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ITU-WHO Workshop on Safe Listening in Video Gaming and Esports

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), organized a workshop on “Safe Listening in Video Gaming and Esports” in Geneva, ITU Headquarters from 30-31 January 2024. Captioning service and remote participation was provided for this workshop.

Video gaming and esports have surged in global popularity, captivating up to 3 billion enthusiasts worldwide. With a user base of 600 million on console platforms and 1.1 billion on personal computers, these activities have solidified their status as both premier entertainment forms and have led to new streams of competitive gameplay, referred to as esports (competitive and organized video gaming, in which two or more parties, individuals or teams, face each other under regulated and structured conditions). Nevertheless, the increasing prevalence of prolonged and loud audio exposure in these activities has raised serious health concerns, particularly related to hearing damage and sound-induced hearing loss.

In response to this public health concern, ITU and WHO started a joint work item to develop a global standard for safe listening in video gaming and esports activities that expands on the successful guidelines for safe listening in devices (ITU-T H.870) and in venues. The process to develop the new standard includes a series of interactive technical workshops, which will serve as platforms to assemble proficient experts, stakeholders, and industry representatives, to foster concerted actions and to lead the formulation of guidelines and standards for safe listening in video gaming and esports activities.

This workshop built upon the joint workshop organized in September 2023 to progress the understanding in the broad community of practitioners and video gaming and esports aficionados of the use ca​ses and features that could benefit from tailored guidelines and standards for safe listening.

​T​he objectives of the workshop included:​
Target public:
Participation in the workshop was open to ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academic Institutions and to any individual from a country that is a member of ITU who wished to contribute to the work. This included individuals who are also members of international, regional, and national organizations. Participation in the workshop was free of charge.​

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