Gaming is one of the most popular past times in the world. The amount of money spent playing games is more than that spent on video-on-demand (VOD), such as Netflix, or music streaming like Spotify combined. There are many aspects to gaming beyond playing the games, including livestreaming, esports or gambling.
Modern online gaming requires an account, with profiles, direct messages (DMs) and livestreams similar to the features on social media.
Learners should be aware of the risks of inappropriate content in games, the pressure to make purchases (lootboxes, FUT, skins), and the risks associated with playing multiplayer online games whether friends or strangers.
This could be explored through Literacy and English LIT x-18a – Recognise the difference between fact and opinion and progressing to evaluative comments about relevance reliability and credibility with appropriate justification
- pressurised into purchases by targeted advertising, influencer promotions, or in-app/in-game microtransactions
- inappropriate content – in games or livestreams
- receiving unwanted DMs
Becoming cyber resilient is the first step to being safer online. Talk to your learners about the devices and accounts that they use to access online information:
- Ensure they have a secure login, such as password or 2-factor authentication
- Have they set up account recovery details in case their account is hacked
- Explore their gaming account profile – what is public and private? Are they aware of any risks or benefits?
- Make them aware of any potential risks, such as clicking links in DMs that could lead to phishing or malware
- If content is harmful or malicious in games, streams or DMs – do they know how to report it?
Being more cyber resilient reduces the risk of internet safety issues arising. We all want the internet to be a more welcoming space for children and young people and that is why we promote this positive message of safe, smart and kind.
With your learners:
- Discuss the risk of playing inappropriate games or viewing streams
- Ask them to explore and recommend smarter choices for more appropriate games – this could be class game reviews alongside book reviews
- Look at how they can be kinder when playing cooperatively