February 8, 2022
Safer Internet Day, observed this year on Tuesday, February 8, brings together parents, businesses, government agencies and other stakeholders to work towards a safer internet, especially for children and young people. The video game industry has long been committed to a safer internet and is educating parents and families on ways they can stay safe when playing games online.
“Safety is not a competitive issue for the video game industry—it is a shared priority that requires collective action,” Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Senior Vice President & General Counsel Gina Vetere said. “The industry understands that creating a safe, positive and inclusive experience for all players requires a multidisciplinary approach that includes cutting-edge technologies and tools, skilled human oversight, clear codes of conduct and, above all, a commitment to working together.”
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) recently launched its new Family Gaming Guide, which provides parents, guardians and caregivers with information to help them manage gameplay experiences and keep safety top of mind. Resources include advice on selecting appropriate video games, establishing household rules, setting up child accounts on consoles and games, using parental controls, playing multiplayer games online and other tips that families can use to help ensure fun and safe online experiences.
As part of its efforts on Safer Internet Day, ESA member Microsoft released Cybersafe: Home Sweet Hmm, a one-hour online course built into the Minecraft Education platform that immerses learners in an interactive adventure designed to teach them how to safely navigate the internet and online video gameplay. Topics include playing safely with friends, protecting passwords, avoiding phishing schemes and understanding digital ads. Read more about “Cybersafe: Home Sweet Hmm” here.
Microsoft, along with ESA members Nintendo and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), have come together to collaborate on an effort called Our Shared Commitment to Gaming, a multidisciplinary approach and a set of principles to guide the shared priority of protecting players online.
For Safer Internet Day, SIE published an overview of the company’s work on online safety. Written by Vice President of Global Consumer Experience Catherine Jensen, the article explores SIE’s human moderation and reporting tools, such as Voice Chat reporting and player block features. Jensen also covered the PlayStation Network Code of Conduct, the PlayStation Network Policy Against Hate Speech and a summary of SIE’s suite of parental controls. Read the full article here.
ESA member Electronic Arts’ (EA) commitment to making game communities positive, fun, fair and safe places led to the launch of its Positive Play Charter and a dedicated team focused on ensuring that the principles of Positive Play are integrated across EA’s products and services.
In late 2021, the Entertainment Software Association partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), ESRB, Take This and the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) for a webinar about online safety, privacy, children’s protection and video games. Safer Internet Day provides an important opportunity to highlight how the industry creates safe, positive and inclusive online experiences for players.