There was a time when computer gaming was time spent ‘just for me’, but with the advent of the Internet, gaming shifted from a solitary pursuit to one with almost endless social possibilities. The increasingly availability of free online games democratized the gaming experience, removing any financial obstacle from the path of those searching the Internet for cheap ways to have some fun. The Internet has opened up an entire virtual world to anyone with a connection, and while online gaming can offer a wonderful opportunity to meet people all across the globe, the accessibility of free online games also makes them vulnerable to danger.
Free online games are easy to locate and play, usually only requiring the input of a gaming identity and other basic details. While most people participating in these games are undoubtedly doing so to while away those lazy free time hours, a quick glance at any news report tells us that there will always be people willing to exploit an innocent forum for their own gains.
This is why online games must always be played with the same caution you would display elsewhere. While most Internet users are vigilant in monitoring closely the information with which they are willing to part online, the experience of gaming can undermine inhibitions and result in the making of poor choices. Free online games are designed to create excitement or relaxation, and this is the very reason that we play them. But this relaxed state of mind can compromise our vigilance, and result in our revealing information that we would, at other times, keep to ourselves.
Despite the camaraderie discovered playing free online games, it is important to remember that you do not really know the people with whom you are playing. While sharing some information is fine, it is always wise to avoid revealing any identifying information, such as your real name, your age, or your address. This is particularly true for small children, whose natural inhibitions are few. Monitor young children’s Internet usage at all times, and be sure they understand that online friends are not the same as real life ones.
Free online gaming is a great way to spend some free time, so keep it fun by staying safe at all times. Enjoy spending time with your new virtual friends, but remember that things are not always what they seem and keep your personal information to yourself.