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FLIMMO – the parents’ guide to TV, streaming, YouTube and cinema

“But I want to watch TV longer, just a little bit more!” – this child substitute should be familiar to most parents. Television – whether via traditional offerings or streaming – is a popular topic of contention in families and often leads to discussions. Reconciling the children’s wishes with the adults’ ideas is not always easy. How long can I let my child watch TV without a guilty conscience? How do I select suitable shipments? What devices and channels do people watch on? FLIMMO – the parents’ guide to TV, streaming, YouTube and cinema – was created precisely to answer such questions.

In brief

  • Parents’ guide to child-friendly moving image content
  • Pedagogical recommendations by age
  • Films, series and shows from media libraries, streaming services, YouTube and TV channels as well as social media channels
  • accessible free of charge via the website

FLIMMO – popular children’s television at a glance

On the flimmo.de website, you as a parent can quickly find out whether a particular series or program is suitable for your child. You will also find out what is currently on TV and whether there is something suitable for your child. Children not only use traditional TV programming, but also watch on streaming platforms, YouTube or in media libraries. They use social media services such as TikTok and Instagram, even though they are only allowed to use them from the age of 13. The FLIMMO experts try to check all interesting offers for children. The focus is on the perspective of young media users: What do they like about films, series, shows or channels? What causes them problems? What do they like to watch and why? How do they deal with media experiences and how do they process them?

The assessments point out problematic issues or warn of possible excessive demands. In the same way, it is made clear what interests, fascinates or amuses children at the respective age. Educational assessments make it clear what children like about a movie or series, what can be problematic and what parents should pay particular attention to. FLIMMO also addresses questions relating to media education in the family: How much media time is appropriate? What rules help and how do you get siblings under one roof? What is important when dealing with YouTube? The guidebook helps parents meet the challenges of everyday media life with brief information and practical tips.

The rating system

FLIMMO reviews films, series, documentaries, movies and social media channels that children between the ages of 3 and 13 like to watch – or want to watch. A traffic light shows at a glance whether a movie, series or YouTube channel is suitable for children or not. And if so, from what age:

Green: This content is suitable from the respective age and is well received by children. You will find entertaining, exciting, funny and educational.

Yellow: There are problematic aspects from a pedagogical point of view. These can be questionable role models or heroines who rely exclusively on violence. Parents should keep an eye on how children deal with this and take countermeasures if necessary.

Red: There are elements that can overwhelm, unsettle or frighten children. Regardless of age, such content is not suitable for children.

Who is behind FLIMMO?

FLIMMO is a project of the non-profit association Programmberatung für Eltern e. V. It is scientifically and pedagogically based. Experienced media educators from the JFF – Institute for Media Education take care of the content and evaluations. FLIMMO also regularly surveys 3- to 13-year-olds about their preferences.

How to use FLIMMO in the family

Even though the offer is primarily aimed at you as a parent, it can be exciting to click through the website’s content together with your child. FLIMMO ‘s simple and clear rating system is well suited for finding suitable content. If your child tells you about an interesting series or YouTube channel, you can look up what FLIMMO has to say about it together.

In addition to assessments of channels, www.flimmo.de/socialmedia also provides information about social media and what parents should look out for if they allow its use.

Popular games: Fortnite

Fortnite has been one of the most popular online games among children and teenagers since its release in 2017. Many game modes are approved for ages 12 and up, but are often used by much younger players.

In a nutshell:

  • Video game from EPIC Games
  • Minimum age according to the legal age rating of the USK for most game modes: 12 years, educational recommendation according to the NRW game guide: 14 years
  • Many player-created Fortnite“islands” from the creative mode have different age ratings according to the IARC system
  • Free app for PC, Mac and all common consoles as well as via detours also on smartphones
  • Contains in-app purchases, communication and contact options

What is Fortnite?

When talking about Fortnite, it is important to note that it is not just a game. Rather, Fortnite has developed into a platform for online games with different game modes, which often share the same visuals and setting. In the only paid mode, “Save The World”, you have to build a fortress with other players to protect the last human survivors from zombies.

The free version “Fortnite Battle Royale” is far better known and more popular, in which the aim is to kill all other players, either alone or in a team, in order to survive. There is also a creative mode, which is presented in our article Creative with Fortnite and Minecraft and in which violence and time pressure can be completely dispensed with.

