why education is key to tackling online abuse by female gamers – FE News

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NCFE, an educational charity and leader in professional and technical learning, has partnered with the Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) to investigate online abuse by female gamers. Kev Clelland, Director of Program Engagement at YGAM, explains why educators need to be aware and discuss the issue with their learners.

Online games offer many benefits to young people – the ability to stay in touch and have fun with friends and family, as well as the opportunity to make new friends all over the world. A report of glasgow university found that playing video games had a positive effect on gamers’ well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing an enjoyable way to stay in touch, relieve stress, keep an active mind and enjoy life. provide an escape.

However, there can also be a negative side, especially for female gamers. Following an initial discussion with a colleague who was sharing her online gambling experiences, I was shocked at the level of abuse she often suffered, and soon realized that she was not alone. As a charity that focuses on harm prevention, we have a duty to raise awareness, which is why we recently held a roundtable with players, parents and academics to find out more.

No woman should be a victim of abuse and harassment online already. The fact that 31% of female gamers do not disclose their gender for fear of repercussions is concerning. A recent study of gambling attitudes and behavior in the UK learned shows that the gender distribution of players is 50/50. It worries me that girls are receiving sexual photo sharing requests, receiving sexual photos, and being sexually harassed both personally and through their in-game character.

Despite the job I’m currently in, and despite having worked for over 10 years as an elementary school teacher, not once have I spoken to my two boys about their attitudes towards girls during in-game chat . Why? Because I mistakenly thought I didn’t need it. We’ve covered many other potentially dangerous activities, including drugs, alcohol, gambling, social media and general online safety. But now I bring this into our discussions.

Offline, you can see what’s going on in the playground, but many of us are sending our kids to a virtual playground right now and we don’t know who’s there or what’s being said there. This must stop.

What makes some people think they can do this? Why, when they realize that they are facing a woman, do they feel the need to make sexist and misogynistic comments? Why should sex even be a problem? We need to educate our children, both as teachers in the classroom and as parents in the living room, by making it clear to them that this behavior is unacceptable and encouraging them to “scream it” if they see or hear it from others. To do. We need to check if they even understand what they are saying and how it may make others feel. If they wouldn’t act that way offline, what makes it acceptable online?

We can’t change what’s been said in the past, but we can all play our part to ensure the next generation treats everyone with respect.

You can find out more about the YGAM campaign Let’s talk about games: she plays, he says. The three recommendations we made in response were the need to:

1. Educate parents about the realities and dangers of online gambling

2. Educate young people about what constitutes sexual harassment and that gambling is for everyone

3. Protect girls and women who are victims of harassment.

We encourage all parents to visit our Parent Hub, which provides parents with easy to digest information about gaming and betting. It includes helpful resources to demystify the world of gaming, and information on how to spot signs of gambling and gambling harm, how to raise the topic with young people, and where to access help and support.

Education has a crucial role to play in this regard and we believe that this education should be targeted not only at young people, but also at parents, teachers, youth workers, HE and school staff. EF and healthcare professionals – anyone who can positively influence the well-being of young people. people.

However, we realize we can’t do it alone, and that’s why we support campaigns like NCFE Call him campaign, which brings together industry leaders and stakeholders from the education, business and non-profit sectors to promote kindness online and identify ways in which we can come together and fight against the growing problem of toxic behavior online.

For more tips and information, visit the YGAM website. You can also read more about the Call It Out campaign to access other resources.

By Kev Clelland is the Director of Program Engagement at Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust

Kev Clelland is the Director of Program Engagement at Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust, an award-winning charity committed to informing, educating and protecting young people from the harms of gambling and gambling. He is a parent of Wilson ( 13 years old) and Hughie (9 years old).

NCFE’s Call It Out campaign brings together industry leaders and stakeholders from education, business and non-profit sectors to promote kindness online and identify ways we can come together and tackling the growing problem of toxic behavior online.

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