Gaming covers a wide range of apps and services, such as Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo and Apple Arcade. This section provides information on the most common ones and covers:
- main features of the services
- potential risks
- how to setup an account
- using platform settings to manage risk
- how to report harmful conduct
Games are traditionally played on consoles and PCs but increasingly on mobile devices, such as tablets and phones.
All of these platforms are primarily used to consume content but also offer the chance to follow and friend other users and interact with them through direct messages and live chats.
Ofcom data suggests that the most common potential harms on these types of platforms are:
The presence of brands and ‘influencers’ adds the potential risk of scams and influenced or pressurised spending.
Because they offer direct messaging and the ability to ‘tag’ other people in the posts or content there is also a risk of abusive or bullying messages.
How to set up an account
Almost any app will require the same details to create an account and access its content:
- username (usually an email or the phone’s linked Google or Apple account)
There may be requests for additional information, such as name, address or phone number – these are not always required.
These links explain how to register for and set up an account on the most popular platforms:
- our Games Hub
Using platform settings to manage risk
Each platform will have a setting for security and privacy – this can be used to control a number of aspects, including:
- who can see posts or media
- who can contact or follow you
These links explain how to use settings to reduce the potential risks of unwanted contact, being tagged in abusive or bullying content, or seeing inappropriate or unwanted content on the most popular platforms:
How to report harmful conduct
If a user thinks they have been potentially harmed on the platform they should be aware of how to report this to the platform and potentially the police and trusted adults.
These links explain how to report users and content on the most popular platforms: