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Dr Jo Twist OBE, Award-winning Advocate Kate Edwards and Leading Actor Doug Cockle Join as Patrons!

If this was an ARPG, these would be the heroes battling for the greater good!

We’re pleased to announce and welcome the joining of Dr. Jo Twist OBE, CEO of UKIE; Kate Edwards, long time industry advocate and Take This board member; and Doug Cockle, acclaimed actor/director/voice talent of Geralt of Rivia, star of The Witcher game series; all to serve as Patrons. The addition of these well regarded individuals reflects the ongoing commitment, growth and development of Safe In Our World, whose mission is helping to bring more global awareness, resources and benefits to those in need. The ever-growing list of Patrons mirrors the diverse industry including passionate veterans from leading publishers, developers, content creators and service areas. In addition to Patrons, Safe In Our World is building a team of Ambassadors to help share stories in an effort to further remove stigma that still exists around talking about how you feel. To see who has joined the Safe In Our World team, visit our team page!

Dr Jo Twist OBE, Award-winning Advocate Kate Edwards and Leading Actor Doug Cockle Join as Patrons

Jo Twist is CEO of Ukie, the trade body for UK games and interactive entertainment, making the UK the best place in the world to make, sell and play games. In addition to her role as Chair of the BAFTA Games Committee, she is also Deputy Chair of the British Screen Forum, Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces, Ambassador on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, and she sits on the Creative Industries Council. In 2016 Twist was awarded an OBE for services to the creative industries and won the MCV 30 Women in Games award for Outstanding Contribution. She is a Vice President for games and accessibility charity, SpecialEffect and the UK Government’s Sector Champion for Disabilities.

Dr Jo Twist OBE Said: “I’m delighted to support Safe in our World, a charity that will play a vital role in the future of our industry for both players and creators. We all have mental as well as physical health and we need to look after both”

Kate Edwards is a 26-year veteran and an outspoken, award-winning advocate of the game industry and the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). Kate is also a geographer and corporate strategist who pioneered and specialises in content culturalization. Following 13 years at Microsoft, she has consulted on many game and non-game projects for BioWare, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and many other companies. In 2018, she was honoured with Reboot Develop’s annual Hero Award and also presented with IndieCade’s annual Game Changer Award. In 2020, she will be honoured with GDC’s Ambassador Award. She is also profiled in the December 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play and in 2017 joined Take This, a US based mental health advocacy group in the games industry.

Kate Edwards said: “I’m a huge believer in positive mental health advocacy across our industry, and am beyond enthusiastic to expand those I’m able to assist as I continue my role with Take This, while also bringing that experience to Safe in our World.”

Doug Cockle is an American actor, director and acting teacher living in the United Kingdom. For over 20 years he has worked in theatre, film, television, radio, video games and corporate video. Doug was also the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Acting degree at the Arts University Bournemouth from 2005 to 2017. Doug has worked extensively in the video games industry and is primarily known for his work as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher video games.

Doug Cockle said: “As a long time gaming professional, I’m honoured to be involved with Safe in our World. Mental health is of paramount importance, and I aim to do all I can to take the message that nobody is alone to as wide an audience as possible.”

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Ukie Launches Get smart about P.L.A.Y. – Essential tools for parents

Rio Ferdinand, former Premier League and England footballer has joined forces with the UK Interactive Entertainment Association (Ukie) to launch the Get Smart About P.L.A.Y campaign, encouraging more parents and carers to use tools that manage screen time and in-game purchases on video game consoles.

The campaign follows a recent report from Europe’s video game industry body which found that only one in five parents of children who spend money in video games use the family controls available on gaming devices. This is backed up by a 2019 NSPCC study that revealed just 19% of parents of children aged 5-15 use family controls on internet-connected devices.

Playing games is brilliant fun  for gamers of all ages. For younger gamers, time spent playing games is often a highlight, but parents should be encouraged to play along with their children, and with this in mind, the campaign is designed with some key pillars:

Get Smart About P.L.A.Y.

  • PPlay with your kids. Understand what they play and why.
  • LLearn about family controls. Visit www.askaboutgames.com for simple guides.
  • AAsk what your kids think. Discuss ground rules before setting restrictions.
  • Y You’re in charge. Set restrictions that work for your family.

Rio said, “My kids love playing video games but as a parent it is important for me to be able to manage the amount of time they play,” said Rio Ferdinand. “Family controls can help achieve a balance at home between screen time and other activities. They’re easy to use and save a lot of arguments in the long run.”

Jo Twist, OBE, CEO of Ukie added, “These controls can effectively help manage screen time and age-appropriate play even when you’re not in the room. It doesn’t take long to set up the controls and it means families can enjoy games together safely. If a child was given a bike at Christmas, we would expect them to also be given stabilisers – family controls are really no different.”

If you’d like to know more, head over to askaboutgames, where you can find useful videos on how to implement family controls or follow the tag #PLAYtogetherUK on twitter.

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