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Cyberbullying in Online Gaming Networks

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Xbox live bullyOne of childhood's most troublesome challenges has moved online much like everything else in life. Bullying once just happened on the schoolyard now happens outside of school hours on the Internet. Social networks have become the most common place that Cyberbullying is happening. Girls have been the targeted on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by cyber bullies but boys end up on the receiving end as well but more likely to be bullied on online video game networks such as Xbox Live and Playstation Network.

Trash talking is a normal part of many online games, but when it goes beyond trash talk it's Cyberbullying. Parental intervention when any of these signs are are seen is essential. If the child gets upset or angry while playing online games. Other warning signs to look for is withdrawn or sullen mood, loss of other favourite activities and a drop in grades as self esteem drops. Because there so many places kids can get bullied online and in the real world, parents have to be certain that where the bullying is happening in order to be the most helpful. If it becomes certain that online gaming is where the bullying is happening the first thing to do is to get the child to disconnect from the online games let them know that there's a difference between trash talking and bullying. If anything said while playing an online video game make you uncomfortable, upset or mad then it's ok to turn the game off today's kids need to know. Educating gamers on how to handle online harassment is another key to addressing the Cyberbullying the occurs in online gaming networks. Gamers both young and old should be taught how to block and report those who tease, taunt and torment on Xbox Live and Playstation Network.

The best prevention is the kind that happens before the bullying occurs. There are a number measures that will help stop online bullying before it starts. First the game console or computer needs to be kept in a public area of the home. Letting parents keep an eye and an ear on what is happening in online games will not only help prevent kids from getting bullied but help prevent kids from becoming bullies as well.

Second pick games for kids using the ESRB ratings system. The most aggressive gamers who are most likely to Cyberbully will be playing the Mature rated first person shooter war games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo and Titanfall. To effectively enforce household restrictions on what games are allowed to played and which ones are not allowed to be played each of the major consoles have parental controls. Each child has their own profile on the game system and different restrictions can be put each child. That way young kids can only play games that carry an EC or E rating and teenagers can be allowed T rated games as well.

If the child(ren) are getting a game system for the first time only let them play single player only and prohibit joining Xbox live or Playstation network until they understand what Cyberbullying is and how to respond to it. When it is decided to let the kids take their game online care must be taken letting who they can play with. Traditionally parents met the kids' friends and their parents and then they are allowed to play at each other's houses. The same precaution is useful in online gaming. When the identity of other online players are friends in the real world There is less chance they would Cyberbully each other.

The playground of our generation the place where children went to play and be with friends as well now exists online as well on the Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo game systems. Keeping kids safe in the real world playground has always taken adult supervision. Keeping a watchful eye while the kids are playing their online video games isn't prying into kids' private play it's just good digital parenting.


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