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Youth Protection Calls for Stricter Measures Against FIFA, Fortnite, and Warcraft

Youth protection organizations are raising concerns about popular video games like FIFA, Fortnite, and World of Warcraft, citing manipulative game designs that could pose risks to underage players. A recent study commissioned by the Commission for Youth Media Protection (KJM) identified deceptive tactics, including opaque gaming behaviors and complicated parent menus, prompting calls for stricter regulations and greater transparency to safeguard young gamers.

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The KJM study focused on ten games known to attract underage gamers: Barbie Dreamhouse Adventure, Clash of Clans, FIFA 23, Fortnite, League of Legends, Minecraft, Modern Ops, Pokémon Go, Toca Life World, and World of Warcraft. It identified various “dark patterns” in these games, deceptive designs aimed at extending player engagement and extracting more money from them.

KJM Study Exposes Dark Patterns in Popular Video Games

One of the key findings of the report was the lack of transparency for players and parents. Gaming behaviors and the likelihood of players making purchases, such as loot boxes, were often obscured, making it challenging for guardians to monitor and control their children’s gaming habits. Parent menus were intentionally complicated, further complicating oversight.

Manipulative elements embedded within these games, including push notifications, daily rewards, leaderboards, and in-game store promotions, were also highlighted as problematic. These features often encourage addictive behavior and increase spending, posing significant risks to young players.

Read Also: How to Avoid Addictive and Problematic Behaviors in Gaming Apps: Pennsylvania Leading the Way

In response to these findings, Jan Eumann, chairman of the KJM, has called for stricter measures to protect youth from the harmful effects of these games. He advocates for the implementation of reliable age controls and greater transparency regarding playing time and financial investments. Eumann also suggests the possibility of banning loot boxes, citing precedents set by Belgium and the Netherlands, where certain games have been removed from circulation due to their loot box mechanics.

The call for action from youth protection advocates underscores the need for industry-wide reforms to safeguard the well-being of young gamers. As concerns about gaming addiction and predatory monetization strategies continue to mount, addressing these issues has become a pressing priority for regulators and game developers alike.

(Source: KJM)

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