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Author Topic: Keeping kids safe; do more...  (Read 3984 times)

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Offline kat

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Keeping kids safe; do more...
« on: April 02, 2015, 02:42:46 PM »
Keeping kids safe online is about education. The recent Nantwich letter, Northamps' Study, and even as far back as the Byron Review, all conclude the same way. Education. Oddly no-one seems able to clarify exactly whose responsibility this is; except the games industries of course - they really should "do more".

But what does that mean, "do more" than what?
- place ratings symbols on boxart?
- positioning display boards in-store explaining the ratings?
- having leaflets and flyers available/given to customers upon purchase?
- requiring age confirmation for credit or debit cards purchases?
- requiring age confirmation to purchase 18 rated games?
- refusing to sell games directly to minors (illegal in some locals)?
- be subject to hefty fines any time the aforementioned are contravened (PEGI T&C)?
- risk the possibility of prosecution (region specific).

If the issue is one of education, that involves two parties, the 'teacher' and the 'student', if the latter is unable or unwilling to learn (for whatever reason) no amount of teaching will alleviate that. Who then is to blame for said individuals abrogating responsibility to remain ignorant of the issue(s). Just how is a parent too busy working/[insert reason] 'forced' or 'coerced' into understanding how appropriate little Timmy or Tina's games are relative to their (the parents) sensibilities. And more to the point just how exactly is 'the industry' expected to know all this when demands for deeper involvement are made.

To make-real on such, parents need to be prepared to put up with deeper intrusion into their personal and family lives at purchase, perhaps being asked questions such as;
- "Is this purchase for you or someone else".
- "Is this purchase for a person under 18 or a minor".
- "Is the intended user of the relevant or appropriate age...".
- "... If not are you/parent/guardian going to be supervising their play"
- "... If not would you be 'OK' with us passing your details on to the police/Social Services/etc.".
- "Would you be willing to sign this release confirming you're 'OK' with this purchase being made for a minor".
- "Sorry Madam/Sir. According to our records we're unable to sell you that game".
- [other questions related to sharing personal data, possibly about minors, with strangers].

Quite the proposition when put that way.



[sample flyer that might be handed out/put in bag at purchase or alternatively, rather than using tax-payers money to produce yet another study/hold more conferences/discussions that conclude the same way, money could be used to print flyers, similar to the above perhaps (do not use, sample only based upon PEGI marketing materials/guidelines - note also deliberate use of hyperbolic language to get the attention of target, i.e. parent, "fear", "risk", "danger" etc.), for a leaflet drop through letter boxes of "to whom it may concern"]


Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Keeping kids safe; do more...
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 03:35:37 PM »
interesting and did you make that sample flyer kat?

Offline kat

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Re: Keeping kids safe; do more...
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2015, 04:02:19 PM »
Aye, just to 'demo' an idea (it shouldn't be used though, the logo's are trademarked and subject to licensing from PEGI - if t'were to be done, permission would need to be sought). But it got me thinking about producing something parents could keep to hand as a reference/cue card or some such with basic ratings information. It would be easy to hand out in-store, shoved through letterboxes, or given that this entire debate is about youngster, given to parents whose kids are in school. It could also be provided for digital purchases though whose email it gets sent to is up for debate as the accounts and emails kids often use are their own and not their parents. But this would mean all the stakeholders acknowledging they have a part to play in realising (making real) this instead of the endless committees, talks, discussions that just reiterate what's been known for decades.

Offline kat

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ESA: Essential facts about the games industry 2015 released
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2015, 03:28:50 AM »
The ESA recently (April 2015) released the results of the annual Essential Facts about the Computer and Video game Industry for 2015 survey and looking at the section on PARENTS AND GAMES (pp 8 & 9) they seem to be completely contrary to the points raised above in the UK reports; that parents do indeed take the role of monitoring what games their young un's play seriously, i.e. they are actually "parenting".

Granted this is the Industry reporting on itself (bigging itself up?), but the disparity between what 'politicians' seem to see (reports, papers and investigations lead with policy in mind) versus what the games industry see's are pretty significant. Without more complete disclosure in terms of what questions were ask (wording matters) and other things it's difficult to say one way or the other which is a truer picture. Either way it's perhaps not as 'fearful' an image as the general public is lead to believe by the media (employing click-bait headlines).

- 69% of parents regularly check a game’s rating before making a purchase.
- 84% of parents are aware of the ESRB rating system.
- 91% of parents believe that the parental controls available in all new video game consoles are useful.
- 79% of parents place time limits on video game playing

- 91% of parents are present when games are purchased or rented.
- 90% require their children to get permission before buying or renting a video game.
- 94% of parents always or sometimes pay attention to the video games their child play.


[image courtesy ESA Essential Facts 2015]

Caveat: the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) is ostensibly concerned with the North American market but the results of the survey can be considered reasonably applicable to other English or ostensibly 'Western(ised)' cultures.



Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Keeping kids safe; do more...
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 11:10:16 AM »
those esa stats are surprisingly positive.

Offline kat

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Re: Keeping kids safe; do more...
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2015, 11:35:52 PM »
With specific respect to parents and their relationship to kids and the video games they play, they're generally always been that way. As such they're always so at odds with media and political portrayals of the "harm" games are always alleged to cause but no-one seems to be able to pin down to any significant degree (as discussed previously). This is especially so when the parents of today were the gamer kids of yesterday so are (should be) fully aware of the role they need to be occupying in the kids gaming lives.

What would be interesting to find out is the socioeconomic breakdowns attached to those stats, are families with or without working parents/single parents etc. more inclined to spend time with their kids gaming and so on... These things kinda matter within the larger conversation. Instead they're ignored for the sake of pandering to a cause, which in this instance is an increased role of the State in what Parents should and should not do. In other words the State suggesting parents are bad if they do "X" instead of "Y".

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Keeping kids safe; do more...
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2015, 12:03:58 AM »
understood and interesting.

Offline kat

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