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IMDA rolling out new initiative to enhance online safety of youth gamers

IMDA rolling out new initiative to enhance online safety of youth gamers

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The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is rolling out a new initiative to enhance online safety of Singapore users, especially for youth. 

In a survey conducted by MCI, 47% of youths aged 10 to 18 years old gamed every day. It also found that 14% of youth gamers have engaged strangers outside of gaming. Such behaviours, according to MCI, presents a risk of potential exposure to adult predators and online scams. 

Don't miss: Children’s Rights NGO exposes dangers of online predators with life-sized emojis 

The survey also found that 17% of youth gamers aged 13 to 18 years old experienced in-game bullying from other players.

More than a third of them (38%) have sometimes or frequently come across vulgarities or violent content in games. Those who played first-person shooter games were more likely to come across both types of harmful content. 

Despite this, parents generally have low awareness of their child's gaming activities. Only 48% of parents surveyed were able to give an accurate estimate of the amount of time their child spent on gaming. 

Additionally, the survey found that parents who were concerned about their child's gaming habits were more likely to actively manage their child's gaming activities. This includes setting limits on gaming time (54%) and using parental control tools (22%). 

As a step-up of existing efforts, IMDA will be rolling out bite-sized materials to support parents in guiding their children to navigate the online world more safely and responsibly. 

The resources will be rolled out in phases on the Digital for Life (DfL) Portal from February 2024. The resources will also be made available on the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Families for Life Parenting website and Ministry of Education's Parents Gateway. 

Some examples of topics covered in the resources are managing children's screen use, cultivating healthy online habits and safeguarding children from online risks such as cyberbullying and online sexual grooming. 

In addition to the new resources, DfL partners will be conducting workshops, webinars and family activities. 

For marketers, this new initiative may suggest finding a way to advertise on gaming platforms in a manner that is safe for youths. 

This is especially since 77% of Singapore marketers are spending on in-game ads. Of which, in-game advertisers place most of their ads in action-oriented games, according to a survey conducted by PubMatic earlier this January. 

Marketers in Singapore are also the most enthused about in-game marketing, with 38% saying they will increase spend “significantly,” and 36% to increase “slightly”.

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Related articles:
Why in-game ads often cause mobile gamers to quit playing
Singapore to develop tools to detect deepfakes and reduce online risk 
Why many marketers are missing out on the Gen Z and Gen Alpha crowd

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