Online gaming, love it or loathe it, gaming is a massive entertainment industry worth an estimated £2.7 billion in 2020 in the UK alone. We’re the 5th largest consumers of video games in the world…
No doubt, your children, or those you know partake in gaming, be it PC, Console or mobile, there’s games for everyone and almost all of them contain some kind of chat function.
So what is in-game chat? Who are your kids talking to?
In -game chat can range from text-based, such as chat channels in World of Warcraft and servers on Discord to voice chat over a microphone such as on Xbox UK and PlayStation, as well as ping systems in where players can avoid using voice and text chat and ping their movements to private messaging via profiles.
What risks are associated with chat?
🎮 Chatting with people they don’t know.
🎮 Inappropriate or unmoderated chat. While some games are monitored and have report systems, largely chat is not moderated in real-time. Leaving young people open to harm.
🎮 Private chat requests. While the majority of people met in-game genuinely want to chat about the game or how great a match was, there are always the bad apples; those who want to be mean, or throw insults about a bad outcome.
Staying safe in-game:
🎮 Family controls. Many of the big gaming platforms such as the ones above have controls to set who can or cannot contact your children.
🎮 Customise chat: Many games let you choose which channels are seen and heart. You can also mute players in many of the big games, especially first person shooters (FPS).
🎮 Report System. If someone is particularity over the line you can report their behaviour and chat in-game.
This is a very brief overview of online gaming chat, for more check out Ask About Games