What is youth media protection?
Today, children and young people grow up with digital media as a matter of course. But not everything there is to see and experience is suitable for them. The central task of youth media protection is to protect minors from certain influences from the adult world that are not suitable for their stage of development or that could impair or even harm them in their personality development.
In the area of digital games , the protection of minors from harmful media follows the principle of "regulated self-regulation". The state creates the legal framework with the Youth Protection Act (JuSchG), and voluntary self-regulatory bodies ensure that the legal rules are applied in practice. However, the providers of digital games themselves are responsible for their implementation. This procedure is intended to strengthen the industry's own responsibility overall.
Verification before sale
All digital games offered in Germany must be checked in advance by the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) and given an age rating. In addition, carrier media are labeled by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) and the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC).
On its website, the USK explains which age labels exist and how video games are tested.
Age ratings are not educational recommendations
The age ratings given are not to be understood as educational recommendations. A game that is released without age restriction is not necessarily well suited for a five-year-old. The complexity of the game or even the fine motor requirements may possibly overtax the child. Whether a game is suitable for your child should depend on both the age rating and the individual's stage of development. It is best to play the game yourself in advance or use one of the online portals that rate video games from an educational point of view.
Technical options for the protection of minors
All modern gaming devices offer setting options regarding the protection of minors that parents should use. For example, games that are not age-appropriate can be blocked. Instructions for technical youth media protection can be found at www.medien-kindersicher.de.