Lots of people play games online. You can play games on:
- consoles and computers
- mobile apps
There are many types of online games. Some are simple games you can play on your own like the games on our website. Others are multiplayer games with 2 or more people who you might not know.
You can also talk to people through the game itself, a console network, chat site or gaming forum. You can talk through instant messenger, a headset or video chat. Some people like to watch other gamers playing on live-streaming sites.
Games are a great way to relax and have fun. But it’s important to be careful about what you share online and keep yourself safe.
5 top tips for staying safe online:
- tell a trusted adult if something upsets you. Check how to report, block, or mute other players before you start playing
- there’s nothing wrong with losing – sometimes you’ll win and sometimes you’ll lose
- respect other players and don’t upset anyone in order to get ahead
- check game ratings – they tell you if the game is unsuitable for younger age groups
- don’t spend all your time gaming – make time for your family and friends, other social activities and homework
ONLINE GAMING: THE RISKS
Gaming is meant to be fun. But sometimes things people do could make you upset or uncomfortable. Being aware of some of the risks can help you to stay safe.
- Not everyone will be nice or the same age as you
Some gamers may say nasty things or try to bully and upset other players. This can be done by people you know or strangers.
- Some people may use games to try and groom children
This is when they try to build a relationship or friendship with a young person to trick or pressure them into doing something sexual.
- Some games may have content which might upset you
This could include violence, horror, or sex. It may be more life-like if you play virtual reality games.
- Some people find it hard to stop playing
Gaming may affect the rest of their life and turn into an addiction.
KEEPING GAMING SAFE AND FUN
Check the age ratings
Turn on your privacy settings
Use blocking and reporting
Keep personal information safe
Be careful of in-app purchases
BULLYING IN GAMES
Gaming is meant to be fun. It’s not ok for other players to be nasty or make you feel bad. People may bully you in games by:
- saying nasty things or constantly targeting you
- excluding you from playing
- stealing or destroying your online items or creations
- cheating to get ahead
- stealing your identity or sharing your personal information
- hacking your account.
People who bully others in games often don’t know the person they’re bullying and will randomly target people.
If someone’s nasty to you, try not to get angry. Instead, try playing with different people or take a break. You may also be able to block or report other players. You might find it helpful to keep a record of the bullying so you can report it to the social network.
It’s also important to respect other players and think about how you’d feel in their situation.
If someone’s bullying you in a game it’s not okay – and it’s not your fault.