HomeInsightsUkie responds to Government’s new Internet Safety Strategy

Article by

Responding to the Government’s publication of its new Internet Safety Strategy, Ukie said that it was “important to balance the needs of protecting especially vulnerable people and children online whilst also ensuring that people continue to freely take advantage of what the internet more broadly offers.”

Further, Ukie says, the games industry has always been good at self-regulation and has always taken its responsibility to players seriously because “players are our lifeblood – and we want them to come back repeatedly.”

As the trade body for games, Ukie says that it sits on the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and regularly talks to children’s charities and other bodies responsible for protecting minors and vulnerable people. Sometimes, this also involves stepping in to ensure other bodies and regulators are properly informed about game mechanics, business models, differences in genres, platforms and more.

Earlier in September, Ukie re-launched askaboutgames.com, in partnership with the UK body responsible for administering the PEGI age ratings, the VSC Rating Board. Ukie says that it offers advice and a safe place for parents and carers to ask questions about age ratings, parental controls, and what kinds of games are age-appropriate for all the family to enjoy.

Ukie says that we must be “mindful that millions enjoy games across multiple platforms and multiple genres every day.” Although most young people play games, the average age of someone who regularly plays games is mid-30s and the typical UK player is a 43-year-old woman.

Not all games are online multiplayer experiences, not all games have social features, Ukie explains, so “we must make sure that any potential measures aimed at social media services do not unnecessarily encompass all games companies.” Ensuring the millions of people who play games across all age groups are having an enjoyable and safe experience is critical, it says, “which is why our industry employs community management teams, use artificial intelligence and semantic analysis, develops device level parental controls, creates terms of use, codes of conducts and other measures to protect player communities.”

However, Ukie recognises that games also offer different kinds of services and platforms to stream, promote, talk about, have fun with other fans, such as Twitch and Youtube, so some of the Green Paper questions “do concern our sector more widely as cutting edge interactive entertainment.” To read Ukie’s response in full, click here.