The three new modes “Fortnite Festival”, “Fortnite Racing” and “Lego Fortnite” have also been added. While “Fortnite Festival” is more like a rhythm game, “Fortnite Racing”, as the name suggests, is all about fast races. In “Lego Fortnite”, players have to fight monsters and construct buildings together, with the figures and content being kept in the look of classic Lego toys.

What does Fortnite currently offer?

Fortnite is available on all popular consoles such as the Playstation 4/5, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One/Series. The app can also be downloaded on the PC and for Mac. The app can also be installed on Android and Apple devices via a few detours, but not via the classic Google Play Store or Apple App Store. The game can also be streamed to many devices via the increasingly popular cloud gaming providers such as Amazon Luna.

In March 2022, “Fortnite Battle Royale” added the so-called “No Build” mode. In this variant, players cannot build protective structures such as walls and have to think of new ways to gain an advantage over other players, such as a height advantage. Fortnite is currently working a lot with other companies and franchises to integrate their content into the game. Pop artist Billie Eilish has immortalized herself as a playable character in the game. Heroes from Star Wars, Avatar – The Lord of the Elements, My Hero Academia and many more also bring a breath of fresh air to the game.

Creative mode in particular has changed a lot in recent years. Players can now create their own “islands” and integrate their own game objectives. Although many of these islands copy the familiar “Battle Royale” mode, other islands are completely non-violent. There may therefore even be different age ratings and recommendations within Fortnite.

What fascinates children and young people about this offer?

Rarely has a game generated so much hype. Certainly also because parts of Fortnite are free and can be played on various platforms. Moreover, it is easy to get into the game without any previous knowledge.

The gameplay is very exciting and provides plenty of adrenaline. Thus, game players must constantly be on guard, quickly hide from attackers and develop good strategies to survive. The round principle provides the incentive to do better in the next round than in the previous one. Funny details like the worldwide known joy and victory dances of the game characters add to the fun of the game.

What is problematic about the offer?

Fortnite ‘s “Battle Royale” mode has been heavily criticized due to the USK age rating of 12 and up. Gun violence is the only option here, but a necessary one to win the game. Fortnite does not contain any detailed depictions of violence, no blood flows, there are no corpses to be seen and the cartoon look also plays down the violent gameplay. Still, the goal is to kill each other. Children in particular could lose awareness of this very quickly. At the same time, 12-year-olds can already see through this match-fixing because of their media experience.

Fortnite “Battle Royale” is nevertheless very nerve-wracking, as players have to constantly scan their surroundings for threats. This pressure can cause children and young people to feel stressed and overwhelmed. During the game rounds, many game pieces are quickly eliminated. This can cause frustration in a short time when it hits your own avatar.

If you want to play Fortnite, you need an account with EPIC Games. To do this, it is necessary to provide an email address or that of an existing account, such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Nintendo, Playstation or Xbox.

The game allows the purchase of virtual currency, so-called V-Bucks. This can be used to buy virtual items like outfits, victory dances, or even access to weekly challenges with real money. These items and functions are not necessary for the game, but they are exciting, especially for children and teenagers. In recent years, the cooperation with well-known franchises such as Marvel or Star Wars has been expanded enormously, which should boost the voluntary in-app purchases. Some of these offers are often only available for purchase for a limited time, which can lead to the fear of missing out(FOMO).

What should parents pay attention to?

Please note that the various game modes have been given their respective age ratings for different reasons. It is not only the violence depicted that can be decisive, but also increased incentives to buy. Fortnite should be seen as a game as a service, for which we have written a separate article.

In particular, the “islands” created by users have their own age labels, which were assigned according to the so-called IARC system and can therefore also be aimed at younger children.

If your child wants to play Fortnite, take a look at the game yourself beforehand and talk to your child about why they find Fortnite interesting. Play together and let your child explain what it is all about and agree on common rules. Keep an eye on your child’s screen time and make technical settings to make it easier to balance gaming and other leisure activities.

Also try to make your child aware that Fortnite is about violence and that this should not be underestimated. But that doesn’t mean that computer games necessarily make people violent.

Be there as a contact person if your child encounters inappropriate content or unpleasant fellow players. Players who behave inappropriately can be reported via the game menu. Use the Fortnite parental controls and set them up together with your child. For example, a PIN can be used to restrict payments and interaction and communication options. You can also restrict the content your child can see in Fortnite. For example, they can completely block game modes that are not age-appropriate for their child. You can find clear instructions for parents on how to do this at medien-kindersicher.de.

