The effect that online abuse in gaming can have on young people has been a concern for many; with Ofcom revealing that 52% of parents were concerned about the possibility of their children being bullied whilst gaming. Ensuring young people can address and understand harmful behaviour whilst enjoying their gaming experience can be essential to protecting both their own and other users’ wellbeing whilst keeping them safe online.
It has recently been announced that Ubisoft, the tech company behind games including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and the Watch Dogs series, has designed a new guide to support players in addressing ‘toxic’ behaviours online.
The new guide, titled the ‘Good Game Playbook,’ has been designed in collaboration with the gaming mental health charity Safe in Our World. The guide aims to support users to identify, counter, and protect themselves from online abuse. The playbook also aims to turn online gaming into a more positive experience for everyone, and will include information on self-care, understanding users’ own limits and triggers, as well as a broader sense of understanding how toxic gaming communities can affect player wellbeing.
The new guide will be automatically shared with anyone who reports or is reported for a form of harassment within games from Ubisoft. Alternatively, the guide can be downloaded from the Ubisoft and Safe in Our World websites. Take a look at the Good Game Playbook here.
Online Safety in Gaming
Addressing online abuse in gaming is a shared responsibility, and by acknowledging the issue, cultivating a culture of respect and inclusivity, and implementing effective measures to counteract abuse, we can strive towards a safer, more enjoyable gaming environment for everyone.
Gaming communities, as our Online Safety and Gaming Hub explores, have become an important part of many young people’s reasons to game, with 16% of 8-17-year-olds chatting with strangers within games. Online communities allow young people to meet and play games with people who have similar interests, and players can gather around a specific game, character or theme to build fan bases that can interact with each other.
However, as with any space where people interact, users can express a range of different thoughts and emotions when interacting. Whilst many gaming communities engage in positive and supportive behaviour, others will engage in toxic and hurtful interactions that can be destructive and harmful to others.
To find out more about how young people can stay safe within their online gaming community, you can visit SWGfL’s Online Safety and Gaming hub, which provides all the information, benefits, and considerations you need to know to support a young person in your care as they continue their gaming experience.
The Online Safety and Gaming Hub looks at how gaming has become one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world and has transformed in recent years to include competitive gaming and social events.
In relation to online safety and gaming, we’ve also recently launched our 2023 Roblox Checklist (in partnership with Roblox) to support users with their privacy and security concerns; ensuring a safer experience. Teachers, parents, carers and gamers can download the checklist from our website.
Reporting Harmful Content in Gaming
If you are concerned about any harmful content, you may have seen online, Report Harmful Content provides advice on the community guidelines and how to make a report across Xbox Live, Twitch, Minecraft, Roblox and more.