What are MMOGs
Many children and teens play computer games as their favourite pastime. Some young gamers have very little real-life interests besides computer games. They are also playing games anywhere and anytime, on smartphones and various mobile gaming consoles.
What to watch out for
One particular genre of games parents should pay special attention to is the Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs), or virtual world games. Popular MMOGs in Singapore include Audition, Blackshot, League of Legends and World of Warcraft.
It used to be easier for parents to monitor their child’s gaming hours and to get him off the computer once he exceeds the time limit.
However, mobile technology and smartphones have made monitoring more difficult.
A survey by market research company Nielsen in 2013 showed 87% of handphones in Singapore are smartphones. It is Asia Pacific’s highest smartphones penetration rate together with Hong Kong. Singapore ranked second in tablet ownership with 47%, trailing Hong Kong (57%).
With great advancements in technology, smartphones are now mini computers our children and youth can carry everywhere they go. It is common to see them glued to their mobile devices and disconnected from their physical surroundings.
A point to highlight is mobile devices like smartphones, iPads, iPods, etc. provide easy access to thousands of online games which can be downloaded easily within seconds.
Tips for parents
- Familiarise yourself with the games your child is playing. Check out Popular Games Among Youths.
- Buy video games which are age appropriate for your child. Use the Video Games Classification System by the Media Development Authority (MDA) as a guide.
Age Advisory (for 16 and older) Mature 18 (for 18 and older) Banned/NAR (Not allowed for all ratings) Adult Themes
- Crime and homosexuality
- Denigrates race or religion
- Deviant sexual behaviour
- Realistic but not excessive
- Realistic depiction
- Sadistic violence
- Sexual violence
- Sex with some nudity
- Limited homosexual activity
- Detailed and frequent depiction of sexual activity
- Without details (e.g. genitalia)
- Mildly suggestive
- Topless or occasional full frontal nudity
- Sexuality suggestive
- Exploitative and excessive depiction of nudity
- Limited coarse language
- Frequent use of strong coarse language
- Religiously offensive and denigrative
- Not realistic
- Realistic depiction
- Glamorises and encourages
- Introduce music, arts or sports activities to your children to divert them from gaming.
- Educate your children to:
- Complete their schoolwork or any chores first before gaming
- Take regular breaks from gaming
- Spend the majority of their free time on non-gaming activities
- Involve the family in their gaming and internet activities
- Implement family rules for gaming and consistently enforce consequences if the rules are broken
- Do not reward your child with more gaming-related devices e.g. PSP, smartphone