Webinar on gaming for young Europeans

  • Youth
  • 02/06/2017
  • BIK Team

On Tuesday, 23 May 2017, a new youth webinar titled "How do YOUth game? Youth perspectives on the benefits of gaming" brought together youth panellists from the Insafe network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) in Europe to learn more about gaming. 

Young people heard from Christian Mogensen, an expert in gaming and self-proclaimed geek, on how to benefit from the positive aspects of gaming and how to make gaming a social experience. Playing games can influence the development of cognitive emotions and ultimately lead to getting better at doing various activities. Players start with level 1 and they play their way up to the next levels by following a path of losing to finally succeed and win the game. "You lose. You find your flaws, fix them and then go again. And again. And again…Games are about winning and persevering", said Christian. As such, games focus on various skills that gamers have or will develop along the way, such as cooperation, communication, coordination, resilience, concentration, and so on.

Likewise, games are also about social bonding and having a good time with friends, be it offline or online. It builds on friendship and on sharing of good and bad experiences with games with somebody who understands and share the same passions.

João Pedro Martins, Insafe youth ambassador, who studies computer science and is a passionate game developer and player, talked about games as a fun and relaxing activity that can transport gamers into a different world where they can build on their intellectual strengths and decision-making skills, among other skills.

In order to collect views and feedback, young people were invited to take a poll both before and after the webinar. While most of the youth participants acknowledged that they play online games, the most popular devices for online gaming were laptops and smartphones. In terms of the benefits of playing games, it is obvious that the youth surveyed consider gaming a social experience, as the benefits that prevailed were, among others, making new friends, getting feedback from peers, having fun with friends and improving communication skills.

Ultimately, this gaming webinar fits into a wider youth participation strategy that aims to engage young people in online safety discussions on a more consistent and ongoing basis, by providing them with the adequate knowledge and skills that facilitate understanding and forming of their own opinions on issues related to the internet and technological innovations and developments that affect their lives. Youth panellists will have the opportunity to join a further webinar on artificial intelligence in June 2017.

For updates on future events and webinars for young people, keep checking the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal at www.betterinternetforkids.eu, subscribe to the quarterly BIK bulletin, or follow news on Twitter: @Paneuyouth.

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