By now you are all amazing digital citizens when you’re online; you protect your private information, you don’t post mean comments on other people’s blogs, photos, or videos. You are careful about the websites you visit and you balance your time online. Now let me ask you this…
Do you remember to be a good digital citizen while you’re gaming?
What I mean by that is, when you are playing a game online like Roblox, Fortnite, or other games where you interact with other players online, are you remembering your online safety and digital citizenship rules?
You are playing a game in which players can chat with one another and you make a new friend. This friend starts asking you personal questions like ‘what school do you go to?’ and ‘what’s your address?’
What do you do?
Answer: It is great to make new friends online, but we still need to make sure and always protect our personal information. Don’t tell strangers where you live, what school you go to, personal passwords, your full name, etc… It is never safe to share this kind of information online.
During a game you notice one character won’t leave you alone. They are continuously attacking your player or making rude comments to you in chat. You really want to be mean back but you are afraid to get reported and blocked.
What do you do?
Answer: Don’t retaliate (i.e. be rude back.) Just report the players behaviour to the game and show your parents or teachers. These kind of players will end up getting blocked (kicked-out permanently) from the game. Better them and not you. After reporting them, log out for a while and try again later.
You have been playing a game for over an hour and you still can’t beat a certain level. You notice your anger level spiking really high. Your little brother keeps coming in your room and distracting you and you want to yell at him because it’s his fault you can’t beat the level.
What do you do?
Answer: It is important that we notice how our emotions are being affected by the games we are playing. If we are starting to feel angry, frustrated, rageful, and irritated, that is an indication that you have played long enough. That is your body’s way of telling you you’ve had enough screen time. Turn off the device and go outside to play if you can. Nothing clears away those bad feelings faster than fresh air. And bring your little brother with you to play! He was only bothering you because he wanted a bit of attention too! When next you play the game you will be playing with a clear head and have a much better chance of beating that level.
Here is a video where you can see some of these online scenarios in play.
Play a video game (Yes, you heard right. Make sure you have permission of course!) While you play, notice and write down a few examples of some of the positive and some of the negative interactions you have with other players. If your game doesn’t involve other players online, just write down some positive or negative feelings you experience while playing (having fun, getting frustrated, fighting with your brother etc…) Then you will post your observations in the comments on this page. It will be interesting to see what we all experience.