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In Her Own Words: Activism is Luciana Brafman’s theme in all her productions 800 449 Time To Act Entertainment

In Her Own Words: Activism is Luciana Brafman’s theme in all her productions

Original Article: https://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/news/latest-news/2021/10/in-her-own-words-activism-is-luciana-brafman-s-th.html

As we continue to struggle with the Delta variant of Covid-19 many women are evolving their careers and work lives. Luciana Brafman has had success in the legal and entertainment fields yet her mother’s activism in Brazil continues to resonate.

“I grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and my mother was an actress and producer. Every weekend she’d take me to the theatre, and I often went to film sets with her and listened in on meetings she had in our house with actors. I loved theater and producing, but I assumed that you didn’t make money from it. I wanted to be financially independent, so I went to law school.

I was working as an attorney at Milbank & Tweed in New York when I started to feel disillusioned. I was doing structured financing for infrastructure projects in third world countries such as Brazil and Mexico. My parents had been activists protesting the dictatorship in Brazil when they were young, and I’d always wanted my work to have an impact. I thought the deals I was working on would help countries build their economies and create jobs, but I soon realized that was not necessarily true. A lot of times you bring a big project, like a big power plant, to a place and you wind up creating even more problems.

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Around that time I met a French woman in her 80s who was a wonderful photographer. She had a great book of photos and I wanted to help her distribute it. Scheduling meetings with her was impossible because she was always out. She’d say, “If there is life outside, I’m outside taking pictures of it.”

I was in my office in a skyscraper with windows that didn’t even open. I thought: what am I doing here?

While I was still an attorney I had an idea for a play. I collaborated with a writer and we produced the play at La Mamma, an off-Broadway theater. Through that I met a prominent producer, Linda Yellen who asked if I’d like to help produce a movie she was directing called The Simian Line. I did everything from using my legal background to help negotiate actors’ contracts with their agents to arranging craft service.

Montel Williams, who had a hit talk show at the time, was one of the movie’s financiers and he asked me to produce his first movie. I had never produced anything myself but I agreed. I remember the first time I saw the plaque he put on my office door: film producer. It was surreal.

When that wrapped up I went back to Brazil and opened a production company. I’d been in New York for about ten years and was ready for a change. The line producer I’d hired on Montel’s film called one day. He was working on “Survivor” and he wanted me to help produce the season they’d be filming in the Amazon jungle. I didn’t watch TV and had never heard of the show. He sent me a VHS tape. People were eating crickets and doing all these crazy things. It wasn’t for me so at first I said no, but he convinced me.

It was a huge production. But my attitude about work is pretty simple. Managing a house or managing a country isn’t different, it just changes the magnitude of things. For me, it’s all about having the right team. If you hire the right people and show them you have a vision, you can do anything.

For almost a year I lived in the Amazon rainforest. It was an amazing experience. I was surprised that I had fun, and when Mark Burnett asked me to keep working with him, I moved to Los Angeles. I did a few more seasons of “Survivor” and spent six years with “The Apprentice.” I also produced Oprah Winfrey’s “The Big Give” for ABC. When that ended I decided I wasn’t going to produce again unless it was my own project.

I had a baby boy and was inspired by watching him to create an interactive children’s show which I sold to Hit Entertainment, home of Bob the Builder and Thomas the Train. Afterwards, I took time off to focus on taking care of my son. That’s when I really became passionate about children’s entertainment. I saw firsthand that the most successful projects encouraged learning, but entertainment always had to come first. Kids won’t pay attention if they’re not having fun.

As my son got older, he and his friends began communicating through gaming. I discovered that the whole idea of entertainment and learning was lost in the gaming world. And I worried that kids were stuck in their rooms playing games and not aware of what is going on in the world.

We need to teach them. They are the future, and if we don’t give them the tools to create a better world then what is going to happen? This is where I learned the value of edutainment and the impact it can have on the younger generations.

That was my inspiration to start TIME TO ACT Entertainment, a content company that raises awareness, galvanizes social responsibility and inspires activism. The goal of my company is to create a link between the virtual world and the real world. Every project we do will involve organizations that promote change in the world.

