Any youth panellists interested in attending should contact their national youth coordinator for further details in the first instance.
Gaming or the act of playing games is an enjoyable leisure activity for many. Moreover, online gaming takes the whole experience to the next level, by providing gamers with access to a connected network and to resources readily available to enhance their knowledge and facilitate exchange of information.
Research on gaming has widely heralded both the benefits and the negative effects of this practice. While online video gaming has received a lot of criticism, more specifically linked to addiction, excessive screen time and anonymity, there are also voices who highlight the positive aspects: players of action video games show improved performance in perception, attention, and cognition. Likewise, video games can be used for educational and therapeutic purposes, with serious games becoming quite popular in both formal and informal educational settings.
Christian Mogensen, an expert in gaming and self-proclaimed geek, will join youth to talk about the benefits of gaming and how the human and social skills developed through games can be activated. Moreover, games need to be viewed as a healthy hobby, similar to LEGO blocks, puzzles and interesting books; as such, they offer many opportunities to learn new things, solve problems, build on existing skills and knowledge and discover new, within the boundaries of responsible gaming.
"Games have far too often been reduced to ‘fun' - but what we have learned through the last half decade is that games are amazing - and much more than ‘fun'. Games are social arenas where we band together to change, save or scorn the world. Whatever the outset, we are capable. Games teach us to succeed, and often to succeed with friends." says Christian.
Also joining Christian will be João Pedro Martins, an Insafe Youth Ambassador, who will provide some interesting insights on his gaming habits and on the skills that he has developed through playing games. Participating youth will then have the opportunity to ask questions in a Q&A session with both speakers and find out more about their gaming experiences.
As part of their awareness-raising work, the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) reach out to young people to disseminate information, at national level, on how to use online technologies safely and responsibly. SICs often work with young people to create resources that are appealing to youth. As such, resources on gaming (and other topics) can be found in national languages in the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Resource gallery. Additionally, news on the involvement of young people in various online safety activities is regularly published on the BIK portal.