Study: Kids play 15+ hours of video games per week

Updated: Jun. 15, 2018 at 1:18 PM CDT
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(KAIT/NBC) - According to a new study, the average kid will be playing video games for more than 15 hours per week this summer, and with many games comes risk.

A new McAfee study states children this summer will play video games for more than two hours each day on average.

Ninety-two percent of parents let kids play at least an hour a day, but 94% are concerned about the risks their children are exposed to while playing video games online. Often gameplay in unsupervised.

"Most parents admit that they really don't monitor as closely as they should and most parents allow kids to play games that their not the appropriate age for," said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist for McAfee.

Exposure to violence and inappropriate content is a top concern for parents, as well as interacting with strangers in online multiplayer games. Experts said there's also a cybersecurity risk.

"Once a child says 'I need help in this game' they go online and that's when really bad things can happen not only can they be exposed to malicious links also get exposed to viruses," said Davis.

Cybercriminals use common gaming search terms as a trap, knowing children may not be as cautious as adults about links and downloads. However, there is a way for parent to protect themselves and their family with security software on devices. Plus, have a conversation with kids about the risks.

Hours spent gaming aren't all a waste.

Skills developed through video games can have a use for a child's future career. According to McAfee, 92% of new hires in the cybersecurity field are gamers.

There are also a number of tech summer camps that offer courses using kids' passion for video games to teach them coding and engineering skills.

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