What’s the big deal?
Do you enjoy playing games online? Chances are, if you don't, you know somebody who does. The gaming industry is huge! Did you know that around the world, more money is spent on games than on the film industry?!
With the internet, it is now possible to play with dozens, even hundreds of people at the same time through online games like World of Warcraft, Clash of Clans or gaming portals like Miniclip.
Being able to game with people all over the world makes online gaming even more exciting and with the ability to ‘chat’ in these games, it is easy to ‘make friends’ with the people you play with.
Just like in the real world though, you need to be careful when playing with strangers. Some people you meet online may not be very nice!
5 things to look out for
It’s easy to lie online and some of these ‘online friends’ may be adults who want to hurt you. How can you tell?
They will try to gain your trust and ‘make friends’ with you.
They build this trust by making you think they have things in common with you - like hobbies or the game that you’re playing with them.
They might try to get you to do things,
like add them on a social network, give them your phone number, send them photos or chat on webcam. This can get very difficult if they talk about things which make you uncomfortable or ask you to do things you don’t want to do.
They might offer to tell you ‘cheats’ to help you out with a game.
If they ask for something in return, think about why they are doing this - are they a ‘real’ friend or trying to build your trust - be alert!
Remember, if they share a link with you it could be a computer virus or spyware,
which tells the person your personal information without you knowing - be careful and don’t click on links from people you don’t know! Find out more
They may encourage you to tell them personal information
such as where you live and what school you go to. This is part of their attempt to get your trust and will tell them how to find you in the real world.
Are you worried about someone you’ve met in an online game?
Is someone being weird with you in a game? Talk to an adult you trust or get help from CEOP.
CEOP helps young people who are being sexually abused or are worried that someone they’ve met is trying to abuse them.
If you’ve met someone online, or face to face, and they are putting you under pressure to have sex or making you feel uncomfortable you should report to CEOP.
This might be someone:
- Making you have sex when you donʼt want to
- Chatting about sex online
- Asking you to meet up face to face if youʼve only met them online
- Asking you to do sexual things on webcam
- Asking for sexual pictures of you
- Making you feel worried, anxious or unsafe
If this is happening to you, or you’re worried that it might be, you can report this to CEOP.
Are you being bullied in an online gaming?
If you’re being bullied there’s lots of help and advice out there.
Talk to someone
On the ChildLine site you can find out more about online bullying. Being bullied can really knock your confidence so they also provide tips on ways to be assertive which can help deal with bullying and build up your self-esteem.
You can also speak to a counsellor on 0800 1111.
If you're being bullied, or are feeling a bit low, and you're not sure what to do or who to talk to, then you can go to BeatBullying for help.
On the BeatBullying site you can talk to a CyberMentor – a young person who has been trained and is volunteering their time online to help you.
It doesn't matter how big or small you think the problem is, or whether you're being targeted online or offline, their mentors will be there to listen and support you.
You can talk to a mentor and get help whenever the chat room is open (between 8am - 2am).