Parent’s Guide to Online Gaming, Part 2

| Total Words: 916

In part 1 we talked about online gaming and your children, including FPS games and exposure to violent content. We wrap up this week by talking about RTS games, MMORPGs and the additional threats of addiction and social predators.

RTS stands for Real Time Strategy. Strategy because these games generally take a much larger perspective, casting the player as a general or commander of an army or even the leader of a civilization rather than as a single person. Real Time because the action moves forward whether the player acts or not. The alternative to Real Time is turn-based strategy, where each player moves in turn, taking whatever time they need. Turn based games tend to have deeper strategic components and complex non-military progressions that make them less popular with children. RTS games are a relatively benign genre, as they abstract the violence and conflict out to at least the unit level, removing much of the graphic gore found in FPS games and reducing it to numbers and lost units. They also tend to have complicated decision structures, making playing them a good exercise in critical thinking. Those same quick, complex decisions make this type of game difficult...

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