06/09/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/09/2021 07:44
When people talk about 'GG', 'Easter Eggs' or 'flaming', many don't understand what it's all about*. Many parents feel the same way when they talk to their children about their gaming hobby.
According to a recent study, 67% of 12-19 year olds play digital games several times a week, 41% even on a daily basis. In this age group, it is more boys who play online games. However, at 56%, the number of girls who enjoy playing online games is also high.
Our Teachtoday initiative aims to promote the media literacy development of young people aged 9 to 16 and puts a focus on online gaming as well. In one of the articles a mother reports on her desperate and mostly unsuccessful attempts to limit her son's gaming consumption. In fact, parents often watch digital game play with great uncertainty. They often know the content of their children's games only very rudimentarily from the few stories their kids tell them. They wonder how much game consumption they should allow.
The JIMplus 2020 study by Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest shows that gaming platforms are playing an increasingly important role as communication media. Here, 12 to 19-year-olds were asked how they keep in touch with friends despite school closures. Messenger apps and the phone were at the top of the list, but computer games came in third with 36%.
The range of importance of gaming is wide. It ranges from educationally valuable changes in perspective and the formation of new friendships through close exchanges with like-minded people, to the consolidation of exclusionary stereotypes and the misuse of the platforms for hate, agitation and radicalization. Group-related misanthropy is not uncommon in gaming chats and forums.
As in real life, it is important for parents to ask themselves what and with whom their own child spends their free time in the virtual world.
Many initiatives and organizations that provide information about online gaming and the opportunities and dangers in the virtual world of online games, make their offerings available digitally and free of charge:
Teachtoday provides material for parents and educators. On the subject of gaming, there is a separate topic dossier with interviews with experts and articles with background information on the aspects to keep an eye on in games.
In the current interactive media magazine Scroller 'Gaming: Keeping it fun' (in German language) for children aged 9-12, Tom and Trixi playfully guide them through the world of games, introduce their favorite games and explain what annoys them about online gaming.
The German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) is responsible for testing computer games in Germany. It issues age ratings that indicate the age at which a game is approved. This information serves as an orientation but does not replace the parents' examination of the content of their child's desired game. At European level, PEGI tests online games.
The Federal Agency for Civic Education (German: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, in short: bpb) has created the spielbar.de platform. The German website explains games and, unlike the USK, analyzes how educationally valuable the games are.
The bpb also offers Eltern-LAN series of events on digital games with guided game sessions where parents can try out games themselves. The workshop leaders also present various other games and evaluate them from a media education perspective.
Would you have known?
'GG' stands for 'Good Game' and is a fair congratulation for a good game. An 'Easter Egg' is a hidden secret level or funny anecdotes and allusions to other games or media. 'Flaming' or 'flame' refers to insults of other players in the game.