Can gaming be fatal? Well, yes it is so nowadays. The Blue Whale Challenge has caught the world by surprise. We are usually concerned about the impact games and television has on our kids’ eyes. Have we ever thought about the impact it is putting on their minds? Well, I guess not. But the recent Blue Whale challenge has made parents cautious of the effects of gaming on their children.
What is the Blue Whale Challenge?
The ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ is a game that consists of a series of tasks to be undertaken over a period of 50 days. There is a list of 50 tasks that need to be performed, with the final task requires the player to commit suicide. The game is said to have originated in Russia in 2013. The tasks start at an easy level like listening to certain genres of music, waking up at odd hours, watching a horror movie, among others, and then slowly escalate to carving out shapes on one’s skin, self-mutilation and eventually suicide. The exact platform on which the game is played is yet not certain. While some say it is an app, others say it is available on social media platforms on secretive groups where there are certain keywords that bring the administrator to the players. The keywords that bring the administrator to you and are associated with the game are #wakemeupat420 #f57 #I_am_whale #curatorfindme and #f58 among many. Till date, it is said that over 100 teenagers across the globe have killed themselves by taking up this challenge. In India too, these are becoming prevalent.
In wake of the Blue Whale Challenge, it brings us to think that is it okay to let your child play games? Well, gaming does teach a lot to kids overtly and covertly. They teach a child to communicate, make friends, and share experiences and so on. Here is how you can help your child keep away from the negatives of gaming and monitor what he plays and with who he plays. This is our 5 step guide to parental control on gaming.
1. Set a time limit:
First and foremost is to set a time limit for your kid to play games. Experts suggest that children should not be exposed to more than two hours screen time a day, whether that’s TV or gaming.
2. Research games:
As per the age of your child, search which games are good and helpful for your child. You can discuss with other mothers as to what they are letting their child play.
3. Parental control locks:
All gaming consoles, games on the PC or on the phone, have an option of parental control locks. Make sure your child has access to only appropriate content.
4. Watch your child’s company:
People are defined by the company they keep. Be sure of who your child interacts with offline or online as kids get influenced easily by their peers.
5. Communicate and create awareness:
Communicate with your child and make them aware of things happening around them so they are cautious. Be their friends, so they develop the trust to come up and share everything with you.
Hope these tips will help you be constantly aware of what your child is playing at all times. Don’t keep them away from gaming as it also helps them grow and learn.