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Overwatch 2: (2024) Parent Guide

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This Overwatch video game guide will help VIP members learn:

  • What is Overwatch and why do students want to play the video game?
  • What are the dangers of playing Overwatch?
  • What can parents do to keep their students safer while playing Overwatch?

Overwatch 2: Parent's Guide 2023

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Overwatch 2: (2024) Parent Guide

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Overwatch is an online,  multiplayer, first-person, “hero shooter” game that is incredibly popular with students. Kids love playing Overwatch because as long as a player keeps playing the game, they will earn more rewards - this is a form of gamification that encourages kids to play more and more. Overwatch only works if players are matched onto teams with other real people which means that your child will be exposed to strangers in every game.

Top Concerns about Overwatch 2

  • Overwatch 2 is designed to be played with strangers and there is no solo-play option
  • Players can buy loot boxes using real money to get character skins which alter the appearance of their characters so parents should talk about whether it is acceptable to spend money on the game and what the limit is
  • Overwatch 2 features animated blood, violence, and use of tobacco

Overwatch parent video

What is Overwatch?

  • Overwatch is an online, team based shooter game that assigns players into two teams of six that “travel the world, build a team, and contest objectives in exhilarating 6v6 combat.” (Source: Overwatch)
  • Players choose their character (called ‘heroes’) from 30 options. Each character has unique weapons and capabilities 
  • The players on a team work together to secure and defend certain places on a map or escort a payload across the map during a limited amount of time
  • Players earn rewards as they play the game that do not affect gameplay, like victory poses and character skins
  • Overwatch is available on Windows, XBox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch and features a bright and cartoonish animation style, similar to Fortnite

Why do students like playing Overwatch?

  • Regardless of whether or not players win a match, they gain experience towards a player level
  • When players go up a level, they receive loot boxes that contain items that can be used to customize the appearance of the hero characters
  • As long as a player keeps playing the game, they will earn more rewards - this is a form of gamification that encourages kids to play more and more

Overwatch in the news

Racism, misogyn, death threats: why can't the booming video-game industry curb toxicity?
"Unlike a game of pickup basketball, however, online games will match-make teams out of random players, identifiable only by pseudonyms, thereby giving strangers a direct channel to another player’s headset via the game’s voice chat. ‘It certainly looks like the effect on adolescents and children in general is quite negative,’ said  [the] head of pediatric mental health at Louisiana State University. ‘There’s a higher incidence of depression.’" Washington Post

What parents need to know about Overwatch 2

  • Overwatch only works if players are matched onto teams with other real people, exposing your student to strangers in every game and putting them at risk of cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate language and predatory behavior
  • When your kids play multiplayer games while wearing headsets, they’re a million miles away - even if you’re sitting in the same room as them
  • In the past, the developers have been criticized for over-sexualizing characters and promoting cultural stereotypes
  • There are reports of the community becoming increasingly toxic and negative

What can parents do?

  • Set up parental controls through the Blizzard website
  • ~Set daily or weekly time limits or create a schedule for play
  • ~Receive a weekly email  play time report 
  • ~Enable or disable in-game purchases
  • Always monitor your kids during game time - it’s even better when parents play the game with their children
  • Keep gaming consoles in a public space in the home so you can supervise game time
  • Say no to headsets. Headsets leave students vulnerable to connecting with strangers
  • Discuss with your students to never meet up with someone they met online in another (private) messaging app or in person
  • Remind your student that if they ever see or hear something that makes them uncomfortable they should talk to a parent or another trusted adult

Does Overwatch 2 put your child at risk of gaming disorder?

  • Gaming disorder is considered a mental health condition. Look out for any warning signs that your child is addicted to video games:
  • ~Impaired control over gaming (e.g. onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
  • ~Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
  • ~Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences

Parent & educator training video

Pros and Cons of Video Games

Pros and Cons of Video Games as a Family

Conclusion

Due to the fact that players need to communicate with strangers in order to be successful playing Overwatch 2, we do not recommend that students play without supervision. When students wear headsets while gaming it's nearly impossible for parents to monitor them - even if they're in the same room, so parents may want to consider having teens play the game without headsets. While Overwatch's animation style is bright and cartoonish like Fortnite, that doesn't mean it is safe for students. We recommend that parents always monitor their kids during game time and keep an eye out for any warning signs that they are becoming addicted to gaming.

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This Overwatch video game guide will help VIP members learn:

  • What is Overwatch and why do students want to play the video game?
  • What are the dangers of playing Overwatch?
  • What can parents do to keep their students safer while playing Overwatch?

Overwatch 2: Parent's Guide 2023

Log in or join the VIP membership today to view all SmartSocial.com resources about Overwatch and other violent video games!

Become a member or log in to learn more on this topic

Superintendents, Directors and Principals: Request a partnership on this page to unlock our resources for your whole community.
Quotation marks

This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

StarStarStarStarStar

Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

Quotation marks

Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

StarStarStarStarStar

Director of College Advising

Educator Webinar Attendee

Quotation marks

This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

StarStarStarStarStar

Irene C.

Educator Webinar Attendee

Learn more

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