ISGA launches Smart Social Gamers

Smart Social Gamers portal helps families play safe New site offers help and advice for gamers, parents and teachers Washington DC, USA:  A new portal, giving help and advice about online social games, launches today at the Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference in Washington DC. Smart Social Gamers provides simple, practical information to help people have a positive social games experience. The service is aimed at parents, teachers and gamers of all ages. Social games – sometimes called casual games – have grown hugely popular in recent years with titles such as Candy Crush Saga and Farmville played by millions of people around the world on smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. Smart Social Gamers includes an easy to understand guide to what social games are, how they are played, and information to help manage the games experience – including paid-for features. There are dedicated sections on how to control in-game purchases, turning off game notifications and understanding age ratings. The portal also offers advice – from industry experts – on how to handle difficult situations, if they arise, such as moderating the amount of time spent playing games and dealing with unpleasant behaviour by fellow gamers. In creating the portal, Smart Social Gamers partnered with some of the world’s most respected digital safety organisations and experts including the Family Online Safety Institute, Childnet International, Project Rockit and Dr Richard Graham, a leading consultant and adolescent psychiatrist in the UK. Smart Social Gamers is an initiative of the International Social Games Association (ISGA), the worldwide representative body of social games operators and developers. The ISGA believes that by providing the...

ISGA applauds government responsiveness on Remote Gambling Bill

The ISGA has commended Singapore’s government for addressing its concerns over the status of social games under the Remote Gambling Bill, which passed in Parliament last month. Luc Delany, CEO, ISGA said: “ The ISGA appreciates the responsiveness of the Singapore government on this matter and looks forward to being a partner and resource in developing Singapore’s social games and technology sector. We are also ever-ready to be a resource to the MHA and MDA in the rule-making exercise with respect to the effectuation of the Remote Gambling Bill.” Full coverage of our response can be accessed...

ISGA releases new independent research study

We are pleased to announce the release of our second independently commissioned research into social games. The new research investigates gambling concerns surrounding free-to-play social casino games and younger users. Please visit our research page to access the full report and...

ISGA launches second version of its best practice principles

The ISGA is delighted to announce the release of Version 2 of our Best Practice Principles designed to provide guidance to social games operators and developers. In 2013, we released the first iteration of our Best Practice Principles premised upon core values of consumer protection, accountability and transparency. This new set of updates has been informed through engaging with the different layers of consumers that we represent, taking on board the findings of our research and talking directly with policy makers globally over the past 12 months. Our objective has been to reach the best possible outcome for consumers through achieving a fair balance between functionality and protection. The updates aim to address five key areas of concern: Advertising of games with in-app purchases as “free” Default payment settings and consent to purchase Guidance for games designed for children Preventing direct exhortations to children to buy products Clear provision of contact information As the voice of the social games industry, we continue to be committed to meeting stakeholder expectations and upholding responsible standards amongst social games businesses. ISGA v2 BPP Press Release 221014...

Q & A: Luc Delany – Taking a stand

Luc Delany shares his thoughts with the Social Casino Intelligence on the last 12 month’s work at the ISGA. What do you think have been the ISGA’s biggest achievements since the merger with the Social Games Association 12 months ago? One of the first things that we did after the merger was to release a set of industry best practice principles for social games operators and developers premised upon consumer protection, accountability and transparency.  At the same time we commissioned the first ever-comprehensive research into the evolution, use and impact of social games. Our aim was to bring more of an evidence base to the debate surrounding social games. These pro-active steps brought us a considerable amount of goodwill with policy makers and gave a clear signal that we were serious about upholding industry standards and addressing consumer concerns. Taking the course of the twelve months as a whole I would say our approach stands out. We have responded to real needs from engaging with the different layers of gamers that we represent, taking on board the findings of our research and also talking directly to regulators and politicians. On the back of this ongoing dialogue we are launching a new set of best practice principles and have a new research project in the pipeline. How have things changed from a regulatory perspective in the social gaming industry during that time? Some of the concerns that were raised a year or two ago about young people playing social casino games have not been realised. Through the independent research that we commissioned and continuing to speak to other academics, the...

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