On 7 February 2023, we celebrate Safer Internet Day (SID) – worldwide annual campaign promoting a safe digital environment for children and young people.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Safer Internet Day. The campaign’s slogan ‘Together for a better internet’ encourages everyone to actively participate and engage in internet safety activities.
Safer Internet Day aims to create both a safer and a better internet, where children and young people are empowered to use digital technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively. Playing games online can not only be a fun and engaging experience but also bring many opportunities to children and young people. Online gaming can enhance creativity, digital skills and help to connect with friends and fellow gamers. In addition, playing online games can encourage to develop new skills, spark interest in reading and writing or become creators of online games.
On the other hand, excessive online gaming can become a threat to their wellbeing and health, hence the need for resources and materials to inform children and young people, as well as their careers, of how to manage their online gaming experiences so that it becomes a fun and safe activity.
The European Strategy for a Better Internet For Kids, BIK+ adopted by the Commission in May 2022 has the scope to improve age-appropriate digital services and to ensure that every child is protected, empowered and respected online in the new Digital Decade.
In line with the BIK+ strategy and its focus on game-based learning, the Safer Internet Centres have been developing resources on game-based learning and online gaming targeting various audiences.
- The Safer Internet Centre in Estonia developed a digital self-education course (in Estonian) aimed at raising awareness on online games platforms possibilities as well as the challenges and risks related to online gaming platform communities.
- The Safer Internet Centre in the Netherlands developed a serious game about media literacy for schools, called MediaMasters. The game (in Dutch) introduces primary school pupils to the opportunities and threats of (digital) media in a fun way. They get to work on media literacy themes such as social media, information skills, programming, privacy, cyberbullying, cybersecurity, creating vlogs and online behaviour (or ‘netiquette’).
- The Safer Internet Centre in Greece created a dedicated online gaming webpage (in Greek) that provides parents and guardians the support and confidence to manage screen time, spending, and access to age appropriate content. In addition, the SIC also developed quizzes to help children to understand more about online safety in a fun and entertaining way.
- The Safer Internet Centre in Finland produced a video (in Finnish) with young eSports player Jere Oikarinen who talks about digital gaming and shares his thoughts on why it is important to take care of one’s physical wellbeing and sleep as an esports player. In addition, the video gives ideas on how everyone can be part of building better gaming cultures and communities.
Stay tuned for our next article on Safer Internet to be published on 14 February 2023 and further information on the resources developed by the Safer Internet Centres.
The Digital Europe Programme (DEP) will build on and continue to support the work of SICs which has already been carried out under the Connecting Europe Facility Telecom programme between 2015 and 2021. DEP aims to build the strategic digital capacities of the EU and to facilitate the wide deployment of digital technologies. With an overall budget of €7.5 billion, out of which €0.8 billion is managed by HaDEA, the programme will support investments in the following sectors:
- High Performance Computing
- Cloud, data and Artificial Intelligence
- Advanced digital skills
- Accelerating best use of technologies
HaDEA manages actions under Cloud, data and Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Digital Skills and Accelerating best use of technologies.
Source: European Commission I HADEA (https://bit.ly/40Tr47S)