For mom and dad …
Have you ever wondered what your child was talking about at the dinner table when he started saying things like “VR” or “RPG”? If so, you are not alone. “VR” and “RPG” aren’t short for new text messages, but they stand for games and this article will introduce you to some of the more common forms.
However, if you at least thought of the internet when you heard “VR” or “RPG”, you are on the right track. Exclusive to the online environment, “VR” or “RPG”, which consequently stands for virtual reality games and role-playing games, are just two aspects of a crazy gaming world.
The days of playing beetle in front of the fireplace are over in today’s generation, but we don’t think you’ve heard too many people complain about it. The current generation is fascinated by online games, an opportunity to play online with hundreds of people at the same time.
Available to anyone with a computer and a fast internet connection, there are thousands of online games available to everyone … sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee. They range from familiar family board games to weird and more complicated games that require a hundred-page manual to understand. However, one thing they all have in common is that they are fun to play.
The most common type of online game you may come across is the Flash game, which is usually found on educational sites or Yahoo! for children, for example. These games may or may not involve other players, but they are always colorful, quick to download and fun to play. Since they run inside the web browser, no special equipment is required. These are the simpler, more intriguing games of checkers, but no more difficult to play than chess.
Another type of online game is more violent than those described above and is similar to the “shooter” type games found on early Nintendo and Playstation systems. Designed from a first-person point of view, the player typically moves around the screen like an armed hand, periodically changing weapons according to the game scenario. The violence in these games ranges from mild to offensive, and as a parent, you are advised to control your children’s access to them, especially as these games are played online with other people.
Then, in terms of complications or violence, come the RPGs and VR games we presented earlier. These types of games take a long time online, as players take on the role of a game character in the game. Players work hard to build an inventory of weapons or skills, none of which can be accomplished in a period of thirty minutes or less. Then they continue to interact with other characters, further extending the time of the game (if at all). VR games and RPGs both require and encourage strategic thinking, but as a parent you may not be comfortable with the violence that is prominent in some of these games. You may also not be comfortable with the time it takes to play these types of games. Depending on the complexity of the game, anyone can spend at least six months in a game, and having access to thousands of other players at the same time doesn’t make it easy to walk away from them.
Our best advice is to get to know these games with your child and make the decision to play them (or not play them) together. You can find some helpful tips on making IT decisions with children in our article titled “Protecting Children Online”.