Last week I mentioned stranger danger… Well here are some harsh realities happening among the world we live in.
Last few years numbers have been steadily increasing in a variety of ways. Mobile gaming via phones and tablets are at 92 percent increase and most likely higher during this pandemic. Among this 82 percent are found to be ages 12-17 yr olds. An online study was conducted and among the teenagers willing to take had 1 thing in common. They lied about their age in the games offering chats usually pvp games. With that said 78 percent increase in online predators, 35 percent of those were exploiting children. These numbers are scary when you break it down.
So, how do we protect ourselves? There is no simple straight answer and why we are human and some this human error and other instances it's exactly what it is. A year ago a 15 yo girl playing a war game but claims she is 22 and using her older sisters photos to make people believe she is an adult, she made sex jokes including flirting with all the guys. What this did is opened a door way she didn’t stop to consider. She was solicited to by at 42 yr old man offering to buy her packs for sex photos. As sick as this sounds it happens everyday in the gaming community. Now step back and look at the whole picture. Whose is to blame the adult being a perv with a girl who said 22 or the 16 yr old lying. He didn't know until another female told him how old she was. He left the game he was mortified he made such a bad error in judgement. He had no idea, doesn't make him less of a perv but had he known those offers wouldn't have been made according to him. In my opinion both wrong, and why had she been honest she may not have been solicited we will never know either way.
So again how do we protect ourselves. A few ways. Kids need to stop lying about their age in these games, there is always an alliance or group willing to take you in despite age. Guys and Gals stop being pervs in DM or 1:1 especially if you don't know this person well. Next, if you are getting that unwanted advancement STOP being shy tell them NO, you have to be upfront and this goes both ways. Secondly never give personal information not your name, not your phone not personal social media, nothing. We ourselves are the first line of defense. Remember your holding the power with the details, if you don’t add them in chat apps it makes it hard to get your information, never give a name or a photo they have no idea who you are. Most pvp games also offer a block button, never be scared to use it if made to feel uncomfortable. Developers have it as a tool for a reason. Reviewing the 16 yo vs 42 old perv, bottom line we will never know if her age would have mattered to him or not, and why because how do really know that person on the other side of this pixel world.