Online gaming

There are lots of different types of online games. Some are simple games that you can play on your own and others are big multiplayer games with hundreds of people. We can help you learn how to stay safe online when playing games. 

How to keep your online gaming safe and fun

Lots of people play games online. Some games are small and simple, like the games on our website. Others are large multiplayer games where you can play against hundreds of other people who you might not know.

Staying safe and keeping your personal information private is very important. Not everyone is who they say they are online, make sure you don't share your name, age, address and location with anyone.

It can be easy to get angry or upset when you're playing games online too, but there are some ways to make sure you stay in control.

Games are designed to keep you coming back for more, if you ever feel yourself getting annoyed easily or tired, take a break for a while or reduce your gaming time.  

4 top tips for staying safe online:

  1. there's nothing wrong with losing - sometimes you'll win and sometimes you'll lose
  2. respect other players and don't upset anyone in order to get ahead
  3. keep an eye out for game ratings - they tell you if the game is unsuitable for younger age groups
  4. don't spend all your time gaming - make time for your family and friends, other social activities and homework

Keeping it to yourself

It's important to keep your personal information safe. So try to remember:

  • Don't use any personal information
    This could be your full name, home address, phone number or the name of your school
  • Use a nickname
    Don't use your real name.Choose a nickname that will not attract the wrong type of attention
  • Look out for your mates
    Treat your friend's personal details like you would your own and don't share their details with others.

In some online games, you can talk to others players through a headset, often known as 'voice chat'. The other person might seem friendly but remember they are still strangers. It's important to be safe, so don't agree to meet up with anyone you don't know.

Sometimes you can use a 'voice mask'. This will disguise your voice and make you sound different. That way others don't know your age or gender.

If other players make you feel uncomfortable or keep asking personal questions, hang up or cancel the chat and tell a trusted adult.

Things to remember when you’re playing online

  • Games are meant to be fun
    It’s not okay for people to be nasty about how well or badly you play a game, everyone who plays has different experience and skills. If a game stops being fun because of how other people play, play with different people. Or play a different game
  • Block players who harass you
    Most games with have the ability to block other players, if you’re being harassed or bullied by someone else, you can always block or mute them
  • Not everyone will be friendly
    Playing games can be a great way to talk to people and share something you enjoy. Not everyone will be nice on games. Some people “troll” and say nasty things just because they can. Usually because they can do it anonymously. When someone says something nasty online that’s not okay. And it’s not your fault

when games may be interfering in your life

It's really important to be aware of when you feel like you might be addicted to something, such as online gaming. If you're addicted, your games may:

  1. stop you from seeing your seeing friends or family
  2. take the place of doing homework
  3. not be able to stop thinking about the game
  4. be unable to stop playing, even when you need to sleep.

If you feel seriously addicted to something, it’s a good idea to get support. Talking to a professional – like a doctor or counsellor – can really help. But there are also some ways you can help yourself and take control of your addiction.

You can talk to us about anything

When you feel worried about something, it can feel really hard to ask for help. It’s normal to worry that how you feel is ‘stupid’ or ‘not important’, or that other people will laugh or not understand.

Even though it can be hard to share some things, it’s important to know that there are people who can support you and take you seriously. We talk to young people about all sorts of things. Even if you feel embarrassed or ashamed about what's happened, we'll never judge you and we'll always listen.