One of my first projects is a mobile game called EARTHLING 22, an environmental adventure mobile game that aims to teach kids about climate change. TIME TO ACT will donate a percentage of every in-game purchase to organizations including One Planted Tree, Oceans Conservancy and LA Urban Farms. Children playing the game will choose which organization they want to support, both empowering them and also giving them the ability to track how the donations from their purchases are being used.

I developed the game before the pandemic, but technology and the gaming world has evolved so much during this time that I decided to go back and redesign the game. Also, seeing all of the recent news on climate change and more frequent extreme weather events, the need for this type of content is dire, so I am working to raise capital to expand the company’s offerings.

I feel our society is in a major transition. I hope people are taking this time to revise how they are living, their relationship with each other and with the planet. With any transition we have to destroy a lot of things so new ones can be built. We have the opportunity now to teach our kids about the issues that matter, and give them the skills they will need to create a better world both empowering them and instilling social responsibility.”

This is a time for virtual community and sharing. If you would like to contribute to this ongoing narrative on the pandemic’s impact on women’s lives, please send an e-mail to Esherberg@bizwomen.com.

by Ellen Sherberg, a longtime reporter, editor, and publisher at American City Business Journals, Bizwomen’s parent company. | October 7, 2021

LA TIMES B2B PUBlishing – INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN AWARDS 1024 1024 Time To Act Entertainment

LA TIMES B2B PUBlishing – INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN AWARDS

Congratulations to our CEO, Luciana Brafman, for being nominated by the LA Times for the Inspirational Women Awards!

RSVP to attend now here: https://lnkd.in/gp8YnKzE

September 16, 2021

luciana brafman
8 Everyday tips to help fight ocean pollution 900 600 Time To Act Entertainment

8 Everyday tips to help fight ocean pollution

Original Article: https://medium.com/@luciana_44838/8-everyday-tips-to-help-fight-ocean-pollution-20a93576ef90

Growing up in Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and living in the coastal community of Santa Monica, California for the past 13 years gave me the opportunity to build a strong connection, appreciation, and admiration for the ocean. So, I take it personally when I see our planet’s oceans suffering. Thankfully, awareness of climate change and helping the environment is on the rise, and for a good reason.

it also killed off a litany of local marine life. Horrible events like these show how disastrous ocean pollution can be and how detrimental the long-term effects will be if we don’t act now.

In early July, 17 million gallons of sewage spilled into Santa Monica Bay, causing beach closures at the peak of the summer season. The spill not only highlighted a massive concern for public health and safety, it also killed off a litany of local marine life. Horrible events like these show how disastrous ocean pollution can be and how detrimental the long-term effects will be if we don’t act now.

Though ocean pollution is only one facet of harm to the environment, it’s one that should be taken seriously by all across the globe due to its dangers and the detriment it will cause to our earth. This is one reason why it is vital for us to collectively educate the next generation on how to care for and nurture our environment.

Have you ever wondered where your trash goes, where your bodily waste ends up, or where many of your old electronics live? Unfortunately, most of the things named likely find a home in the ocean. This is why it’s an important message to get out that, though it may not completely resolve the issue, recycling and reusing materials and objects is always going to help. That’s one less aquatic species to be harmed by their changing environment, one fewer turtle traps in plastic, one less fish suffocating due to breathing in waste. This is why being aware of the effects of ocean pollution is just as crucial for your health, your loved one’s health, animal prosperity, and the earth’s well-being.

Time To Act Entertainment recently launched a survey on the topic of climate change. Of the four social issues listed (social justice, climate change, political divide, and ocean pollution) ocean pollution scored the least in regards to which social issue parents believe their children worry about the most, scoring 9.4 percent. Ocean pollution is a major problem that affects our environment, our food, and overall livelihood, but these results show that many people don’t view it as a serious threat. Although some may feel helpless when taking into consideration the scale of ocean pollution, there are a number of things you can do to help our Oceans.

We all want to avoid a future of vacationing on beaches littered with trash, of not eating contaminated seafood and the destruction of the only home we know. Below are some easy and effective ways to combat ocean pollution in your everyday life with your family and friends.

Recycle: One of the best ways for you and your family to help the environment is recycling. Recycling generates less waste, prevents pollution, and saves energy.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: No matter where you reside, it’s not hard to find trash littered in almost every community. So, if you’re taking your dog on a walk, taking a stroll to the corner store, or having an outing with friends — if you see it, pick it up. Even if the trash isn’t yours, the earth is your home, and every action to help our home regain its health and beauty is needed.

