For as many negative things we read about regarding kids and online gaming, I have been struggling to limit gaming at our house because of one thing - connectivity! We of course have restrictions in place and limit the time especially around battle games (not a personal favorite of mine). However, I’ve noticed how my son has turned gaming into a chance to connect with others so there are aspects I want to encourage.
For example, he met two really great kids on vacation who live in different states. They all play the same computer game where they can join up and build lands, houses, and experiences. He really likes talking to them on FaceTime (from his phone) while working with them in this virtual reality. In addition, he sometimes has our neighbor over and she joins the group while sitting with my son.
I’m impressed how this connectivity has allowed him to continue to develop the relationships he started on our trip. I also like how he has invited his local friends to join into this community. I am touched how they work together to build and create and take turns helping each other improve what they are doing. He is definitely using his imagination and likes to give us “tours” of what he has built - elaborate houses, exotic custom cars, thriving businesses - anything he can dream up!
We still limit his time overall, with a little more flexibility on the weekends if out-of-state friends are available. We still review and set parental controls on his games to provide as safe of an experience as we can for him. But when your child is less interested in sports and more interested in game development and robotics, this doesn’t mean they are isolated. He can still create a community with others and make those critical friend connections.
Links for you: Online Communities for Kids
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