Online Safety and Gaming

From socialising online to in-game purchases to the future of interaction, find out everything you need to know about online safety in gaming  

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Millions of players, countless adventures, and endless possibilities are available in the world of gaming. Thanks to a range of platforms and immersive experiences, gaming has become more accessible for younger age groups, but it can sometimes be a confusing area to navigate. What if you have never picked up a controller, what if you don’t know your X button from the D-pad. Let us guide you through gaming to help ensure that you, your family, friends and children in your care can enjoy this space safely.

What is Gaming?

Gaming refers to playing electronic games, whether through consoles, computers, tablets, smartphones or other devices. To this day, gaming remains one of the most popular  forms of entertainment, attracting a wide range of age groups from all across the world. Gaming is always looking todevelop, often improving on graphical features, accessibility and user engagement as years go by.

Much like music and film, gaming covers a wide variety of genres, appealing to an array of different audiences and interests. Many games allow users to interact with others online through competitive or cooperative play, as well as communication features to allow more sociable interactions.

In more recent years, gaming has extended into a more professional status with many gamers taking part in tournaments to compete for cash prizes. E-sports, a collective name for competitive gaming has seen a tremendous rise amongst children and young adults in recent years, even so that the Olympic games are considering adding E-sports to the Olympic roster in the future.

As of today, gaming is the biggest entertainment industry in the world. We must not forget that like music and film, it is classed as entertainment. Similar to those, it is important to recognize age appropriate content and consider how suitable it is for children.

Benefits of Gaming 

Why Do People Game?

Unlike many other forms of media, gaming brings a sense of challenge to the player. Usually there is a degree of skill involved that players need to develop in order to progress. Whether gamers are looking to complete a game or improve their ‘in game’ ranking (a level or points based indicator), there’s a sense of accomplishment that can be achieved.

Depending on the type of game, it can also offer players a platform where they can be imaginative and explore their own creativity. Some games have rich storylines and memorable characters that can elevate the experience beyond gameplay. Many players also use it as an opportunity to compete and socialise with others whether it be in person or online. More often than not though, people game, because it is fun!

Considerations for Gaming

The Gaming Community

A staple of gaming for many years since the mass adoption of high speed broadband internet, is the gaming community that surrounds it. Groups and audiences can gather around a specific game, character or theme to build specific fan bases that can interact with each other.

Community is one of the many reasons that players choose to engage with different games for hours on end. As it is in the real world, gaming communities can range from supportive and educational, to toxic and harmful. In some instances, it can even lead towards more radical content off platform.

Gaming and the communities that surround it have great potential to bring good towards others, at the same time, it can be treacherous system to manage for children and younger users.

Dictionary of Terms

Not sure what some of the most popular gaming terms are? Don't know your MOBAs from your MMOs? Why not take a look at our dictionary of terms and get the latest definitions around some of the most common phrases and abbreviations used by gamers.

Gaming Dictionary