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Online gaming: Just the facts

There are lots of ways to enjoy playing games online.

You can play on a console, computer or may prefer to use your phone to play through apps and websites.

While you play some games on your own, when you play multiplayer games, you could be playing with people you might not know who could be anywhere in the world.

Are online games addictive?

Whereas with video games, you’re trying to beat your highest score before the game ends, online gaming has no real end point, so you can keep on playing with or against other people for as long as you want.

This means it’s very easy to get addicted to the game you’re playing. With most online games, you get a reward when you reach a certain point or complete a particular task, which means you’ll want to keep on playing to get the next reward, and the one after that, and the one after that……

Boy playing online game

Chatting with other players

Many online games also let you talk to the other players. This could be through the game itself, a console network, the game’s chat room or in a forum. You should be careful doing this though, as these people will be strangers and may not be who they say they are. It is safer to stick with speaking to people you already know in the real world when you are gaming.

You can talk to other players through the headset you are wearing, on an instant messenger service or via a video chat. Some online gamers also live stream themselves playing a game for others to watch and chat about. Be cautious about doing this as once comments or videos are uploaded to the internet, they can become very widespread and viewed by anyone.

Games are a good way to relax and have fun, but it is important to be careful about the personal information you share online and who you talk to so you stay safe at all times. If you’re at all worried, talk to your school nurse or a teacher.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively, you can always contact your school nurse.

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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.

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