Online gaming is a growing business sector, as they give children the chance to learn, to collaborate with others, connect with friends around the world, learn new things, and simply have fun. With this, online gaming companies have the responsibility to shape their platforms in ways that both maximise the positive and minimise the negative impacts on children.
In the recent development, game developer Epic Games has acquired UK-based technology company SuperAwesome – which offers ‘kid-safe’ products to publishers and advertisers designed to ensure children have a safe and appropriate experience online.
With this acquisition, Epic Games and SuperAwesome will together to build a wide range of kid-safe services.
Making the internet safer for children
As kids shifted their engagement from primarily TV to digital devices, their attention span has become massively fragmented. Instead of watching a limited number of TV channels, kids now have access to a plethora of content, distributed across various platforms.
When kids started getting unsupervised access to the internet, new laws were passed to safeguard their digital engagement. Led by the US (COPPA – Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule) and followed by the EU (GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation), kids data privacy laws for brands and content owners banned the passive tracking of kids online.
Seeing this, in 2013, Irish entrepreneur Dylan Collins, set out to build an infrastructure that enables zero-data internet. The SuperAwesome products and services are GDPR compliant and have been certified through the KidSAFE and ESRB COPPA Safe Harbor programs.
SuperAwesome built Kidtech – a technology that combines strict compliance with functionality. With AwesomeAds, developers can offer kid-safe monetisation inside their products.
According to the company, Kidtech is used by virtually every top kid’s brand and content owners in the world. It is trusted by more than 300 top brands, including LEGO, NBC Universal, and Hasbro for safe digital engagement for more than 500,000,000 kids every month, across thousands of apps, games, and services.
Speaking on the development, Dylan Collins, co-founder, and CEO of SuperAwesome said, “The internet was never designed for kids so we started SuperAwesome to make it as easy as possible to enable safe, privacy-driven digital experiences for children everywhere. Partnering with Epic Games gives us the opportunity to deliver that promise on a scale that simply wouldn’t have been possible on our own. We’re proud and excited to be working together to make the internet safer for kids.”
As for Epic Games, it was founded in 1991 and is an American company founded by Tim Sweeney. It is a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology. Epic operates Fortnite, one of the world’s largest games with over 350 million accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections. Epic also develops Unreal Engine, which powers the world’s leading games and is also adopted across industries such as film and television, architecture, automotive, manufacturing, and simulation.
Image credit: SuperAwesome