New Jersey police conducted a sting of adults talking to youth gamers and arrested 24 men.
The men were arreseted after contacting what they thought were 14 and 15 year old youths, chatting with them and then arranging to meet them in real life for sex.
To me, this really speaks to the need for education and awareness on the part of both the youth gaming, as well as the parents. Some much younger kids than 14 also play these games, especially Minecraft.
The ubiquity of technology and access online paired with youth who are naive about who they are chatting with, how and what personal information they divulge can add up to be the perfect storm for potential harm and trauma.
This really speaks to the need for awareness and smarts training for both kids and parents and for the parents to be aware of how the technology works, and how they can retaiin control over online chat functions.
As a parent of a young child, I'm envisioning that if he ever takes up gaming, having to take up gaming with him in order to keep apprised of what he's playing and who he's chatting with (and those strict parental controls of course). I'm also imagining outsourcing the tech part to our nieces and nephews so they can help us keep on top of the tools and tricks of technology. There is no way that my husband and I are tech savvy enough to keep up with how I imagine our sons generation will be using technology. I'm being realistic in the appraisal of our tech skills.
How are others dealing with this? Are people seeing parents of younger children with concerns about their tech use or who they are interacting with?