Kidas Ron Kerbs online games predators bullies

Protecting Kids from Bullying and Predators in Online Games

TechSpective Podcast Episode 114


Gaming has come a long way since you had to actually travel to an arcade with a pocket full of quarters (or hope the change machine would actually accept and exchange the wrinkled dollar bills you carried) to play Pac-Man. Gaming today is defined by massive, multi-player, online games where individuals interact with–and sometimes partner with or compete against–relative strangers across the internet as a function of the game. It adds layers of excitement and engagement to the gaming experience, but it also enables children to be bullied or preyed upon in new ways.

Ron Kerbs, Founder and CEO of Kidas, joins me on this episode of the TechSpective Podcast to talk about these challenges and how to address them. Earlier this year, Ron wrote an article for TechSpective on the responsibility of video game developers to help keep kids safe online.

Ron points out that the evolution from text-based chat to real-time voice communication has complicated the issue of monitoring behavior. He also notes that it can be difficult to separate actual threats or concerning language from what might just be passionate gameplay or getting fully immersed in the character or game.

Check out the full episode to hear more. Ron and I talk about some of the challenges of online communication and engagement in general–and the ways that distance and relative anonymity seem to bring out tendencies that people would pretty much never exhibit in a face-to-face interaction.

The podcast itself is audio-only, but the video of our conversation is also available on YouTube if you prefer:

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