Video games are popular among young people. Not only do they spend hours playing, many teens watch videos of their favourite players on platforms such as Twitch or YouTube. The growing popularity of streamers (live broadcasts) in the video game universe is indisputable.

Frequently criticized for their violent and sexist content as well as their addictiveness (time spent playing, hard to quit, etc.), video games are not all bad. They provide teenagers with a means to socialize with their friends, to connect with one’s community, to be entertained and develop such skills as cooperation, problem solving and coordination. As a parent, taking an interest in the games their teens enjoy as well as the time they spend online is well worthwhile to find the right dosage and appropriate content.

“Playing online isn’t a bad thing… It’s how they stay in touch with their friends. But gaming in moderation, playing non-violent games, is key.” – Mother of a 13-year-old boy

Some games involve content of a sexual nature, violence as well as racial and gender stereotyping. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) video game rating system helps parents choose suitable games based on content and a player’s age. To learn more about this system, please refer to the Resources page.