eGamingOnline Gaming and Child Safety

Online Gaming and Child Safety


Online gaming has become a popular form of entertainment for people of all ages, including children. With the increasing availability of gaming platforms and the rise of multiplayer online games, it is essential to address the topic of child safety in the online gaming environment.

Understanding the Risks

While online gaming can offer numerous benefits, such as cognitive development, social interaction, and problem-solving skills, it also carries certain risks for children. It is crucial for parents, caregivers, and guardians to be aware of these risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them. Some of the potential risks include:

a) Inappropriate Content: Online games often feature user-generated content, including violence, explicit language, or other inappropriate themes. Children may be exposed to content unsuitable for their age group.
b) Online Predators: The anonymity of online gaming platforms can attract individuals with malicious intent. Predators may use gaming platforms to groom and exploit children, posing a severe threat to their safety.
c) Cyberbullying: Online gaming communities can sometimes foster a toxic environment where cyberbullying occurs. Children may be subjected to harassment, verbal abuse, or exclusion by other players, leading to emotional distress.
d) In-Game Purchases and Privacy Concerns: Many online games offer in-game purchases or collect personal information from players. Children may inadvertently make purchases or share sensitive data without understanding the consequences, potentially compromising their privacy or exposing them to financial risks.

Tips for Ensuring Child Safety in Online Gaming

Set Clear Boundaries and Parental Controls: Establish clear rules regarding online gaming, including time limits, appropriate game genres, and interactions with other players. Utilise parental control features on gaming platforms to manage and monitor your child’s gaming activities.
Educate Children about Online Safety: Teach your child about the potential risks of online gaming, including the importance of not sharing personal information, engaging with strangers, or downloading unauthorised content. Encourage open communication so they feel comfortable discussing any concerns or uncomfortable experiences.
Research Games and Read Reviews: Before allowing your child to play a game, research its content, ratings, and reviews. Consider age-appropriate games that align with your child’s interests and values.
Enable Safe Chat and Reporting Features: If the game allows chat features, ensure that your child uses only safe chat options that limit interactions with strangers. Familiarise yourself and your child with the reporting mechanisms within the game to report any inappropriate behaviour.

Obligations under Intermediary Guidelines ensuring child safety-

The Intermediary Guidelines regulating online platforms and promoting child safety in various digital spaces, including online gaming, provide obligations for intermediaries, such as gaming platforms, to create a safer environment for children. Intermediary Guidelines contribute to ensuring child safety in online gaming and outline the obligations they impose on gaming platforms.

a) Age Verification and Content Moderation:
The Intermediary Guidelines emphasise the importance of age verification mechanisms to prevent children from accessing inappropriate content. Gaming platforms must implement robust age verification procedures to ensure that age-restricted games or content are not accessible to underage users. Content moderation policies must be in place to filter out explicit or harmful content that could harm a child’s well-being.
b) Reporting Mechanisms:
The guidelines require gaming platforms to establish user-friendly reporting mechanisms allowing users, including children, to report inappropriate or harmful behaviour. These mechanisms enable users to flag instances of cyberbullying, harassment, or encounters with online predators, ensuring timely intervention by platform moderators.
c) Proactive Monitoring and Takedown of Inappropriate Content:
Intermediaries must actively monitor their platforms for any content violating child safety norms. If inappropriate or harmful content is identified, platforms must take swift action to remove or disable access to such content to prevent children from being exposed.
d) Privacy Protection:
The guidelines also emphasise the importance of protecting children’s privacy. Gaming platforms must ensure that personal information, including name, age, location, and contact details, is collected and stored securely. Children should be educated about the significance of safeguarding their personal information and encouraged to seek parental consent before sharing sensitive data.
e) Prohibition of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM):
The Intermediary Guidelines prohibit intermediaries from hosting or disseminating any content involving child sexual abuse or exploitation. Gaming platforms must have stringent measures to detect, report, and promptly remove any CSAM-related content. Such platforms must cooperate with law enforcement agencies and report any instances of CSAM that come to their attention.
f) Compliance and Grievance Redressal:
Gaming platforms must comply with the guidelines and other laws and ensure their operations align with the prescribed child safety measures. Additionally, they must establish effective grievance redressal mechanisms to promptly address user complaints and concerns related to child safety.


As online gaming continues gaining popularity among children, ensuring their safety in this digital environment becomes paramount. While online gaming offers numerous benefits, such as social interaction and cognitive development, it also exposes children to various risks, including inappropriate content, online predators, cyberbullying, and privacy concerns. To safeguard children while they enjoy online gaming, parents, caregivers, and gaming platforms must work together to implement adequate safety measures. Setting clear boundaries and utilising parental controls help parents manage and monitor their child’s gaming activities. The Intermediary Guidelines are crucial in ensuring child safety in online gaming. By imposing obligations on gaming platforms, such as age verification, content moderation, reporting mechanisms, and privacy protection, the guidelines aim to create a safer digital environment for children.
Protecting children in the online gaming world requires a collaborative effort from parents, caregivers, and gaming platforms. By staying vigilant, educating children about online safety, and implementing robust safety measures, we can create an environment where children can enjoy the benefits of online gaming while being protected from potential risks.


Author: Mr. Neeraj Soni, Intern – Policy & Advocacy Team, CyberPeace


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