Today, Friday, the Bundestag will pass a new draft law that provides for an amendment to the Youth Protection Act. The family ministry around Franziska Giffey (SPD) has been working on the draft in recent months. One of the topics is the Lootboxes discussed around the worldthat are used in games like FIFA 21, NBA 2K21 or Overwatch.
In the future, default settings should ensure that children and young people in particular are protected from "interaction risks". In addition to all microtransactions and gambling-like mechanics, there are also restrictions on contact and communication functions in order to protect underage users from bullying, cyber grooming and hate speech. If there is no age-appropriate pre-setting for children, the age classification must be increased by the USK or FSK.
It was only this week that the Family Ministry made retrospective changes to the Lootbox topic. Originally a "standard deactivation" of the mechanics was planned. Now the guidelines apply here that will also be used for the above-mentioned interaction risks. The federal government would also like to expand the BPjM.
The Federal Office for Media Harmful to Young People is soon to become the Federal Center for the Protection of Children and Young People in the Media. Politicians would like to create more clarity in the future with descriptors that should clarify in detail why, for example, a game has been given an appropriate age rating. The Decision of the Ministry of Family you can now read it as a PDF on the Internet.
via Games economy
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