Gamer Tags are the name or online persona of a user upon a Gaming Network. The term first became prevalent upon Microsoft platforms, but is now in common use across;
- Xbox Live
- PlayStation Network
- Apple Game Centre
Safe and Secure
First stages is to start at home. Look at what Gamer tags your household are using. Check for appropriateness and that isnt revealing any personal information. The Gamer Tag shouldnt include real names, date/year of birth, geographic locations – all the usual good practices of reducing a digital footprint.
Dont forget that the Gamer Tag is not just a name, it is an entire profile – just like all other Social Media accounts. Ensure that the profile is clear of personal data too.
Players can stylise in just about every way that their ‘Avatar’ is displayed to other gamers. Check what they are using. Would you deem it appropriate for the age of the gamer ? Just like the text of their profile, verify what visual representations and style they use. Ensure it could not be interpreted as being offensive or provocative.
Keep it amongst friends
Promote and enforce amognst your young gamers that they can only play with people that you know in life. Keep a list of the Gamer Tags of known friends and perodically check to ensure new friends haven’t been added without your knowledge.
Despite the constant nags, discourage the changing of Gamer Tags. Once one has been picked, try not to change it unless absolutely necessary. Other parents will be using this safety technique and a change in Tag will appear to be a stranger.
Reporting inappropriate behavior
Gamer Tags are used as the key identification of abuse. All of the gaming networks have official reporting processes through which any person can report inappropriate behavior.
- Capture the precise Gamer Tags – carefully noting swaps of alpha and numeric charecters.
- Note the time and dates of incidents.If possible, take screen captures of any perceived abuse.
- It’s okay to use your camera phone for this, you don’t need any specialist technology.
Use the links below to report the incident. Do not share the details upon social media. Until it has been independently investigated, doing so could cause more harm than good.