for the game.
Some players engaging in behaviour that might not be suitable for young people. For example, inappropriate or offensive language; bullying in games that allow text, voice or video communication; unsporting conduct like cheating and tampering; or aggressiveness towards others.
Breaches of privacy. Online gameplay sometimes encourages children to build relationships, share personal details, or even meet unknown fellow players outside the game.
Links to websites where content may not be suitable for young people.
SAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS
Warn your children not to give out personal details to other players.
Warn your children not to meet other players unless accompanied by you.
Monitor your children’s activities on gameplay websites.
Encourage and remind your children to report issues such as bullying, threatening or bad language, the display of unpleasant content, or invitations to meet outside the game.
Report inappropriate behaviour, using the feedback page on this site, or specific complaint mechanisms on consoles or the games’ websites.
Cease communication or change your child’s online ID if anything within the game or the way it evolves makes you feel uncomfortable.
SAFETY TIPS FOR CHIDREN
Bad behaviour, bad language, or cheating is NOT okay! You can block the players’ access, report this to the game provider, or tell your parents.
Tell your parents right away if you come across any information that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Do not give out personal information such as your home address, telephone number or picture.
Never agree to get together with someone you meet online without checking with your parents first.