Police on game community risks

I don't like the excessive reporting about "predators" online that go way beyond alerting parents to spreading the kind of fears that cause overreaction and shut down parent-child communication (the latter can put kids at greater risk because they go underground at a time when grownup street smarts are needed more than ever). But this is a predation story worth parents' awareness. "FBI officials said they are now investigating a number of cases in southern Ohio in which sexual predators have used online gaming systems to find victims," WAPT TV in Cincinnati reports. "What makes the new technology especially dangerous, agents said, is that players can talk to one another using headsets." Last year a 30-year-old woman was arrested by the FBI for using Xbox Live to exchange nude photos with a teenager in another state, and in 2006 I blogged about a
26-year-old man in California who was accused of grooming a boy in the same gaming community. To learn about one small group that's there for young gamers in Xbox Live, see "Support for young gamers." See also a 2005 item "A mom writes: Trash talk in online games."

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