The 5 Real Costs of Online Gaming

With Christmas Holidays approaching, you can safely bet the gamers in your family will be spending bulk time online.

Gaming has always been a popular activity among young people, today however, online gaming is far increasing in popularity than the traditional offline games we once played. The online gaming community once occupied by the diehard gamers of the world, is now viewed by young people as one they desperately want to be part of. Professional Gaming is now a highly lucrative career option, not unlike a sporting career where the exceptionally talented are given the opportunity to compete in global tournaments with prize pools of up to $20million.  The desire to be as good at any given game, as these pro gamers results in a variety of impacts to young people’s health and wellbeing.

After consulting with our Cyber Expert & Clinical Psychologist Jordan Foster from ySafe on the impacts of online gaming among young people, we’ve highlighted the 5 key issues of online gaming and their real costs to your children.

1. Cyberbullying - Self Esteem


Talent and skills in gaming are crucial in the online gaming community. The most popular online games are designed to be played as a team, however causing a loss for your team can often result in an onslaught of vicious cyberbullying, the aim of which is often to cause a player to leave the game entirely. Younger children are targeted particularly harshly as they are seen as not belonging in the online gaming community because their skill level couldn’t possibly match that of an older, more experienced player. They are also impacted more significantly by online attacks, and are less likely to tell their parents because they don’t want their parents to ban them from the game. Similarly, as in physical sports, young people’s self-esteem depends highly on being accepted by teammates, which is an ongoing and uphill battle which some gamers will never achieve. 

2. Grooming - Privacy and Physical Safety


The online gaming world is the perfect environment for online predators to groom children. Games attract predators because they know that there are lots of young children on these games. Also, playing games gives predators a reason to ‘compliment’ children, which is one of the biggest factors that occurs in grooming. Because children are looking for approval, this provides an easy way for predators to target the more vulnerable players who are being bullied. Now that the gaming world often includes microphone and webcam use, children are even more at risk of being identified.

3. In game purchases - Cash and Gambling Indoctrination


Some online games are free to access, however almost all feature additional in game purchases or subscriptions required to maximise the game play experience. Cosmetics, which are different appearances for characters or weapons are occasionally free, but the rarer ones are not. Rarer and more expensive cosmetic items provide the player with a higher status within the game. An enormous variety of options are available for players to purchase. This industry alone is worth $4 billion globally. Gamers can also place bets on professionals playing around the world, as well as betting to win more cosmetic options which introduces gambling to children and teenagers well before they’re of legal age to do so in the real world.

4. Excessive Screen Time - Sleep and Physical Health


The addictive nature of online gaming results in an excessive amount of time spent in front of the computer. This, we already know is a huge issue for young people today. Younger children’s screen time can be easier to manage, however with school holidays coming up it can be much more difficult to manage teenagers screen time. A lack of sleep is only the beginning of health issues that can arise from excessive gaming. Other issues include carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, eating irregularities and even migraines.

5. Gaming Anxiety - Mental Health


Online gaming has also been reported to increase anxiety among players, primarily due to the bullying, but also the pressure of performance.  Some games require strategic thinking and planning, which can be a positive skill to develop in young people, however the risk of making mistakes and being berated can result in a heightened stress reaction or self-blaming for letting the team down. Jordan advises “Gaming can provide a positive outlet for children to develop their sense of teamwork and achievement when they do well. However, sometimes the scales can be tipped towards a more negative effect. Children who face bullying online, who are excluded from teams, or who do not perform as well as others can often experience anxiety and stress, which can then spill over into their offline world, impacting their focus at school and decreasing their interest in other social activities”.


We understand that managing screen time is incredibly difficult, especially with teenage children being left unsupervised at home during school holidays. We’re here to help though – Consider attending one of our helpful webinars to learn how to manage screen time &/or managing gaming consoles

New call-to-action

Topics: Parental Controls, Mobile Apps, Cyber Safety, Gaming

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | teens on social media
    Can we talk? 100 questions your teen might actually answer
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Cyber Bullying | Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | online predators | tiktok | paedophile | child predator | Likee
    LIKEE: What parents need to know about this risky TikTok wannabe
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | Fortnite | discord
    Discord: What parents need to know
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs

    Recent posts

    When is it okay to turn a kid into a brand?

    Social media careers are a top aspiration for Gen Z kids. And some - urged on by a new generation of ‘stage’ parents - are pursuing their ...

    Our kids are more connected - yet lonelier - than ever before

    Young people's loneliness has increased dramatically since 2012, according to new research. So has smartphone use. And that’s no ...

    Doomscrolling: What it is, why we do it, how to stop

    Compulsively reading negative news online wastes time and makes us feel awful. So why do we keep doing it - and how can we stop?

    How TikTok's funhouse mirror is distorting our kids' view of the world

    TikTok's algorithm pushes vulnerable kids toward risky content and risky behaviours, from eating disorders to self-harm.