I can hear my son talking up a storm in our ‘game’ room. His very animated words and laughter break into the silence. Though I cannot hear the person he is talking to, indeed he is interacting with a friend.
We recently purchased an Xbox Live account which is the online gaming service for the Xbox 360 that allows you to interact with other Xbox players, download games, movies, and videos. At first, I was very nervous about my son encountering strangers on there, but we have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it’s been to make it safe and an awesome way for him to make new friends.
There are many controls that helps you as a parent help your child stay safe. To limit the risk of hearing offensive language from strangers, we created “friends only” games so that only players we know are allowed to play with our son. We can also mute players we don’t know so our son doesn’t have to hear them. Another handy feature is we can check on what he is playing by logging into www.xbox.com and checking our family account.
Since we didn’t know a lot of kids in our community he could be friends with online, we searched and were guided to a homeschool friendly gamer group. They shares their ‘gamertags’ with us and now our son is friends with kids from England, Canada, and many US states. We are finding the entire experience very rewarding for him. By socializing with kids all over the world, he is inadvertently learning about different cultures, time zones, geography, accents…the list just keeps growing!
Article By Nuria Almeida
Picture By Yousuf Maimoon