E-Safety Information ~ Parents & Carers

E-Safety Quick Read – STEAM

What parents need to know about Steam

Steam came into being simply as a means for software developers Valve to distribute their own games (including the popular Counter-Strike, Half-Life and Dota series), but swiftly evolved to host third-party titles as well. These days, players can find A-list gaming franchises like PUBG, Apex Legends and Grand Theft Auto among the platform’s most-played games.

It’s a model that clearly works: in some recent years, as many of 15% of the total computer game purchases globally have been made through Steam. With a growing volume of users – the vast majority, by default, spending at least some money on the platform – it’s no surprise that scams are among Steam’s pitfalls. Trusted adults should check out our #WakeUpWednesday guide for the full story.National Online Safety

This guide is from National Online Safety.

E-Safety Quick Read – Minecraft

What parents need to know about Minecraft

Giving players the freedom to craft entire worlds from an interactive landscape, Minecraft has been described as the ultimate sandbox game (that is, it eschews the usual pre-determined goals or objectives in favour of creativity and exploration). With enthralling gameplay that encourages inventiveness and problem solving, it’s been a runaway critical and commercial success.

Every Eden has its serpents, however – even virtual ones. Minecraft is no exception. Although the game itself is mostly child friendly and conflict free, some hazards persist that could upset younger users, including disruptive rival players, contact from strangers and the occasional in-game scare. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide digs a little deeper into Minecraft.National Online Safety

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E-Safety Quick Read – esports

What parents need to know about esports

Some 73 million people watched the League of Legends 2021 World Championship Final – which, for context, is around three-quarters of the total audience for that year’s NFL Super Bowl. So esports is demonstrably growing in popularity and credibility – in fact, video gaming will feature in next month’s Commonwealth Games as a pilot scheme, with a view to becoming a full medal event for 2026.

If we’re to see future generations of youngsters being encouraged to become esports competitors (instead of, say, footballers, swimmers or cricketers), then parents, carers and teachers will be required to become familiar with the possible pitfalls. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide this week brings you the need-to-know basics of professional esports.National Online Safety

E-Safety Quick Read – Twitch

What parents need to know about Twitch

Many people have never even heard of it – but for gamers, Twitch is big. On 15 June 2020, for example, 2.3 million users (a record for the platform) were using it to watch someone else play Fortnite. Quite staggering, when you consider it. Perhaps less surprising if we provide the context that Twitch is owned by Amazon and sits among the top 30 most-visited sites on the internet.
Within an online community of roughly 15 million people, however, one will invariably find a proportion of bad apples. Twitch, unfortunately, is no exception – with potential bullying and the chance of unsolicited contact from strangers among the hazards to young people. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide brings trusted adults the essential information on Twitch.National Online Safety

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This guide is from National Online Safety.

E-Safety Quick Read – Virtual Reality

What parents need to know about virtual reality

Virtual reality has been around, in various rudimentary forms, since the late 1970s. After a prolonged gestation period, however, the technology’s march to the mainstream has begun to gather momentum in recent years. The UK government, for example, is predicting a meteoric 78% rise in spending on VR and its stable-mate AR (augmented reality) by 2024.
The potential applications of VR in gaming and entertainment are obvious. From its longer-term physical and mental effects on users to its rules of online engagement, however, virtual reality remains an area that most of us know comparatively little about. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide this week attempts to put trusted adults in the picture about the emerging phenomenon of VR.National Online Safety

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This guide is from National Online Safety.