In the heat of a gaming moment, it’s easy for youths to get carried away.
While many youths may find gaming as a relaxing avenue, it’s difficult to deny some encounters of toxicity behaviours in the community. Poor conflict management, insensitive or blatant language and cyber-bullying are some of the examples of such toxic gaming behaviour.
“We found out how normalised toxic gaming culture is amongst youths, and the chain of reaction it has amongst gamers and their circle of relationships.” – Muhammad Syazan, 20, Law & Management student, Temasek Polytechnic
Muhammad Syazan, the project chairman of Get Flamed initiative
After being nominated during his polytechnic days to attend the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) What’s Your Take – Youth Edition (WYT-YE) discussion, Muhammad Syazan got the opportunity to share his perspectives on mental health and cyber wellness education-related policies. At the discussion, he was involved in a conversation with like-minded youths on their experiences brought attention to the less spoken youth gaming scene. This candid conversation made them realise that something should be done to counter toxicity in online gaming culture. Determined to challenge themselves to go beyond the realisation, the super team was formed unexpectedly.
With some of them being gamers themselves, their shared experiences helped them to discover how online toxicity had become the norm and practically a part of gaming culture. Knowing this, and the potential for online toxicity to permeate into youths’ lives outside of gaming, they embarked on their project to make a positive change. The team shared a belief that something needed to be done regarding the effects of online gaming on mental health and cyber wellness. Through Project Get Flamed, the team is striving to rewrite the narrative and build a more inclusive and positive gaming community.
“The journey in realising this project has been a meaningful one. MOE WYT-YE provided a stepping stone for the team to identify, and more importantly, take action on these issues close to our heart”, Syazan shared.
Levelling Up Through Challenges
With their goal in mind, Syazan and team pitched their idea at MOE’s WYT-YE, which won the panel’s favour. Then, with the support of a mentor and resource panel, brought their idea to life.
The journey was not the smoothest. Garnering the youth’s support for their project was one of the challenges the team had faced. More manpower and expertise were needed as well. Along the way, various government institutions reached out a helping hand to guide and assist the Get Flamed team in their endeavours. One example being Our Singapore Fund for Digital Readiness, which helped fund the project. And MOE, which helped reach out to youths from various Institutes of Higher Learning to publicise and support the project. Through this combined effort, the team managed to gain greater support from their target audience, youths, on their project journey.
“Through Project Get Flamed, we hope to underline the chain of reactions it has amongst youths and their circle of relationships and empower youths to take the first step to build a more inclusive, positive gaming community.” Said Syazan.
Get Flamed team and crew during one of the productions for Gaming Conversational Series
To date, project Get Flamed has produced and launched two educational films titled “Gaming Conversation Series” and “Virtual Adventure”. The prior is a reality talk show-themed video where professional gamers discuss and share their personal encounters with gaming toxicity, along with its repercussions. The latter is an interactive, real-time video experience that presents a set of situations to youths, allowing them to make a choice at the end of each clip. Their decisions will alter how the video progresses, helping them realise the impact of their actions in a safe learning environment.
Muhammad Syazan and Get Flamed team during one of the productions for Gaming Conversational Series
Through these videos, the team hopes to impart knowledge and awareness to youths, with the hope that they will spread positivity during online play and educate their friends.
The Game Plan
To understand their target audience and create a better programme, surveys were done through Get Flamed’s asynchronous pilot programme involving 34 secondary school students. Through the survey, the team found that many youths had experienced gaming toxicity first-hand, and understood the significance of educating others to combat such toxicity.
“I learned the importance of respecting one another, and not flaming others online”, asserted a participant.
The team’s current goal is to reach out to more schools and engage youths to become agents of change — to be part of a larger collective of gamers that foster a more positive and inclusive community.
If you wish to support or keep up with this initiative, you may follow their journey at @proj.getlfamed, or visit their website at www.projgetflamed.com and keep an eye out for upcoming events!
Get Flamed is one of the initiatives co-funded by Our Singapore Fund (OSF). Have a great idea that helps to meet community needs? Learn more about the grant and resources available to get you started: http://www.perawatonline.com/oursingaporefund.
Published on 18 November 2022.
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