Reusable Tools: Using reusable products, such as—Britas, coffee pods, glass beauty products, razor handles, dishes, shopping bags, soap dispensers, and lunch boxes. Many items that are purchased cannot be recycled so using eco-efficient material will benefit us all in the long run

Support Sustainable Brands: 100 corporations that are responsible for roughly 70% of earth pollution, so buying from sustainable brands helps fight environmental stressors. Corporations that don’t use sustainable means will only change once their revenue is affected. So put your support in companies who care about our earth and not only about capital.

Lower Your Transportation Pollution: Vehicle emissions have caused harm to our environment, however, transportation is essential. We all don’t have the means to purchase new electric vehicles so another way to combat this issue is to carpool, bike or find additional means of transportation to have fewer pollutants on the road.

Mind Your Consumption: Organic food reduces pollution, conserves water, minimizes soil erosion, helps soil fertility, and uses less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby animals as well as human health. Also, the portions of your food and the waste of what’s not consumed play a huge role in polluting our environment and oceans. So, don’t bite off more than you can chew.

Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables: Growing your own vegetables can be a fun hobby you and your family can do together that is very sustainable. You can choose your own natural soil, fertilizers, and chemicals. This helps prevent pollution in our environment and waterways.

There are many other additional ways you can combat pollution — using less water, growing your own produce, and raising awareness through word of mouth — to name a few. Though this issue may seem insurmountable, it’s important to remember no matter how small, every action you take to fight ocean pollution makes a difference and helps create a better world for ourselves and the next generation.

by Luciana Brafman | August 19, 2021

luciana brafman
Exploring Life & Business with Luciana Brafman of TIME TO ACT Entertainment 900 600 Time To Act Entertainment

Exploring Life & Business with Luciana Brafman of TIME TO ACT Entertainment

Original Article: http://voyagela.com/interview/exploring-life-business-with-luciana-brafman-of-time-to-act-entertainment/

Today we’d like to introduce you to Luciana Brafman.

Hi Luciana, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born and raised in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and moved to America at the age of 24. From a very young age, I was interested in film and theatre having grown up on set every weekend, as my mom was an actress. Her love for the arts inspired me to always do what I love. Her work ethic and passion taught me that if I stay dedicated to something, anything, I could become successful at it.

After law school, I had a brief career as a corporate attorney before switching my focus to the entertainment industry. Over the years as a producer, I’ve accomplished quite a lot having received two Emmy nominations for my work as a producer in Survivor and The Apprentice television series.

As much as I loved being a producer, I decided to take several years off from my career so that I could spend more time in my most meaningful role, being a mother. It was during this time that I grew extremely passionate about inspiring children and helping them realize how important it is to be caring, happy, proactive, and aware of the world around them. It’s important that children focus on things beyond their doorstep and what matters most is our planet and all living creatures inhabiting it.

I saw first-hand from my son and his friends’ interactions that entertainment was the most successful and effective way to teach kids. Through entertainment, they were learning without realizing they were being educated. That’s when I got fascinated by the possibilities of the world of children’s entertainment. I thought we could emulate this approach and teach kids about pressing issues prevailing in our society and enabling and inspiring them to be part of the solution. This was the seed that drove me to create Time To Act Entertainment.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Just like with any startup or with a new company, one of the main things that we are focusing on right now for Time To Act is to complete our investment round. Aside from that, something we didn’t immediately realize was that for our mission to have the most impact, we’d need to focus on fostering partnerships and sponsors with leading organizations that support the environment to help create awareness.

TIME TO ACT is in the beginning stages of the gaming and interactive media industry but we’ve been surprised with our progress. It became obvious very quickly that much like raising a child, creating an interactive media company takes a village! We’re excited to work with artists, game developers, and storytellers that share our vision for the future of gaming.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Time To Act Entertainment is a groundbreaking trans-media brand focused on raising awareness through original impactful and entertaining content. Our goal is to produce with purpose, focusing on interactive media to propel us to become the next leading platform for content that will inspire change and make a difference.

