CONFLICT: Mature Eyes Only – Views and supporting information regarding Young People and Adult Rated Games

The third ‘chapter’ of the ‘Munch Poke Ping’ project by Stephen Carrick-Davies has been been published. This resources has been completed with students from the Bridge Academy in Hammersmith, West London sharing their experiences of adult rated online games. 

The “Munch Poke Ping” project is funded by the Nominet Trust and looks specifically at how vulnerable, excluded young people are using social media and how those working with them in Pupil Referral Units can best support them.  The participatory learning project uses film making to help students explore an issue which they choose.  This latest chapter includes two films; one from students (a stop-motion animation) and a longer reflective piece in which both students and staff from the Bridge Academy discuss underage use of adult games and how teachers respond to the issues which many of these games can bring up.  At a time when there is frequent concerns (from schools and the media) about young students having mobile phones in the classroom this inspiring and honest film called ‘Digital Bridge’ could provide senior leaders with food for thought.

Over the last few weeks the Government has acted on the recommendations from Tanya Byron about the standardisation of video game rating systems and changes in the law to mean that anyone who sells a designated 12+ title to younger children will face fines of up to £5,000 and a jail sentence, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2012/may/10/game-age-ratings-simplified-pegi.  This means that this is an ever increasing issue that should be integrated into schools and other settings e-Safety programmes of work.

Stephen Carrick-Davies says “Many teachers I work with say that numbers of their young students are accessing violent video games. Whilst the debate about the causality of online violence and offline behaviour is controversial, (and I’m not qualified to enter into this debate), I do believe that both teachers, and parents need help in addressing this issue of young children playing age restricted games and understanding some of the safeguarding issues.  As part of this project I have therefore written a reflection piece on the workshops I ran with explanation on how new games such as ‘Saints Row’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Call of Duty’ work. My hope is that other schools can begin to better support both students and parents about how these games may influence children.”

This report strikes a balanced view and reflects accurately the views from both the young people and teachers involved. It also includes a section on the positive power of age-appropriate games for learning as well as information which could be used to support staff, students and parents/carers when looking at this issue.

To find out more access the content and supporting documents at http://www.carrick-davies.com/mpp/conflict

 

Content adapted from Stephen Carrick-Davies

 

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