We were reluctant to let the boys take their game play online, because of obvious security concerns. Of course they have their own agenda, and have recently discovered how big the online gaming world can be. Now they are hooked, and want to play every game online.
We've had several talks with the boys about what can and can't be said online. Never talk about where you live, how old you are, or anything that could inadvertently give that information away. Nico isn't sure how he could possibly give out information with out intending to, but we assured him it is possible, so be very careful what you say. Basically, only talk about the game, and nothing else.
A great side effect from online gaming, is how much reading, writing and spelling is involved. For Nico to coordinate with other players, they must chat, and both Tim and I refuse to read things for him, forcing him to decipher things on his own. (Yes we monitor everything exchanged.) This morning I've been sitting back and watching Nico interact with another player online. He's been trying his best to decipher chat, and respond appropriately. Sometimes Lucas even reads it before Nico gets the chance. (I have the feeling Lucas can read much better than he generally lets on.)
I have jumped in and interpreted a few things, such as LOL and brb. Nico was able to figure out plz meant please completely on his own, but that's an easy one. In his responses, he's been sounding out and spelling words completely on his own. He's not always correct, but he's usually really close, i.e. swich for switch. I can forgive him for not hearing the t.
I'm not yet ready to give him free range of the interwebs, but so long as he is supervised, I see no reason to disallow him online game play. Especially since he is learning so much from it.