#UsapTayo x Better Today Safe Spaces: Navigating the Digital Playground through Responsible Gaming


November 30, 2022

Writers: Kat Mallari and Szachi Ducusin (Better Today)
Researchers: Kat Mallari and Szachi Ducusin (Better Today)
Peer Reviewer: Jake Lester Villanueva (#UsapTayo) 
Graphics: Zai Melchor (Better Today), 
Tweet Chat Moderators: Marc John Paul Agbuya (#UsapTayo) 
Spaces Moderator: Richardson Mojica (#UsapTayo) 


Today’s young generation is living the best of both worlds – both online and offline. They are able to experience the world through their senses and find a home in the digital world, where they become hyper-connected through the Internet.[1] 

For the children and the youth, the online world is just as real as the one they can see, touch, and move around in.[2] As they access the digital world through connectivity, social media, and the Internet, they become digital citizens. 

Looking after today’s youth means ensuring that they’re equipped and enabled to explore the opportunities in the digital space, while making sure that they remain safe from the risks and harms that lurk the Internet. Parents, guardians, and educators recognize the crucial role and rapid shift to the online world. Thus, they, too, play an important role in ensuring the digital safety of the children and the youth by making them responsible digital citizens today. 

As a community, digital native families, and societies recognize how the Internet has become the digital playground for today’s generation – of which, gaming becomes a space for learning, opportunities, and growth.

Playing to stay hyper-connected and learn 

There has been an upward curve in the number of active gamers since 2015.[3] This year, the number of gamers globally has surpassed 3.2 billion[4] with majority or 33.3% of these gamers hailing from Asia.[5] The Philippines leads the world with over 96.4% of its internet users playing some form of mobile, desktop or console game. [6]In the Philippines, according to a survey conducted by Rakuten Insight in April 2022, as much as 80% of respondents in the Philippines stated that they played online games. A majority of these online gamers play daily.[9] 

Gaming remains the top and second highest interest among boys and girls aged between 8 to 15 years old, respectively.[10] This shows that gaming is an integral part of kids’ lives. Gaming also opens a space for them to learn, to get creative, and to socialize.

With more and more gamers actively playing, the meaning of ‘playing games’ has evolved. From being a means to pass time and have fun, playing games can help people stay connected, be used as a tool to learn, and be a career path option. 

Play to stay connected

Games have long since been used as a way to meet new people, forge friendships and stay connected with people around the globe.[11] But with the ongoing pandemic and lockdown, there was a spike in the number of casual players and enthusiasts who use games as a tool to socialize in a time of social distancing. [12] 

Play to learn

A study shows that video games help children build basic development skills including language and mathematics. Using video games as a new learning method increases the rate of the student’s academic success versus traditional learning method.[13]

Play to earn

There has been a significant growth in the eSports industry as the most popular form of entertainment. In 2020, it was recorded that eSports had a combined viewership of 435.9 million from enthusiasts and casual viewers.  While eSports player’s earnings dipped in the last 3 years, an average player still stand to earn at least Php 30,000 apart from the prize money per tournament.[14] As gaming evolves as a social space for many, it is important to understand this dynamic landscape from its growing community, and the persistent threats that place gamers at risk. In order to ensure that we are raising today’s youth to become responsible digital citizens online, it is imperative that digital natives and communities start the conversation about how we can build safe spaces in the digital playground.



  1. Tell us about your favorite games, and why! 
  2. Tell us about your favorite game characters. 


  1. How might Filipino gamers create safe spaces in gaming communities?
  2. What kind of support do young Filipino gamers need from their guardians and families?
  3. How has gaming contributed to your mental wellbeing?


Raising responsible digital citizens. (2019, November 25). Australian Christian College.https://www.acc.edu.au/blog/raising-responsible-digital-citizens/

Yanev, V. (2022, October 14). Video Game Demographics – Who Plays Games in 2022?. Tech Jury. https://techjury.net/blog/video-game-demographics/#gref

Stanisheva, M. (2022, November 16). How Many Gamers Are There in the World: Essential Gaming Industry Statistics for 2022.  Web Tribunal. https://webtribunal.net/blog/how-many-gamers-are-there-in-the-world/#gref

How many People Play Video Games in the World?. (2021, October 9). We Play Esports. https://weplayholding.com/blog/how-many-people-play-video-games-in-the-world/

Gilsenan, K. (2021, July 27). The next gen: getting to know kids’ relationship with video games. GWI. https://blog.gwi.com/chart-of-the-week/kids-relationship-with-video-games/

Lufkin, B. (2020, December 16). How online gaming has become a social lifeline. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20201215-how-online-gaming-has-become-a-social-lifeline

3, 2, 1 Go! Video Gaming is at an All-Time High During COVID-19. (2020, June). Nielsen. https://www.nielsen.com/insights/2020/3-2-1-go-video-gaming-is-at-an-all-time-high-during-covid-19/

Okur, M., Aygenc, E. (2017, November 30). Video Games as Teaching and Learning Tool for Environmental and Space Design. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education. https://www.ejmste.com/download/video-games-as-teaching-and-learning-tool-for-environmental-and-space-design-5320.pdf

Geyser, W. (2022, August 1). The Incredible Growth of eSports [+ eSports Statistics). Influencer Marketing Hub. https://influencermarketinghub.com/esports-stats/


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