The Institute of Games works with video game industry professionals to strengthen the industry. We firmly believe that creating safer spaces for children will only strengthen the video games industry.

Gaming is fun and positive in most instances, but we acknowledge that it can lead to some harm. Gaming gives opportunities to children, but also comes with risks. Let’s work together to make the most of the opportunities and mitigate the risks of gaming.

We often compare gaming to swimming. Swimming is a wonderful activity for kids, but it’s also very risky! Instead of banning swimming, society as a whole has done the work to make swimming as safe as possible. We build fences, organise lifeguards, run prevention campaigns, and so on. The result is that more kids can enjoy swimming and less kids get harmed.

Below are some excerpts from our White Paper on why The Institute of Games works in this space.

ON CHILDREN’S RIGHTS

All children enjoy a set of human rights as documented by the UN Convention on the rights of the child. Children’s engagement in the digital world poses an interesting duality.

On the one hand children have:

  • The right to engage in play and recreational activities.

Gaming is today’s most popular form of play and children have the right to enjoy it.

  • The right to information and education

Games are increasingly used to provide information and educate children.

On the other hand children have

  • The right to be protected from harm

Gaming poses some risks that could harm children including gaming disorder, cyber-bullying and exploitation.

  •  The right to privacy

Gaming is more and more social and personal information is often shared with other players and the gaming platforms.

Video games need to honor the rights of the child and pro-actively work to ensure their rights are protected.

Further reading: Lievens et al. 2018 Children’s Rights and Digital Technologies, Springer Nature Singapore Pty Ltd

READ OUR WHITE PAPER

for a full outline of how we see video games in child safety landscape.

White Paper

ON THE NATIONAL PRINCIPLES TO CHILD SAFETY

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse lead to the development of National Principles to Child Safety (Australia). These child safety principles drive the implementation of a child safe culture across all sectors and industries that engage children.

The adoption and application of the Child Safety Principles promotes child safety and wellbeing.

The Institute of Games believes that video games should be designed with the safety of children as their first priority. They are clearly accessed by children so developers have a responsibility and a duty to ensure that underage players can enjoy the game safely.

To ensure child safe games a number of processes and safeguards can be implemented in a game. These include:

  • Reporting of concerns, abuse and complaints
  • Adequate responses to concerns and complaints
  • Informing children of their rights
  • Engaging children in the co design of safety features

The Institute of Games invites the Video Games Industry to work together towards creating safer products and environments for children and young people.

Further reading: Australian Human Rights Commission, National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.