A Franklin tech company has developed a new platform designed to provide a safe environment for children to play video games. Harena Data Inc. says Safe Play allows young players to take part in gaming events and tournaments, livestream events and chat with other players around the world who have been verified to ensure they are age-appropriate. Chief Strategy Officer Bill Dever says the goal is to make it so that kids are not entering into a predatory environment, whether they’re playing competitively or casually.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Dever said the platform is a natural extension for the company.
“For the most part, our focus with Safe Play is to create a protective shell around our children while they engage in their favorite past time, video gaming,” said Dever. “At the end of the day, look at all the trolling that goes on. Look at all the people pretending they’re somebody that they’re not and trying to entrap children. It can be a very dangerous world. So, our application includes cordoning off people who are not age-verified.”
Harena Data says the platform is the first mobile channel to be compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and is also Safe Harbor-certified. Dever says it has the ability to monitor various types of gaming, including consoles, PC and mobile.
“It also allows parents to monitor their children’s gaming activity because that’s the responsibility with parents. Who are they playing with? What are they playing? How long are they playing for and is there any derogatory behavior within the context of that play?” said Dever.
Dever adds another goal for the platform is to help grow the esports community even further.
“Esports will only grow with the influx of new players,” he said. “Parents should only let their children play in safe environments and the ability to monitor those environments, often in a digital environment, is tough. I’m not saying we have to be puritanical in our outlook, but at the end of the day, we do not want them playing with people who they don’t know because we see horror stories all the time in the media and that’s something we really want to prevent.”
Safe Play is just the latest platform developed by Harena Data. In 2019, the company launched its GYO Esports Data Analytics Platform, which analyzes players with the goal of helping them get recruited for scholarships or professional opportunities.
Harena Data last year hosted the inaugural Esports Combine, which was held virtually due to the pandemic. Dever says the company is preparing for the second annual event, slated to take place in October.
Dever says the platform is a natural extension for the company.