Specific child protection measures
The report, which passed with 577 votes in favour, 56 against and 15 abstentions, calls for the harmonization of the rules to allow parents to have a good overview of and control over the games their children play, as well as time and money. spent on them. MEPs are demanding clearer information about content, purchasing policies and the age group the games are aimed at, perhaps along the lines of the PEGI (Pan European Gaming Information) system already in use in 38 countries.
They also want minors to be specifically protected from incentives to make in-game purchases and from the practice of obtaining in-game items with real money, as these practices can be linked to financial crimes and human rights violations. In addition, game developers should avoid making games that are addictive and should consider the age, rights and vulnerabilities of children.
Increasing consumer protection in line with EU rules
MEPs believe that video game developers should also prioritize data protection, gender balance, player safety and should not discriminate against people with disabilities. They stress that unsubscribing from a game should be as easy as subscribing to it. The policy of purchasing, returning and refunding the cost of games must comply with European rules. National authorities must put an end to illegal practices that allow players to trade, sell or bet on video game sites.
New European Video Game Awards
Parliament recognizes the value and potential of the video game sector and wishes to support its development. To this end, MEPs are proposing the establishment of an annual European Online Video Game Award and are calling on the Commission to propose a European video game strategy that will help this creative and cultural sector reach its full potential.
“Our report highlights the positive aspects of this pioneering industry, as well as the social risks we need to be aware of, such as the impact of video games on mental health. This may especially affect young gamers,” said speaker Adriana Maldonado Lopez. (S&D, ES) in plenary session. “We need to harmonize EU rules with stronger consumer protection and a focus on minors,” she added.