Telia Company today publishes views on gaming of 15-year-old children in seven Nordic and Baltic countries collected in the form of animated films, together with a guide material to help parents to support children in gaming responsibly.
Online gaming is an increasing presence in children’s lives: 82 percent of children that participated in the study conducted by Telia Company Children’s Advisory Panel (CAP) play online games, with one in four doing so frequently. Nearly half of the boys describe themselves as frequent gamers and three out of four of boys watch e-sports competitions.
Children see gaming as having a positive impact on their lives. Gaming is a source of entertainment, a way to cheer up, an outlet for creativity, and a way to make new friends. Gaming also has important long-term benefits, with 64 percent of children who play online games finding that it allows them to learn other skills, such as English, strategic thinking and creativity.
Views on gaming were collected from 600 children in the form of animated films created with Plotagon animation tool during CAP workshops. 159 animated films were produced on four themes – best and worst things about gaming, reasons not to play and the role of gaming in one’s life.
Aware of risks and looking for parental understanding
Despite the largely positive outlook on gaming, CAP children are well aware of its risks. They know from experience that gaming can be a source of conflict. Excessive gaming can also impact social relations and health. Difficulty to find balance between gaming and schoolwork is another recurrent risk reflected upon in the study.
Children also expressed a frustration with the lack of understanding from parents about gaming and esports. Moms and dads in the films are for the most part portrayed as overbearing and strict, as they try to stop their teens from gaming.
“One clear theme in this year’s CAP results is the generational gap when it comes to attitudes towards gaming. Children’s message to parents is that gaming is a normal hobby, just like traditional sports or other recreational activities”, said Anne Larilahti, Head of Sustainability, Telia Company. “This shows why it is so important to listen to children’s own perspectives on their digital lives.”
Alongside the CAP results, Telia Company and Save the Children Finland have released a guide material that will help parents and caregivers to support children in gaming responsibly and engage in discussions about online gaming and e-sports.
Taking a stance on responsible gaming
As Telia Company continues to increase its involvement in esports and gaming, it will now do so with the help of guiding principles for responsible digital gaming, developed together with Save the Children Finland.
Telia Company commits to promote integrity, fair play and inclusion, to adhere to age limits in order to protect minors from inappropriate content, and to provide equal opportunities in gaming. Promoting children’s rights and safety and a balance between gaming and other aspects of life is another principle to be followed in Telia Company’s gaming related activities.
Children’s Advisory Panel is an initiative by Telia Company in collaboration with World Childhood Foundation, research company IPSOS, local child rights organizations and schools in seven countries across the Nordic and Baltic region. It was created to better understand children’s own perspectives of online and digital aspects of life by listening to them through qualitative co-creative methods.
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