Are consoles a playground for sexual predators?
American news site Sunsentinel has run with a very catchy story called “Xbox a sex box?”. The main theme of their article is that online gaming has become the latest way for sexual predators to get at kids. Is this an over reaction, or genuine concern?
There’s no denying it, online gaming has become the next big thing. Faster Internet speeds allow millions of people of all ages to log on every night to play their favourite games – and developers have tuned into this fact, including an online option wherever possible.
Sunsentinel were contacted by a woman named Erica McWhorter, who apparently was ‘groomed’ by a man over Xbox Live. She had the following to say;
“It was very scary. He said, are you girl? How old are you? Do you have a web cam?”
She then says he asked her;
“If I wanted to see his private parts.”
McWhorter rightly reported the man to Microsoft and he was banned. However, the Sunsentinel now think every console is a paedophiles playground. They had this to say;
“XBOX live, PlayStation 3 and even Wii have become a sexual predator’s playground.
That’s because the games are interactive, kids are matched up with players all across the country, they can talk to each other, do battle in cyberspace and make friends.
The problem; often times the players are adult posing as kids, luring children through headsets and instant messages.”
Over the top reaction? Its a tough one. We aren’t so arrogant as to completely laugh this off as nonsense, but we do feel this news been slightly ‘sexed up’ (excuse the pun).
Once again it all comes down to monitoring. If a child is playing online they really should have been briefed about Internet safety – such as not giving out personal details. Parents can also set restrictions on consoles to limited what can be played.
And in all honesty, if someone asks if you want to see their private parts, that might be a bit of a hint that the person might not be that interested in a game of Buzz, and should be best avoided.
There is one humorous thing that can be taken from Sunsentinels article though. Sexual predators using the Wii? Seriously? Have they even tried to get online with a Wii? After the 30th time of entering ‘friend codes’ we are pretty sure even the most dangerous of perverts would just give up.