We plan on accomplishing this goal with EARTHLING 22, which is still in development. We aim to bring social causes to the forefront of kids’ minds. The unfortunate truth is that we as a society are often reactive to various social causes. For example, we often don’t think about pollution until we see the trash on the beaches we visit. We don’t think about climate change until we see wildfires encroaching on families’ properties during the California wildfire season. Being exposed to social causes like the environment at an early age helps ensure that we are raising socially responsible children and when they grow older, they are already aware of and have thought about the environment and are equipped to be part of the solution.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
In addition to planning on having a percentage of purchases from our content go to organizations that inspire our work such as, Heal The Bay, One Planted Tree, Oceans Conservancy, and LA Urban Farms, we have a strong belief in putting our mission into action beyond the screens we use every day. Our goal is to connect the virtual world children are living in through gaming to the real world by helping create actual change.

We are currently surveying partners with nonprofits like Heal the Bay, an organization in Southern California dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds in Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean. They host educational days for school children who are often in underserved communities and make cleaning and learning about the environment near the beach fun, creative and inspiring.

Year after year, we continue to see the prevalence of video games in youth culture with the rise of gaming tournaments, streaming, mobile games. With the pandemic, we saw video games become a social tool for kids to connect with their friends through gaming. We truly believe we can combine entertaining, fun, and cool content with an educational messaging component because teaching and inspiring kids on things that matter like the environment can and should be fun!

With children being our future, all of our futures will be brighter if the youth are taught that they can achieve anything they want to achieve if they put their energy and passion into it.

Contact Info:

by VoyageLA | August 4, 2021

VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

The Effects of Online Interactions on Children and How it may Lead to Anxiety and Depression 1024 791 Time To Act Entertainment

The Effects of Online Interactions on Children and How it may Lead to Anxiety and Depression

Original Article: https://techbullion.com/time-to-act-entertainment-games-for-kids-interview-founder-luciana-braffman/

Communication, social activities and interactions are vital to the progression of a child. Meeting new people and playing with friends are some of the fondest childhood memories many of us have. However, over the years children meeting new friends and communicating with one another has changed drastically. There are many positive components of this change but also many detrimental ones.

Many social activities still require children to be face to face, allowing them to enjoy in-person interactions — sports teams, school activities, and playing in their neighborhood. However, nowadays most communication amongst children takes place online, out of sight of supervision, and sometimes it can have harmful effects to children’s mental health such as depression and anxiety.

The three most popular social media platforms among teens are YouTube — used by 85 percent of teens — according to Pew Research Center’s 2018 survey. Instagram wasn’t far behind at 72 percent, Snapchat came in third at 69 percent. Meaning two out of every three children use all three forms of social media. Which doesn’t sound negative until you hear the effect this may have.

Though Tik Tok is one of the the newer more popular social media platforms only 25 percent of kids age 10–19 use the app, according to statista.

The Pew’s 2018 survey of U.S. teens determined that one in six teenagers have experienced at least one of six different forms of abusive behavior and bullying online — name-calling (42 percent), spreading false rumors (32 percent), receiving unsolicited explicit images (25 percent), having their activities and whereabouts tracked by someone other than a parent (21 percent), someone making physical threats (16 percent), having explicit images of them shared without their consent (7 percent).

The survey also found that 90 percent of teens see online harassment as a problem for them and their peers — while 63 percent of teens view it as a “major problem.”

It’s in a parent’s natural instinct to try and protect their children and create an atmosphere where they can flourish, however, according to the data many parents are unknowingly allowing their children to enter an online world where they cannot be protected and oftentimes don’t recognize threats that they may fall victim too.

Just as in everyday life, there are good people and bad people. Some wish to help and spread joy and some look to take advantage of others. The same is true in online interactions. However, in the case of online communication, parents don’t have the ability to protect their children all the time, even when they’re at home.

Social media isn’t the only place where kids can be bullied, harassed, or be mentally harmed. The rising industry of e-gaming also creates an environment where kids are playing games and talking to strangers without knowing what is their true intent as is detailed in this short video, Online Gaming Dangers, published by Fixer UK.

The safety of our children is pertinent to the progression of our society. Protecting them on and offline should be atop all parent’s priority lists. One way this can be accomplished is through educating kids on the dangers of online communication and teaching them ways to sift out negative commenters or those who try to interact with them for ulterior motives.

