National Video Game Day 2024 - Modulate

July 8, 2024

On July 8, 2024 the United States celebrates National Video Game Day. To celebrate, FOSI asked its video game member companies about all things online safety and video games. Mike Pappas, the CEO & Co-founder of Modulate, had the following advice to share.

What is your #1 piece of online safety advice for parents of young gamers? 

Play with your kid. You don’t need to play all the time, but having some familiarity with the games they are playing will help you far more than any online tutorial in understanding the nature and risks of the game and how to let your kid participate safely. In addition, gaming together builds trust between you and your kid, and substantially increases the odds of them coming to you directly if they do end up in an unsafe or scary situation online. 

As a technology company focused on safety in video games, how do you strive to prioritize online safety?

At Modulate, we’re committed to creating and developing technology that enhances the safety and wellbeing of our video game customers’ players. Our goal is to make online gaming environments, in particular voice chats, more welcoming and inclusive. We created ToxMod, a proactive voice moderation tool, to help video game companies better detect and prevent toxicity in their games, making those environments safer for players of all ages. 

What advice do you have for wary parents whose kids would like to get into gaming? 

Video games can be a powerful tool for connection and socializing, especially for young people who are often in the early stages forming their own identities and sense of self. There are, of course, risks involved – especially in games where players have the opportunity to interact or communicate with one another. Parents can play games with their children as both a way to bond and form deeper connections, but also as a way to better understand the nuances of a particular game’s player-to-player culture. 

The future of tech looks a bit different than the world we are in now. As AI and genAI become more common in video games and elsewhere, how should parents and kids navigate these changes? Is there anything potentially unsafe they should look out for?

AI-generated content isn’t really that different from other content - if you educate your child on how to be a critical consumer of information (things like checking sources, understanding the incentives/biases of the person sharing, etc), that will serve them extremely well for all kinds of content! 

And finally, just for fun, what’s your favorite video game, and why?

Super Smash Bros (particularly Melee) - this was the game I grew up playing with my closest friends. My main character was Pikachu when I wanted to win, but Jigglypuff when I wanted to have fun messing with people :) 

Written by

Mike Pappas

Mike Pappas is the CEO/Co-founder of Modulate, which works with studios like Activision, Riot Games, and Rec Room to foster safer and more inclusive online voice chat. Mike’s work at Modulate ranges from developing new partnerships within the industry, monitoring trends and new opportunities for Modulate’s unique technology to have a positive impact, and reinforcing an internal and external culture of passion, respect, and personal growth. Outside of work, his passions include creating themed cocktail lists, long-distance running, and playing Nintendo games.