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Mobile Gaming

Mobile phones are an emerging platform in the gaming world. Mobile games can be played on most available smartphone models and can be a fun way to play on the go. Like other more traditional forms of electronic gaming, mobile gaming has its positives as well as some things you should be aware of:

Even free games can cost you.
Most mobile games are free to play, meaning it costs you nothing up front to download, install, and play the game. Usually, these games generate revenue by making in-game enhancements such as items, power ups, levels, or other features available for additional fees (sometimes called microtransactions).  Parents should ensure their child’s device will not allow them to charge the parental account without permission.

Pay attention to ratings.
Even if a game is free for anyone to download and appears to have child-friendly characters or themes, it could still contain mature content. Take note of the ratings and read reviews to see what type of content is in the game.

Mobile multiplayer games can allow for communication between players.
If a mobile game allows for matches between two different players, it probably also allows for those players to communicate with each other. Even simple word games can have chat features that let players converse. Parents can download the game and explore features and options (such as in-game messaging or blocking and reporting options) before allowing their child access.

Only download games from trusted sources.
Use official app stores to download games and other apps. The games located on official app stores have been scanned for malware and have to adhere to certain quality terms in order to be made available to consumers. Additionally, read the reviews for the app or program to see what experiences others have had with it. Make sure you have antivirus on your phone or device to protect against malware.

GPS-enabled games may take you to places you are unfamiliar with.
Games with location functionality can be a good way to get some exercise while having fun. Some of them even include augmented reality components that can enhance your experience in the real world. Since GPS-enabled games place goals and events in locations in the real world, be careful not to wander into unfamiliar settings. Always be aware of your surroundings Additionally, some of these games allow you to add friends, and these friends may be able to see your location in the game (and therefore in the real world), so make sure you know who you’re adding.

Connecting your gaming profile to social media shares your information.
A game may ask you to connect your gaming profile to a social media account to make it easier to log in. Doing this may share information from your social media profile with the company, such as your name, picture, friends list, and current city. If you elect to use this option for a speedier login, carefully read the permissions that the app is asking for. If it seems like too much information, don’t use this option.

Mobile gaming can be fun and convenient, and exercising awareness can help keep it an enjoyable and safe hobby.