Though many children agree harassment is prevalent online, the Pew survey previously mentioned shows that the majority of children do not see online interactions and social media as negative.

The survey found that only 24 percent of teens believe social media has a “generally negative effect,” while 31 percent say its effect is positive and 45 percent believe its impact is neither positive nor negative. 27 percent of teens surveyed who believed social media is generally a negative influence state that it increases bullying and rumor-mongering and 17 percent believe it harms relationships and makes them less meaningful.

If children realized the actual effects of online communication not only socially but also mentally, the above percentages should be a lot higher. However, as stated in the survey only a small number believe social media use could “lead to psychological issues or drama.”

Suicide rates amongst children have increased by up to 150%, while self-harm by girls ages 10 to 14 has nearly tripled. These patterns point to social media and the constant self comparing and harassment kids can fall victim to. The Atlantic states, eighth-graders who spend over 10 hours on social media per week are 56% more likely to report being unhappy than those who spend less time on social media. While 13% of kids ages 12–17 report depression and 32% report anxiety, according to the National Center for Health and Research.

The solution is education. We need to come together, parents, teachers, gaming and social media platforms and help raise awareness about all the negative mental health effects that can come with online interactions in both gaming and social media.

Recently, the Organization for Social Media Safety and D.A.R.E. International have announced a groundbreaking collaboration to teach social media safety skills to students across the country. In this programs inaugural years their initiative teach vital lessons on social media-related dangers, like cyberbullying, screen addiction, sexting, and human trafficking, will potentially reach thousands of classrooms across the country.

D.A.R.E. will begin providing the new social media safety lessons to schools beginning in the fall of 2021.

This is why I am on a mission to help create a safer online environment for kids in gaming by creating Time to Act ‘s Earthling 22 an environmental adventure mobile game my goal is to foster positive gaming experiences and team building, encouraging kids to help each other and work together in order to succeed instead of putting each other down.

Luciana Brafman | July 27, 2021

luciana brafman
TIME TO ACT ENTERTAINMENT Games for Kids; Interview With Founder Luciana Brafman 900 600 Time To Act Entertainment

TIME TO ACT ENTERTAINMENT Games for Kids; Interview With Founder Luciana Brafman

Original Article: https://techbullion.com/time-to-act-entertainment-games-for-kids-interview-founder-luciana-braffman/

Luciana Brafman, founder of TIME TO ACT ENTERTAINMENT would like to share with us her Games for Kids, created to enable Social advocacy for kids and more awareness for issues like climate change while making more impact on children through gaming.

Please tell us more about yourself?

My name is Luciana Brafman, I was born and raised in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. My professional background in the entertainment industry is producing. From a very young age, I was interested in film and theatre having grown up in theater, backstage, every weekend as my mom was an actress in children’s plays. Her love for the arts inspired me to always do what I love with the understanding that success would always follow. Work ethic and passion taught me that if I stay dedicated to something, anything, I could become successful at it. Over the years as a producer, I’ve accomplished quite a lot in the entertainment industry, having received two Emmy nominations for my work as a producer in Survivor and The Apprentice television series. 

As much as I loved being a producer I decided to take several years off from my career so that I could spend time with a person I loved very much—my son. It was at this time where I grew extremely passionate about inspiring children and helping them realize how important is to be happy and that they can achieve anything they want to achieve if they put their energy and passion into it. And that what matters the most is the process to get there and the importance during this journey to care about each other, our planet, and all living creatures inhabiting it.  I saw first-hand from my son and his friends’ interactions that entertainment was the most successful way to teach kids. Through entertainment, they were learning without realizing they were being educated. That’s when I got fascinated by the possibilities of the world of children’s entertainment. I thought we could emulate this approach and teach kids about pressing issues prevailing in our society and enabling and inspiring them to be part of the solution. This was the seed that drove me to create Time To Act Entertainment. 

What is TIME TO ACT ENTERTAINMENT, tell us more about your mission for Kids?

Time To Act Entertainment is a groundbreaking transmedia brand dedicated to raising awareness through original impactful and entertaining content. Our goal is to produce with purpose, focusing on interactive media to propel us to become the next leading platform for content that will inspire change and make a difference. 

