New teaching resources will help UK children learn about how to play video games responsibly.
The resources are developed by Digital Schoolhouse, a non-profit organisation that helps teach young people about technology. It’s in partnership with ‘AskAboutGames’, a venture that encourages people to learn more about everyone’s favourite hobby.
Available on the Digital Schoolhouse network, the lesson plans are targetted towards secondary age children. That’s around 11-years-old+ here in the UK. The materials cover all sorts of topics, including:
- The different types of in game purchases in video games.
- How to manage spend in games, with the help of broader financial literacy advice.
- Understanding the PEGI age rating system, including its age ratings and content descriptors.
- Learning how to manage time in game to ensure play is healthy.
- Resilience skills to help them navigate the online world.
Why are the resources needed?
The programme director at Digital Schoolhouse, Shahneila Saeed, describes why the lesson plans have been developed: “We know that video games are a hugely positive part of children’s lives, but we also know that students want support when it comes to navigating the challenges around play.
“These new resources are there to help teachers engage with children on one of their major passions, while also helping them to feel safe, confident and in control.”
The new development falls under the ‘Get Smart About P.L.A.Y.’ campaign umbrella. That’s an awareness campaign organised by The Association of UK Interactive Entertainment [UKIE] that aims to engage parents with how their children are playing video games.
CEO of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist, says: “We launched the Get Smart About P.L.A.Y. campaign to help give parents and carers practical advice on managing play in their homes in the way that works for them.
“These resources are designed to help children understand topics like in-game spend and age ratings too, ensuring they can feel informed and empowered when they play or when having conversations about games at home.”
Gaming has potential to be dangerous for unsupervised children
UK curriculum doesn’t currently mandate the topic of video game awareness, but it makes a lot of sense that schools begin to teach their pupils about the potential dangers of online gaming. Sure, we know that games can be enjoyed in a perfectly safe manner, but there’s the potential for it to become dangerous for young people.
A UK report back in April branded loot boxes as ‘akin’ to gambling. Some countries are now suggesting that games with loot boxes should be restricted to adults only.
Elsewhere, some game developers are beginning to implement spending trackers into their games. FIFA 21 was one of the first to see such a feature as reports flood in of people spending ridiculous amounts of money on microtransactions.
And, of course, the World Health Organisation [WHO] has previously classed Video Game Addiction as a mental health condition. Hopefully, with additional learning resources, teachers, pupils, and parents alike can become more aware of gaming’s dark sides.
Do you think that more children should be taught about how to play video games responsibly? Let us know across our social channels.
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Featured Image Credit: Digital Schoolhouse