Have you ever wondered what your child was talking about at the table when he started saying things like “VR” or “RPG”? If so, you are not alone. VR and RPG are not shorthand for new text messaging, they are short for games and this article will introduce you to some of the more popular shapes.
However, if you at least think of the internet when you heard “VR” or “RPG”, you are on the right track. Exclusively for the Internet environment, “VR” or “RPG”, which thus stands for virtual reality and role-playing games, are just two aspects of the game world that is getting raging. Gone are the days of playing scrabble in front of the fireplace in today’s generation, but we don’t think you hear many people complaining about it. The current generation is fascinated with online games, and it is an opportunity to play online with hundreds of people at once.
Available for anyone with a computer and a fast internet connection, there are thousands of online games available to everyone … sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee. They range from the familiar family board games to weird and more complex games that require a hundred pages to understand. However, one thing they all have in common is the fun of playing it.
The most popular type of online game you will likely encounter is Flash, which is usually found on educational sites or Yahoo! For children, for example. These games may or may not include other players, but they are always colorful, fast to download, and fun to play. Since it works inside the web browser, no special equipment is required. These are simple games, more interesting than checkers, but not more difficult than chess to play.
Another type of online game that’s more violent than the ones we described above is similar to the “shoot-em-up” games found on the old Nintendo and Playstation systems. Designed from a first-person point of view, the player usually maneuvers around the screen like one armed hand, periodically changing weapons as the game scenario allows. Violence in these games ranges from mild to offensive, and as a parent, you are warned to monitor your children’s access to them, especially since these games are played online with other people.
Then, in terms of complexity or violence, come the RPGs and virtual reality games we featured earlier. These types of games are very time consuming online, with players playing the game character in the game. Players work hard to build an inventory of weapons or abilities, neither of which can be achieved in a period of thirty minutes or less. Then they continue to interact with the other characters, lengthening the game time even further (if any). Both virtual reality and role-playing games require and encourage strategic thinking, but as parents, you may not feel comfortable with the violence prevalent in some of these games. You may also not be comfortable with the amount of time it can take to play these types of games. Depending on the complexity of the game, anyone can spend at least six months on a game and have access to thousands of other players at once that doesn’t make it easy to get away from them.
Our best advice is to familiarize yourself with these games with your child and decide whether to play them (or not) together. You can find some helpful advice on making IT decisions with children in our article “Protecting Children Online”.