How do you intend to harness the power of video games to foster a generation of kids who truly care about the world around them?

Safe to say, it’s not surprising that a majority of children are playing video games or using interactive media every single day. And with good reason, video games are fun, after all! Year after year, we continue to see the prevalence of video games in youth culture with the rise of gaming tournaments, streaming, mobile games. With the pandemic, we saw video games become a social tool for kids to connect with their friends through gaming. We truly believe we can combine entertaining, fun, and cool content with an educational messaging component because teaching and inspiring kids on things that matter like the environment can and should be fun!

How many projects have you worked on before now and who are your key partners in the gaming industry?

This is my first venture into the gaming and interactive media industry but I’ve learned quite a bit already. It became obvious very quickly that much like raising a child, creating an interactive media company takes a village! We’re excited to work with artists, game developers, and storytellers that share our vision for the future of gaming.  

EARTHLING 22, as a soon coming game, what is the special impact we are expecting for kids globally? 

With EARTHLING 22, which is still in development, we aim to bring social causes to the forefront of kids’ minds. The unfortunate truth is that we as a society are often reactive to various social causes. For example, we often don’t think about pollution until we see the trash on the beaches we visit. We don’t think about climate change until we see wildfires encroaching on families’ properties during the California wildfire season. Being exposed to social causes like the environment at an early age helps ensure that we are raising socially responsible children and when they grow older they are already aware of and have thought about the environment and are equipped to be part of the solution.  We hope that this awareness has a fundamental impact on creating a generation that is inspired to be proactive and as a result makes positive changes to the world. 

“Playing for the planet alliance” has impacted children by integrating green activism into games. What inspired this technique?

It’s easy for all of us to see the effects of climate change both locally and worldwide. Everything from air pollution to wildfires and floods affects everyone’s health and way of life. Climate change is probably the biggest issue facing our future. The clock is ticking and it’s extremely important to raise awareness about climate change for kids as young as possible so that they can grow practicing a sustainable way of life.

At the end of the day, kids notice when the” cool “ video game companies they care about the most commit to reducing plastic waste, reducing emissions, planting trees, and promoting the global well-being of the environment. And with the combined reach of the members of Playing for the Planet Alliance of over 1 billion video game players, it’s a powerful method of green activism. 

Is there any other way TIME TO ACT is creating awareness for social responsibility?

Of course! In addition to planning on having a percentage of purchases from our content go to organizations that inspire our work such as, One Planted Tree, Oceans Conservancy, and LA Urban Farms, we have a strong belief in putting our mission into action beyond the screens we use every day. Our goal is to connect the virtual world children are living in through gaming to the real world by helping create actual change. 

We are currently surveying partners with nonprofits like Heal the Bay, an organization in Southern California dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds in Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean. They host educational days for school children who are often in underserved communities and make cleaning and learning about the environment near the beach fun, creative and inspiring.

What struggles and shortcomings have you had since the birth of TIME TO ACT?

Just like with any startup or with a new company one of the main things that we are focusing on right now for Time To Act is fundraising. But aside from that, something we didn’t immediately realize was that for our mission to have the most impact we’d need to focus on fostering partnerships and sponsors with leading organizations that support the environment to help create awareness. We are addressing this by partnering with these leading organizations. 

How do you think the pandemic (covid 19) has affected children, and the upcoming generation, and what measures do you think is suitable to minimize the effect on kids?

In my opinion, it’s no secret that COVID-19 has negatively impacted children—and adults’ mental health of all ages. I think several years from now we’ll truly understand the full impact that the pandemic had on children’s developmental, physical, and mental well-being. 

With that said, I think it’s more important than ever for parents to have an active role in monitoring what their children are doing when connected online. Whether it’s mobile or video games, social platforms like Snapchat or YouTube, kids are often given full reign over what and how much they consume even though many parents know that too much screen time can lead to sleep problems, anxiety, and poor school performance. The internet is like welcoming strangers to your home and exposing children to subjects that they wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise and that they may be too young to understand. As we transition to a post-COVID world, I encourage parents to regularly set aside time to discover all parental controls offered by the different gaming and social platforms, as well as to spend time outside away from the screens. Play games, help them with their homework and most importantly check in with them to see how they’re feeling since communication is key. Also, lead by example and not spend too much time themselves on their phones. Kids are resilient and with the help of parents and proper use of technology, we’ll be able to minimize the negative effects of the pandemic in due time. It is very important to note that technology is wonderful and when used properly can propel learning and be inspirational.

