Playing with friends or family is fun. Online games, especially in times of Corona, are a nice way to do something together with friends and other family members without having to meet. Here’s a little guidance for parents and grandparents to navigate the world of online games.
Interaction with friends and family members is very important for children. Along the way, games can improve general knowledge, encourage strategic thinking, teamwork and creativity, or simply be fun! Many online games are free and playable both on the smartphone and on the computer via the browser.
Pen-and-paper games: A video connection via computer or smartphone is sufficient as a technical prerequisite for an evening of games together: Each player takes a pad and pen and pen-and-paper games can be played together as usual. These include games that require only a small amount of material, such as city-land-river or sink ships. Alternatively, you can play it at stadtlandflussonline.net or battleship-game.org.
Game apps: From Uno to Monopoly – many well-known card and board games can nowadays also be purchased as apps in the PlayStore or AppStore for a few euros. The knowledge game app Quizduell, where you can compete against your friends, has enjoyed great popularity for several years. Depending on the app, advertising clips can interrupt the game process little to significantly. It’s best to try out an app before the online game night you have planned.
Board and card games: Various classics such as checkers, backgammon and memory are offered for free by the English site Playingcards.io. Without registration it is possible to invite other players via a link. At schach-spielen.eu you can play either against the computer or with a friend via an invitation link. Board games for printing are available on Print & Play from Asmodee.
Drawing and guessing: On skribbl.io, one person draws a word on the screen, which the other players have to follow live and guess as quickly as possible. When setting up the game, set the language to German (Deutsch), invite friends via link and off you go!
Strategy games such as Settlers of Catan or Risk are also available as a free app and can be played with all friends who have registered with their e-mail address. However, extensions and premium version have to be paid. The free basic version of Settlers of Catancan also be played via the web browser at catanuniverse.com.
Especially with free online games, contact with unfamiliar players can happen quickly. Cybergrooming is a possible danger. Parents should therefore accompany younger children in particular during their first experiences with online games. At the same time, parents can look out for hidden costs, e.g. through in-app purchases, check information on data protection and the operator of the site and, if possible, make appropriate security settings.
On many game pages you can expect advertisements and pop-up windows from external sites that have nothing to do with the game. These can also be advertisements for games that are not age-appropriate or websites with content that is not child-friendly. On the portal Spielaffe.de, which is aimed at children, there is less of a risk of this happening, but the large amount of advertising for other games can be very annoying here as well. Questionable is the subdivision into categories such as ‘girl games’, where games about hairstyles, decorating and baking are listed. Such gender images in media can have a problematic impact on children’s development. A selection of child-friendly online games is also available at Seitenstark.