A Half of Young People in Croatia Experienced Risks in Gaming

A Half of Young People in Croatia Experienced Risks in Gaming

Foto: Depositphotos

Video games are an indispensable part of the lives of young people in Croatia. Almost all young people between the ages of 12 and 25 (97 percent of them) play video games on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, half of them play daily, and 40 percent play and forget to eat or drink for a few hours, according to a survey by Hrvatski Telekom and SmartUp market research agency.

When it comes to the risks of gaming, young people have shown a relatively high awareness of the dangers. But despite this, 50 percent of them still engage in some risky behaviors believing that bad things primarily happen to others. As many as 81 percent of young people are aware that they can become addicted to games, but still, 60 percent of them between the ages of 12 and 15 play a few hours a day, risking failing at school and family obligations.

The survey found that about 50 percent of young people in one of the games accepted a friend request from an unknown person, and just as many experienced some form of swearing, insults, and aggressive behaviors while playing. Also, two-thirds of young people are concerned about stolen passwords or personal information from the gaming platform, receiving threatening images, posting personal data or untruths about them, posing adults as teenagers, and sending their pictures and videos to online friends they don't know in real life.

For the first time, the research also tested the attitude towards girls in the gaming world, who are increasingly exposed to exclusion and abuse. There is also a significant disparity in the understanding of girls' gaming skills in the eyes of girls and boys, which is the basis of bad behaviors towards girls in gaming. Namely, while 70 percent of girls think that they can play better than boys, between 40 and 50 percent of boys think the same.

Aware of all the risks, Hrvatski Telekom has launched the first YouTube gaming show, Ultimate Gamer, an amateur gaming competition, which will further educate young people with fun and a customized environment on important topics. An integral part of each show will be the so-called Secret knowledge, in which mentors will educate young players about responsible gaming, how to protect themselves from potential dangers in the virtual world, and how to develop new skills that can help them in the future. As many as seven girls out of a total of 12 contestants will be in charge of breaking down gender prejudices in gaming.

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