Bringing the cyber wellness message to gamers in schools

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From 14th April to 15th May 2009, the (Singapore) Cybersports and Online Gaming Association, more popularly known as SCOGA, visited twelve schools with the cyber wellness and healthy gaming message, supported by the National Youth Council and National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR). Enlisting the help of SPHere Exhibits (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings), Asiasoft Corporation, Symantec, and AMD, these visits were an outreach and run up to the gaming and electronics festival Licence2Play which drew a crowd of 250,000 over 22-24th May 2009 at SUNTEC Convention.

In the school talks, SCOGA reached out to students as young as secondary one to ITE, Polytechnic and Junior College, engaging a total of 7,000 students in more interactive talk formats, addressing one of the issues closest to the students’ hearts, video games!

The main speaker was Mr. Dennis Ooi, SCOGA Secretary and four-time World Cyber Games Singapore Gold Medalist for Dawn of War and Command & Conquer 3. Speaking to students from a veteran who has touched the pinnacle of competitive gaming, he was supported by Jacqueline Lok, a massively-multiplayer online gaming (MMOG) fan working in the gaming industry.

Coming from two rather different gaming perspectives, one from competitive gaming and one from the online gaming industry, Dennis and Jacqueline discussed topics like internet and gaming addiction, netiquette, how to handle cyber bullying, real issues regarding copyright and intellectual property, the dangers of online buying and selling, being more ‘street-smart’ online, and achieving a balanced lifestyle.

As Dennis and Jacqueline shared about career opportunities in the gaming industry, the point was driven home to students that if they want to have a viable career in the gaming industry, a diploma and degree is the minimum qualifications needed and thus students should stay in school and study hard if they see themselves having a career in this exciting industry.

Overall, the talks were very well received as we recorded more than 87.8% positive responses out of 2,478 students surveyed to all aspects of the talks. More than 20% of the survey respondents also indicated that they wanted to learn more about topics like professional gaming, internet safety, and time management. SCOGA has learnt a lot from conducting these talks and we are excitedly looking forward to do more in the area of cyber wellness for gamers again! Watch www.SCOGA.org for our future updates

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