To what percentage do you think that games have influenced kids positively? What are the plans to regulate game addiction for kids, any parental control protocol?

I’m not too sure about an exact number, however, I can say that for most kids video games have positive effects on different aspects of their lives. Video games can help kids who might be shy to be more social, encourage community building, improve problem-solving skills, and teach them how to work in a team. There’s even some research showing that surgeons who played more video games regularly made fewer operating mistakes! These are very real skills that video games help nurture. 

Over the last few years, tech companies like Apple have made it easy for parents to limit screen time, block specific apps and restrict settings on mobile devices. Using this functionality ensures kids are not playing games 24/7 so that they don’t struggle with gaming addiction. As the game is still in development, we are currently researching how best to add additional features for parental controls within the game.  

Do you have more information for our readers?

Yes! They can follow me on my Medium blog where you can learn more about Time to Act’s mission and my goals for creating social change. As well as @timetoactentertainment on Instagram!

by Angela Scott-Briggs (Editor, TechBullion.com) | July 9, 2021

gaming the system
Gaming the System: Raising Responsible Kids in the Digital Age 1024 683 Time To Act Entertainment

Gaming the System: Raising Responsible Kids in the Digital Age

Original Article: https://medium.com/@luciana_44838/gaming-the-system-raising-responsible-kids-in-the-digital-age-6036fd97173b

I wear many hats in life — television producer, attorney, entrepreneur — but the role that speaks to me most is being a mother. However, despite the many joys parenthood brings, it opened my eyes to many dangers I was previously unaware of. This has made me become particularly focused on a risk that has crept into many of our homes, and ironically with our blessing: the faceless social network of online multiplayer video games.

The birth of the internet in the 1990s was immediately accompanied by the fear of the unknown of what may lie in cyberspace. For decades, the world wide web has been a new playground for kids of all ages, with many of the same potential menaces that pre-digital generations were trained to avoid in real life — predators, crooks, and con artists.

This makes it especially important to show younger generations that anybody can be anything online. A person’s age, identity, and intentions can come cloaked in a deviously coded anonymity. It’s a lesson that many adults struggle with themselves, however, the sharp rise in fake profile-based scams continues to rise. In addition, the constantly-evolving world of online multiplayer video games adds new and sophisticated dimensions to this age-old struggle.

Almost every teen boy in the United States –and a vast majority of teen girls — plays video games. One recent estimate from the Pew Research Center puts it at 97% and 83% respectively. Games are no longer just a fun activity; they can be a gateway to scholarships and careers in a wide range of areas from game design to eSports.

As top-tier games like Fortnite and Minecraft have achieved unparalleled reach with youth demographics over the last decade, online sex crimes have gone up as well. Just between 2013 and 2019, the number of reported “sextortion” crimes (where a child is coerced online into producing or distributing illegal sexual content of themselves) rose from 50 to over 1500, a number that experts believe to only be a fraction of the actual sum.

This problem is a result of several interconnected factors. First, the issue of user privacy, and the question of how developers can monitor private messaging without infringing on the rights of their customers.

Second, the actual process of identifying inappropriate or illegal content is extremely complicated. Identifying a concept as vague as age is difficult for algorithms, and forensic specialists have warned that new machine learning systems are unlikely to be effective “any time in the near future.” This is further compounded by the risk of false identification.

While children need the ability to have a private space because it is important for their development, it doesn’t need to be in an environment where adults can find themselves one-on-one with a child in a chat room.

There are current systems in place: Microsoft’s PhotoDNA scans for child pornography, Project Artemis looks for conversations that indicate child grooming, Roblox applies filters to all chats with bad language, but it also seeks and blocks situations where one player tries to convince another into talking offline, usually by asking for their phone number.

There is no simple solution. It takes a village. We need both gaming and social media platforms to step up and commit to doing their part. One way to achieve this is to standardize a combined human and artificial intelligence moderation policy. Parents also need to play an active role by taking responsibility, monitoring their children and teaching them to block and report inappropriate and offensive content. Also, they need to ensure their children will report and block the inappropriate or offensive content. The least controversial approach is education; parents need to inform and prepare kids on how to deal with online predators.

