“We can’t sit back and let children be isolated and play alone “
SafePlay is shift of focus for us at Impact Gamers. We were all about getting young people out of their dark rooms playing violent games with strangers to coming to a safe space to build positive games together.
Well now with Lockdown, we just want to focus on the space space to play positive games together – online. We still want friendships to be made over common interests, but realise the need to do it with parents support and online.
“It’s like calling around your mates and asking them to play out…but online “
SafePlay at its most basic is a curated WhatsApp group which the parent has on their phone, and the child can make a request for a play-mate to play at a certain time. Then the two (or more) can voicecall over Whatsapp and play a game together.
Who is it for
SafePlay is aimed at 7-15yr olds who aren’t getting to socialise and would like new play-mates.
- Speak with your child about whether they’d be happy to play online with children they hadn’t met, but are part of the SafePlay group.
- Fill in the form CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP
- Impact Gamers rings the parent to check they understand what SafePlay is (we have a chat through the details on this page)
- The parent gets added to the groups of games the child plays
- The parent can let the group know what time that day the child wants to play a game e.g. “Bobby is free to play 5-6pm”
- Other parents respond
- When the time comes the parent who arranged the play-date group calls (not video call) the other players on Whatsapp on loudspeaker
- If friendships form it may be a good idea for parents to set up their own little SafePlay Whatsapp groups between themselves.
Why it’s safer than finding friends online
Because the list is curated when can remove people who break the rules. Because the parents phone is used the parent can be in control of times of contact. Impact Gamers should be contacted if any player is behaving badly.
How to do things right
Only post in the group relating to the game that will be played.
Make requests only for the same day
Make requests short “Milly want to play 7-8pm”
Don’t request to play a game before 2pm or after 9pm weekdays (people might be home schooling), or before 9am or after 9pm weekends/holidays.
Add people from the group you want tyour child to play with to your contacts under the name “SafePlay <their name or childs name>” to help you know who they are
Only group call the people who said they will be playing the game
Voice call never video call.
If there are too many notification requests feel free to mute the group on Whatsapp
Encourage your child to play with loudspeaker on so you can overhear the conversations if needed
It’s the parents responsibility to only allow their child to use their phone and the WhatsApp group when appropriate, also to make sure they are happy with the conversation taking place during the call. Also to only let their child play games appropriate for their age
It’s the child’s responsibility to behave and speak in an appropriate way, so no swearing, bullying or teasing other players. Only use their parents phone for Whatsapp voice calls with permission.
Current Games Groups in the Scheme
Minecraft (Java and Bedrock), Roblox*, Among Us*, Rocket League*, Trackmania Nations Forever* or become an Oculus friend
* free to own games
For added safety we have setup our own servers for Minecraft and Trackmania, we will let you know the details on request.