Gaming as a Dad

25 years of gaming now with son and daughter in tow.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Kids and Online Chat: Have you had the talk?

By Geo Trax

Is it really kid safe?
Last night, while I watching some television, Yankee Candle Kid was goofing around on my laptop playing at some sort of online gaming site called Movie Star Planet.  From what I can tell the game is innocent enough mainly a kid friendly social game set in a Hollywood setting.  As the player you build and create fashion, earn pets, make art books etc. with an added social aspect to make "friends" and play online with friends from school.  This is a gaming sight he loves playing on and I like that gets to be creative while he plays.  He only gets to play while supervised so I have little concern with this and other online play, mainly Club Penguin.  Last night threw me for a loop though and it was time to have the talk. 

The question that started a conversation

     After about an hour or so of playing he turns to look at me and asks, "Dad how do you spell real?"  "What do you mean? Real as in real or Reel as in fishing or movie?"  "You know real like my real name is Will." That's when the television got pause and I hopped on to look at the chat session he was in.  I didn't find anything alarming and the conversation seamed to be from another child as the spelling was terrible and the questions were mainly about the game and tokens.  After inspecting the  conversation we turned our attention to YCK.  "We need to talk about playing online YCK and make sure you understand some rules about it."

The Rules

1. Never give your real name online to anyone even if they say you are their friend because you don't know for sure.

2. Never give out your phone number.

3. Never give out your address.

4. Never give out your password.

5. Never agree to meet anyone, ever.

6. Don't upload or take pictures of yourself with the webcam.

7. If you are asked to ever do anything like touch yourself come get dad or mom.

8. Never go get a credit card without checking with dad or mom before using it.

9. If someone is being mean or scary come get dad or mom.

The Results

  YCK took this all in stride and agreed to the rules.  He had some questions that mostly centered around why people would do this and why people can be bad.  Not the easiest conversation I have had to have with him but I have had this type of conversation with him before.   I do commend Movie Star Planet for having a parent page with safety tips but as we all know those pages are useless if we don't talk to our kids.   

Have some input? Check out the Community Voice on the right.

By Geo Trax


Elizabeth J. Neal said...

In this world of online everything it is important to talk to your kids about online safety. play dora games

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