Raising the bar means raising our standards. Demanding online communities foster healthy environments, protecting its users from toxic behavior and being unapologetic in doing so. While also raising our standards as users. We need to understand the motivation behind our behavior, and ask, “Why am I sharing this content? Why am I making this comment? Does this contribute to the greater good? Would I say this in real life?”

Online resources can benefit its users in a multitude of ways. However, The anonymity of online communications creates a world where kids can say and be spoken to with language that can be detrimental to their well being and may lead to depression and self-esteem issues. Talk to your children openly about online etiquette and urge them to speak up by reporting or blocking those who may be viewed as a threat.

Luciana Brafman | July 7, 2021 | Photo Credit: Jessica Lewis / Pexels

compassionate kids
Teaching Kids Compassion in an Apathetic World 1024 682 Time To Act Entertainment

Teaching Kids Compassion in an Apathetic World

Original Article: https://medium.com/@luciana_44838/teaching-kids-compassion-in-an-apathetic-world-79fe03fb0a1b

How does society teach people to care? Is it something that comes to us naturally as we grow up? Do we learn it from our families, or in the classroom? Are we just born with this intuitive sense of what matters and why?

Though, the majority of people would describe themselves as caring, what does that mean when subjects that should be universal focal points of care are brushed aside by so many, so frequently?

Nowadays children growing up are spending more time alone in their rooms playing video games, detached and disconnected from what’s happening around them in the real world. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, children in the United States spend 4–9 hours a day using screens. We know that overuse of screens may lead to problems, like poor academic performance and sleep problems. Unfortunately, the pandemic has exacerbated this issue even more.

As a parent, watching this trend makes me worry about the future of the next generation and raises the question of how to best combat this issue? This has led TIME TO ACT Entertainment to focus on linking the virtual world to the real world to get children acclimated to the issues that are threatening us all.

Consider the environment, for example. We all exist in it, by default. We all breathe air and drink water. So how can environmentalism still be controversial for massive swathes of the population? Also, what about combatting race-based prejudice or the dangers of digital anonymity?

The answer lies in how we teach the next generation to think about intersectional social challenges but teaching does not mean providing information and expecting children to digest it themselves. The National Center of Biotechnology Information’s study of brain connectivity shows that the key to successfully engaging both intellect and empathy is simple: Storytelling. When we read a good book, our brains take on and process new perspectives as if they were already our own. Books can teach us empathy, but many young people crave more direct engagement. As a mother and as an activist, I believe that the future of developing socially aware, engaged young people lies within interactive media. However, more of a focus is required from the leading game publishers and studios.

Last week E3, The Electronic Entertainment Expo, was the talk of the gaming world where dozens of mostly PC and console games were announced highlighting their improved game mechanics and showcasing better graphics than the previous iteration. However, not one minute was spent discussing how to harness the power of video games to foster a generation of kids who truly care about the world around them, this is what TIME TO ACT aims to change.

We plan to combat this issue by focusing on assembling a powerful team of veterans in the gaming industry who share a similar passion for a new genre of games. This will assist in producing digital content that never sacrifices the essential elements of an amazing video game but still guides young audiences as they learn about topics ranging from online safety to environmentalism. Instead of “educational games,” the goal is to create something brand-new and distinct: “Advocacy focused interactive media.”

Games for Change has spent almost 20 years empowering video game creators who focus on driving real-world change through immersive media. Similarly, the Playing for the Planet Alliancehas brought together some of the top video game studios in the world through a commitment to integrating “green activations” into their games, as well as reducing emissions and supporting forestation in the physical realm as well. Their years of innovation have made a massive impact in helping audiences rethink the relationship between games and the real world.

In my opinion, the most valuable lesson we can teach with video games — and with all media — is advocacy, social awareness, and teaching children to care about the world around them.

Gaming has already become a fabric of everyday education, with nearly 84 percent of teachers reporting that they use digital games at least once a week for their lessons. As the efficiency of video games as an effective tool for teaching is questioned less, another question arises: What are we teaching, and why?

by Luciana Brafman | June 23, 2021 | Photo Credit: Eren Li (Pexels)