Security of Children on Virtual Gaming Platform by Enaakshi Majumdar

My systematic review is to focus on the security of a child’s psychodynamic when the child is participating on an online platform called Club Penguin. Club Penguin is a game, which was developed by a media company New Horizon Interactive in Canada. Today, it had a user base of 330 million and has been acquired by Disney Inc. Interventions of interest include uprooting pseudo toxic practices and active social alienation on this online platform.
It is an interactive game for children, a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) with a virtual world containing a range of activities. The game is aimed at 6 to 14-year-olds, but anyone can play. Due to which child safety is a major concern. It was announced in January 2017 that Club Penguin is to close. However, upon its reworking, certain serious concerns have been raised by the parents of the online players. Parents have addressed the discrepancies in the nature of the game on open platforms of game review. Concerns ranged from staged inappropriate messages sent on the in-app chat box. It is taken into note that real-time proactive measures to block the abuser and option to report a player is helpful to great extent. However, it is not enough. The abusers often change the preface or certain spelling of abusive words and act in a derogatory manner on the virtual platform.
Internationally police have failed to break the encryption codes created by online paedophile societies to access the vast number of websites across the globe. Jackie Bennett, from the National Crime Squad’s Paedophile Online Investigation Team, acknowledged it is becoming difficult for the police enforcement to keep up with the new methods paedophiles were finding to exploit the Internet. So, it is imperative to research the extent of steps a paedophile may take in order to sexually abuse a child. The psychodynamic needs to be understood way ahead of the victimisation of innocent children. Internet enable hate mongers, sexual predators and extremists to potentially reach millions of individuals. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) is a law which has helped extensively to curb online sexual abuse of children. It caters to the requirement to protect players under 13 years of age on online gaming platforms.
This exploratory study of a child’s security on the Club Penguin platform aims to address the pertinent issue of discovering of behaviour pattern with regard to sexual predators on virtual platform. There are cognitive and socio-cultural affects of sexual abuse on virtual platform. It is important to understand that play in virtual worlds is not just restricted to the online world, it always has a reproduction of the same behaviour in the ‘real’ world. Therefore, to curb sexual predatory behaviour pattern on such platforms, stricter regulations are to be formulated.
1. Ian Marsh and Gaynor Melville, Crime, Justice and the Media, (2014).
2. Jackie Marsh, Young Children’s Play In Online Virtual Worlds, Journal of Early Childhood Research, (2010).
3. Rodney H Jones, Alice Chik, Christoph A Hafner, Discourse And Digital Practices: Doing Discourse Analysis In The Digital Age, (2015).
4. Jackie Marsh, Purposes For Literacy In Children’s Use Of The Online Virtual World Club Penguin. Journal Of Research In Reading, (2012).

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