How do children and young people in Serbia play?
What are their experiences on the digital playground?
What are their recommendations for the gaming industry?
The answers to these questions will be given by the first in a series of conferences under the heading Children’s Rights and the Gaming Industry: Opportunities and Challenges, jointly organized by the Serbian Games Association (SGA) and UNICEF Serbia.
COVID-19 caused an explosion in online gaming among all age groups, pointing out that gaming has become a central element of entertainment in the 21st century, and one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Gaming gives children the opportunity to connect with friends around the world, learn to cooperate with others, acquire new skills and have fun. However, as with other online activities in which children participate, negative experiences can also be experienced during gaming. That is why gaming companies have a responsibility to shape their platforms in ways that maximize positive and minimize negative impacts on children.
The Serbian gaming industry has recorded strong growth of more than 20% annually in the last few years, while the number of successful domestic companies is growing. Paying attention to the protection of the rights of the youngest players and the social aspects of gaming is a sign of further maturation of the domestic gaming industry. Within this cooperation, a number of relevant European and global practices and research projects related to this area will be presented, with the participation of guests from relevant international organizations.
The conference will present the first national research on the impact of the gaming industry on children conducted by UNICEF through its U-Report platform, based on the Recommendations for the online gaming industry on assessing the impact on children. Besides a special guest from one of the prominent European organizations dealing with these topics, representatives of companies, psychologists and young players will also take part in the program.
More details on topics, speakers and panelists from the global and domestic gaming eco-system can be found in the attached agenda, while the event hosted by Nordeus will be available online through a live stream.
Registrations are now open!
CHILDREN’S RIGHTS AND THE GAMING INDUSTRY: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES: Level 1
Wednesday, June 2nd @ 6 PM | Nordeus Audit
Direct stream via Zoom platform (registration link)
Moderator: Branko Veselinović (RTS)
Hello to the Gaming World! (welcome and introduction)
Relja Bobić, Program Director, SGA
Deyana Kostadinova, Representative, UNICEF Serbia
Josianne Galea Baron, Child Rights and Business Specialist, UNICEF
PEGI: tools for informed choices by parents and children
Dirk Bosmans, Director of Operations, Pan European Game Information – PEGI
How do video games affect children and young people?
prof. dr. Nataša Krstić (UNICEF Consultant, Faculty of Media and Communications)
Results of UNICEF’s U-Report survey
Mihailo Jovanović Džaril (Fortuna Esports)
Vojislav Milutinović (Two Desperados)
Milica Crkvenjakov (Parents of Gamers)
doc dr Dobrinka Kuzmanović (psychologist, Faculty of Philosophy)
Ilija Stojković (17-year old gamer gamer)
Level 1: completed
Dirk Bosmans is the Director of Operations at PEGI, an organization that runs a pan-European video game and app rating system based on user age. It oversees the ongoing development of the PEGI system and works with national trade associations, government organizations and industry partners across Europe to raise awareness of video game culture and media literacy in general, as well as age ratings for individual games. Previously, he was one of the key people within ISFE (Interactive Software Federation of Europe), the organization that initiated the establishment of the PEGI system.
Josianne Galea Baron is part of UNICEF’s Children’s Rights and Business team in Geneva, specializing in digital industries. In this role, she engages with businesses around their impact on child rights issues, with a focus on how companies in the sector can take action to respect and support children’s rights throughout their activities. This includes developing tools and guidance for businesses in different industries, from online gaming to mobile operators. Josianne also coordinates and supports UNICEF’s country offices and national committees in their engagements with businesses in digital industries on topics related to child rights impacts.
Nataša Krstić graduated and obtained her master’s degree at the Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. She defended her doctoral dissertation in the field of management in 2014 at Singidunum University. In 2015, she earned a degree in Digital Marketing (Dip DigM) from the prestigious British Institute for Direct and Digital Marketing. She has worked in domestic and foreign financial organizations in the position of Director of Marketing and Public Relations. She has been hired as a domestic and international consultant for UNICEF and on projects supported by the European Union, GIZ, OSCE / OSCE, UNDP and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Government of Serbia.
Mihailo Jovanović Džaril is the Executive Director of Fortuna Esports, a leading regional organizer and manufacturer of games. He graduated from the Faculty of Law in Belgrade, started his career as a lawyer, and then moved to a consultant in the Advisory Department at EI with a focus on EU-funded projects in the state and public sector. Mihajlo founded Fortuna in 2016 and quickly developed from a small beginner to a reliable partner in the sports industry dedicated to creating world games of chance in our region. Through a partnership with United Media, he was the first to present local esports tournaments on traditional television and currently produces the Esports Balkan League (EBL).
Milica Crkvenjakov started writing novels and short stories when she was very young. That love grew into a blog with short stories and, in the end, in the form of creating video games. Its goal is to make unforgettable interactive experiences and make people aware of all the benefits of video games. It strives to encourage parents to actively participate in the gaming life of their children and thus contribute to a healthy relationship with games. She independently developed the Parents of Gamers project, which arose out of a desire to make it easier for parents to create a connection with the favorite hobby of many children in the world.
Vojislav Milutinović A gamer who only had one wish – to turn his passion for games into a career. Vojislav made an entrepreneurial debut in his early twenties when he founded a company for website development, but soon enough his love for games led him into the gaming industry. In 2010 he founded Two Desperados, a Belgrade based gaming studio, that has published three games so far: Woka Woka, Viola’s Quest and MuffinVille. Vojislav leads teams for product development, focusing on further company development in the direction of applying artificial intelligence in gaming.
Dobrinka Kuzmanović completed her undergraduate and doctoral studies in psychology at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. She is employed as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, in the subjects of Pedagogical Psychology and Developmental Psychology. During the last decade, she has been continuously engaged as a researcher and consultant on projects implemented by the Institute of Psychology with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and UNICEF in Serbia.
Ilija Stojković is a seventeen-year-old, a third-grade student at the Milena Pavlović Barili high school in Belgrade, and a passionate gamer.