Safe & Healthy Gameplay
With more than 50% of the European population playing video games across all age groups, the industry is continously working to ensure a safe online gameplay environment to protect minors while also promoting healthy gameplay habits.
Commitment to a safe online gameplay environment
The PEGI Code of Conduct and Video Games Europe members aim to ensure safe online gameplay environments, and to keep any user-generated content free of content which is illegal, offensive, racist, degrading, corrupting, threatening, obscene or that might permanently impair the development of minors. Our members use a variety of tools and safeguards to protect minors from potentially harmful or illegal content, including for voice and video chat. These include, age gating, reporting tools, filtering software, moderation and muting tools. For example, parental control tools allow for communication with others in the game to be restricted and are a safeguard against minors being exposed to inappropriate content introduced by other players.
Our members have clear rules and policies that prohibit the exchange of virtual items for real money, or items traded outside the video game environment, including illegal activities such as skin gambling. Video game companies take measures such as banning or suspending players who have sold accounts or traded items outside of a game. Video Games Europe and members inform parents so they can be vigilant about such behaviour through tips for parents on outside game trading and skin-gambling.
Empower and support parents
It is part of the everyday work of the industry to inform players, parents and carers about the tools they have at hand and to encourage their use. It is equally important for there to be an open dialogue at home about safe and healthy gameplay. Video Games Europe has developed advice to parents on how put in place a healthy gameplay environment and to encourage parents to take an interest in their child’s online activity and hobby by regularly playing together. Video Games Europe’s 5 tips to parents is a popular resource and Video Games Europe’s national members have developed similar advice across Europe in local languages: see here.
To ensure safe and healthy gameplay, parents are provided with tools that can be activated to restrict online interaction with others. The parental control tools developed by the industry, available on every platform, provide parents with the tools to manage children’s gameplay, such as online interactions with other players, playtime and spending.
Take regular breaks
The PEGI Code of Conduct recommends that video games encourage players to take regular breaks. Members promote healthy gameplay directly in the game and parental control tools allow for playtime limits to be set.
Our mission is to make sure that information reaches parents, educators and players. This is why Video Games Europe and members invest in national information campaigns and initiatives, often in partnership with other organisations and authorities to reach the relevant audience.