Making the Internet Safer for Young People, Habbo Creator Sulake Launches New Terms & Conditions Initiative

by Chris Camilleri
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Gamification Turns Long and Tedious Safety and Conditional Texts into an Interactive and More Approachable Experience for Users

Presenting at the European Commission’s annual Safer Internet Day yesterday, virtual and social games developer Sulake, and the makers of Habbo, (which was recently acquired by Azerion), detailed its findings on how to make those long and boring, but so very necessary terms & conditions agreements more palatable for a younger audience within the virtual social platform. 

Sulake’s challenge for the Youth Pledge is to empower young users in Habbo to make informed decisions when playing, by increasing the transparency and visibility of its terms & conditions agreements. T&C texts are almost universally arduous, tedious reads that are mildly scanned at best and, probably more typically, not read at all before ticking the “agree” box at the bottom. However, the information contained in the terms & conditions is nevertheless extremely important in ensuring a safe, smooth and fun user experience in an online platform such as Habbo.

As a 20-year old product catering to a wide audience of players from adults all the way down to 13-year-olds, Habbo has a passionate and active community and Sulake frequently involves the community in making decisions about what they want and how they want to engage with the platform. Sulake started by organizing a focus group of users between 14 and 24 years old to first gather feedback about why the terms & conditions are for the most part ignored and set out to make a more interactive, interesting and simpler way of communicating this important information to users through gamifying the T&Cs and integrating it into the new user tutorial. 

“In our goal of contributing to universal internet safety and transparency with our community we wanted to involve young players in this process to give them a voice in how they want to receive this information,” said Raquel Alvarez, Customer Experience Director at Sulake. “Unsurprisingly our focus group found the T&C texts long, boring, complex and repetitive. What we have now is a hybrid of tutorial and T&Cs that feature some video features with a bit of gamification to increase engagement and transparency, as well as overall understanding of do’s and don’ts.”

Raquel Alvarez presented these findings at Safer Internet Day 2021, a landmark event in the online safety calendar which started as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network as one of its earliest actions in 2005. Safer Internet Day is now celebrated in approximately 170 countries worldwide to combat emerging online issues and concerns from cyberbullying to social networking, to digital identity.

Check out free-to-play Habbo on its official website.

And for more gaming news be sure to check out our section HERE.

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