This 'chapter' in the MPP project involved young people from The Bridge Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Hamersmith,sharing how they feel about playing adult rated online games. Through the production of a stop-motion animation they shared with the team the powerful emotions they encounter when playing these games. The film below the animation film called 'Digital Bridge' includes these reflections and both films should be seen together.
A lot of focus on E-safety has understandably looked at the interaction which takes place on social networking sites such as Facebook, however online multi-player role-playing games involve players interacting in a shared environment. As some of the students who contributed to this film told us, this interaction can turn nasty and students reported getting upset when those who they are playing with online make verbal threatnening or abusive comments.
Although the issue of whether violent online games influence offline behaviour is a contentious one (and one which we are not qualified to enter into), teachers report that many vulnerable children are playing adult games under-age and whilst they may be able to contextualise the fantasy violence, many absorb the misogynistic view of women, the anti social and criminal scenarios and the macho stereotypes (as they do of course from other media).
However difficult it may be to judge the causality of these games, we believe that there are very important safeguarding, citizenship and E-safety issues to discuss with both young people and parents and a guide 'Underage Gaming - Supporting Students, Teachers and Parents' is included in this section of the website.