Since millions of people have been stuck in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a phenomenal increase in video game use. In February, when China was in lockdown, Steam, a PC digital game distribution platform, recorded a surge of 19.1 million users. In the US, Verizon reported that gaming internet traffic has gone up 75% since quarantine came into effect.
In addition to entertaining, online games also offer learning and social opportunities. Specifically, they can help reduce the effects of social distancing, which, for most of us is very trying and even more so for kids and teens.
Online games may be a solution to forced social distancing, but gaming comes with its own set of problems from cyberbullying to online predators and their disturbing behaviors. Actually, there are many concerns when it comes to children playing video games online.
Enter GamerSafer. The Silicon Valley-based company is offering game publishers and developers a cybersecurity platform that uses computer vision and AI to keep players and communities safe from child exploitation, disruptive behaviors and fraud.
The platform puts online safety at the heart of online gaming.
As a mother of three kids, Maria Tamellini, co-founder and COO of GamerSafer, has a vested interest in ensuring that children are safe when they explore virtual worlds.
“Safety is a fundamental precondition to creating online spaces where players can experiment, form, maintain, and deepen connections. That’s the core of our design,” said Tamellini.
In an interview with Headstream, Tamelline, who was born and raised in Brazil, said her first foray into entrepreneurship was as an adolescent mother. She sold sandwiches and secondhand clothes to support herself and her newborn.
She went on to earn an MBA, an international certification in social business, and founded a CSR consulting business, certified as a B Corporation. She spent years leading various social impact, environmental, and sustainability programs in Brazil before moving to Silicon Valley.
She was still focused on making a positive impact in the states, but this time through technology.
In the course of conversations about teen online activity and concerns about online safety for them, Tamelinne had the insight that online games have become the new playground for kids. Seeing her own children spending time online made her think about what a healthy and safe digital life would look like.
After months of researching, interviewing parents, young gamers, and industry experts, all of which helped inform herself before co-founding GamerSafer, Tamelinne decided to create tools like GamerSafer to help multiplayer games scale safety and foster better online communities for young players.
"Our product, Digital Gaming ID, is integrated into the game login and uses computer vision and AI to verify and authenticate players before they join a game, in less than one second. It also enables a smart user matching that boosts community engagement and minimizes in-game conflicts that lead to user churn. We are compliant with current and upcoming data privacy regulations, aiming to be the best gatekeeper for games," said Tamelinne.
Speaking of keeping children's online experience positive and safe, as well as a better place to go while the social distancing is still in place, FilmDoo, a game-based edutainment and streaming platform, might just be what parents and children needed right now.
FilmDoo is here to help people learn languages and explore cultures through the use of interactive films and video. Their cultural and language learning content is currently being used by major universities around the world.
The two founders' international exposure speaks to the reason why they saw the opportunity to start a video-on-demand platform that literally streams movies from all places and all genres. The pair, Weerada Sucharitkul and William Page, grew up in 15 countries and founded the company in 2014.
Doo is Thai for to watch, look, or see.
Of the thousands of films that get made every year, only a small number is released – the vast majority will never be seen by the public. FilmDoo wants to democratize film distribution and give thousands of filmmakers a chance to get their films seen and heard by an international audience while promoting cultural awareness.
Sucharitkul and Pagemet were in London, where they discovered that they share a love of movies. They also realized that many of their favorite movies were not available in the UK. That gave them the idea to create a platform that would bring movies from around the world together, so that viewers no matter where they are can enjoy them.
FilmDoo has a library of more than 2,500 titles, many of which are excellent, but unknown releases. FilmDoo streams arthouse and classic titles from Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Latin America, the Middle East, China, Thailand and other parts of Asia and South Asia.
Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, etc. have experienced a dramatic rise since the onset of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Viewers worldwide have turned to streaming services to help them occupy their time during the lockdown. Streaming services, online video games, e-commerce, and online teaching are all industries that have seen a dramatic growth in this time where people are forced to stay at home and have to find something to keep themselves occupied.
Just Watch, an international streaming guide with nearly 25 million reports that it has experienced over 200% growth in traffic from the European countries since the implementation of the lockdown.
FilmDoo has around 700,000 visitors a month representing users from 194 countries. The startup has raised more than $500,000 in seed funding.
GamerSafer and Filmdoo will participate in Women’s Startup Lab’s WiSE24 startup event later this month. WiSE24 is one of the largest online pitch events for women entrepreneurs in the world.