February 6, 2012

Gamer Safety Alliance Unveils Gamer Safety Week

Industry companies unite to increase awareness of safe gaming principles and best practices.

February 6, 2012 — SEATTLE — The Merchant Risk Council's (MRC) Gamer Safety Alliance today announces the inaugural Gamer Safety Week (GSW) beginning February 6 and ending February 12. Ten global companies including Electronic Arts, En Masse Entertainment, Microsoft, MindCandy, NCsoft West, Nexon America, Sony Online Entertainment, Square Enix, and Turbine, are partnering to provide gaming fans and customers information and resources to ensure a safer and more enjoyable gaming experience.

"We pulled together some of the world's top online entertainment companies and created the Gamer Safety Alliance to foster a greater awareness of safe gaming principles and best practices," said Steve Levy, Global Director of Publishing for NCsoft and founding member of the Gamer Safety Alliance. "The goal of Gamer Safety Week is to reach as many gamers as possible to inform and educate about how to have fun in a safe way."

As part of Gamer Safety Week, each member company will be sharing tips and tactics for customers, focusing on universal principles for online safety:

  1. Contact:
    Be thoughtful about who you communicate with and only engage with those that you trust. Utilize communications tools for you and your family. Don’t communicate sensitive information with those that you don’t know.
  2. Conduct:
    Practice good digital citizenship! Be respectful of others, don’t post harmful or hurtful material, and have fun Know the proper steps to keep your accounts secure — use different strong passwords across multiple sites and never provide your password to anyone else (regardless of their claims).
  3. Content:
    Most games have ratings and descriptions of the content. Use this information to play games that are appropriate for you and your family. Check out ESRB in the United States, PEGI for most of Europe, or your local ratings agency for more information.

By presenting these general tips across different gaming publishers, as well as tips specific to each company's offerings, it is the intent of the Gamer Safety Alliance to create a week where all gamers can learn about and practice safer online habits.

"Each GSA member company works hard to provide safe and enjoyable experiences for customers. Safety is a two–way street, though, and we also want to provide information and best practices for our communities to leverage," said Doug Park, Director of Online Safety for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business and Director of the Gamer Safety Alliance. "Applying simple safety tips and tactics maximizes enjoyment and can help minimize potential issues."

Anyone who is interested in learning more online safety tips and tactics is encouraged to visit the educational content posted on the following member websites:

  1. Electronic Arts: EA
  2. En Masse Entertainment: Tera Online
  3. Microsoft: Xbox Security and Get Game Smart
  4. MindCandy: MindCandy
  5. NCsoft West: PlaySmart
  6. Nexon America: Nexon
  7. Sony Online Entertainment: SOE
  8. Square Enix: Square Enix Support Center
  9. Turbine: Best Practices in Online Security

About the Gamer Safety Alliance

Established in 2009, the Gamer Safety Alliance is a cross–industry effort to break down traditional competitive barriers and share information and best practices within the computer and video game industry. "As a global trade association uniting online retailers and gamers, card brands, law enforcement agencies and solution providers to make the internet a preferred and safe place to shop and play, the MRC fully supports the Gamer Safety Alliance and its proactive efforts in promoting safer gaming practices and educating its users on the latest gaming safety tips," said Greg Goeckner, Executive Director of the MRC. "Online gaming's fast–growing importance as an entertainment vertical is truly unparalleled and undeniable." Members network with similarly focused company representatives from around the globe and include Electronic Arts, En Masse Entertainment, Microsoft, MindCandy, NCsoft West, Nexon America, Sony Online Entertainment, Square Enix, and Turbine.