Gaming: European Parliament calls for better consumer protection in games

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The European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection is in favor of better consumer protection for games.

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection is calling for a series of EU-wide rules to protect gamers.

In addition, a draft calling for better consumer protection with regard to loot boxes and children received 35 yes votes with three abstentions and no no vote.

Information about the content of games, the regulations for in-game purchases and the target groups should be easily accessible similar to the PEGI ratings, according to the demand. In addition, parents should have effective control over how much time and money their children spend on games.

Game developers are encouraged to avoid addictive design, especially for loot boxes, and to respect children’s age, rights and vulnerabilities.

The European Commission is being asked to investigate gold farming and the trading of in-game items for real money and to identify potential legal violations. Other gaming-related topics such as data protection, user security and the avoidance of discrimination were also addressed:

“Cancelling game subscriptions must be as easy as signing up, return and refund policies must comply with EU rules, and national authorities must put an end to illegal practices that enable bartering, sale or betting on game sites.”

The draft highlights video games as an important and fast-growing sector whose economic, social, educational, cultural and innovative potential must be unlocked with the help of a European video games strategy. In support of this, the annual presentation of a European prize for online games is proposed.

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