Online gaming has become one of the most popular pastimes, not only in Asia but around the world. Children as young as five years old are becoming addicted to online games and spending huge amounts of money on virtual console systems and related accessories. It is estimated that in North America, youth spend an average of 2 hours and forty-five minutes each day online gaming. What is even more amazing is that these children do not typically engage in dangerous behaviors or use drugs or alcohol, yet they remain glued to their computers for extended periods of time. This constant exposure to violence and destruction of property is very disturbing, especially when the kids grow up and start to take part in criminal activity.
An online game is any video game which is either largely or partially played online, or via the Internet. The majority of the top online games are console type games, meaning that the player connects to a console via a modem and then uses this modem to connect to the Internet using either a wired or wireless connection. There are many different types of online games and some of the most popular ones include: racing, card, adventure, text adventure, first-person shooter, strategy, shooting, virtual worlds, racing car, motorcycle, sports, avatar, card, word and puzzle.
Most online gaming consoles provide the gamer with personal information including their name, address, screen resolution, date and time of birth, gender and age, and their personal computer’s system type. This personal information can be sold to marketing firms and other groups that can exploit the young gamers for their own gain. Because of this, it is essential for parents to monitor their children’s internet usage and make sure that there is no excessive or inappropriate personal information being passed between players. In addition, it is important for the parents to install protective cyber security software on their home computers to protect themselves and their children from the dangers of online gaming.