The Xplora XGO3: The smartwatch for children

The Xplora XGO3 is a smartwatch specially developed for children that combines safety and fun. With its multiple functions, it offers parents the opportunity to manage and monitor communication with their children while giving children a sense of independence. We explain what’s behind the smartwatch for children.

In a nutshell:

  • Smartwatch for children aged 5 to 12 years
  • GPS tracking, SOS emergency call function, pedometer, call and message function (limited), school mode
  • Compatible with iOS and Android
  • Costs: around €100, depending on the provider and contract model

What is behind the offer?

The Xplora XGO3 is designed to provide children with a degree of safety while allowing them to explore the world around them and develop their independence. For you as a parent, the smartwatch is a tool for monitoring and managing communication with your child. It is not a fully-fledged smartwatch, but is designed with children in mind and can be operated intuitively by touch.

Key features include GPS tracking to keep track of your child’s whereabouts, an SOS emergency call function in case of an emergency and a limited communication option to enable contact with trusted people. Making phone calls and sending (voice) messages is possible, surfing the Internet is excluded. You cannot enter your own texts for messages.

You can also use the parent app on your smartphone to set a school mode for your child’s school hours and a safety zone in which your child can move around freely without you being notified.

What fascinates children and young people about it?

Children and teenagers love the opportunity to wear a smartwatch like adults, but one that is specially tailored to their needs. Functions such as answering calls from pre-authorized contacts and sending SOS messages offer security and a feeling of independence. The little extras such as games or the mini camera can also be fun. In addition, the integrated pedometer motivates children to stay active and promote their fitness.

What can be problematic about the offer?

  • Data protection and privacy The use of GPS tracking and communication functions can entail data protection risks
  • Communication risks Restricted calling and messaging cannot completely eliminate the possibility of unwanted contacts.
  • Distraction: The constant availability of calls and messages as well as the possibility of playing games can lead to distractions and impair your child’s concentration.
  • Dependence on technology: The availability of features such as GPS tracking and instant communication can lead to your child relying too much on the smartwatch and becoming less independent.

What does the provider think?

The provider emphasizes the importance of data protection and provides data protection settings to protect the privacy of users. Parental control functions are also offered to monitor and restrict use. The provider emphasizes that the safety and protection of children is the top priority.

What should parents pay attention to?

  • Adjust the settings: Take your time to adjust the smartwatch settings according to your child’s needs and age.
  • Data protection and privacy: Talk to your child about the importance of data protection and security when using technological devices. Agree rules with your child about the use of GPS tracking – because your child also has the right to free development, albeit in a protected space.
  • Contact restrictions: Check your child’s contact list regularly and make sure that only trustworthy people have access to the smartwatch’s communication functions. Explain to your child why these restrictions are important and how they should react if they are contacted by strangers.
  • Communication and use: Use the communication features to stay in touch and teach your child to use it responsibly. For example, explain that your child is not allowed to simply take photos of others without asking their permission first.
  • Independence and freedom: Encourage your child to be independent even without the smartwatch, to move around freely and to develop skills such as a sense of direction and social skills.
  • Rules at your school: Find out in advance about any guidelines regarding the use of smartwatches at your child’s school.

Cloud gaming with Amazon Luna

Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service that brings games to various devices such as computers, smartphones or Fire TV. The platform offers a large selection of games, including many family-friendly titles.

In short

  • Cloud gaming service for digital games
  • Can be used on many end devices such as televisions, computers and smartphones
  • Age ratings can be set in the account
  • Provider: Amazon
  • Subscription from 10 euros per month (as of March 2024)

What is behind Amazon Luna?

Amazon Luna is a cloud gaming service. This means that the games do not have to be downloaded. Similar to Netflix the games are streamed.

Players must have a Luna+ subscription or an Amazon Prime account. You can then play games from the Luna library without having to buy them individually. However, the games do not belong to the subscribers. Anyone who cancels their subscription or Amazon Prime account will lose access to all games that were included. The same applies to games that Amazon removes from its range.

Alternatively, the games can be purchased individually via the Amazon Luna website. A Ubisoft account is also required for this, as these games are only offered for sale by the video game company Ubisoft.

What incentives does Amazon Luna offer?

Gaming trends change quickly. A game that is still popular with children and young people can lose its appeal in just a few weeks. With the subscription, Amazon Luna offers the opportunity to react to such changes without having to keep buying new games.

The Luna Couch function allows children and young people to play together with their friends. In Luna is the streaming platform popular with young people Twitch is integrated.

Families save the high costs of purchasing a gaming PC or games console. Amazon Luna is available on Android and iOS smartphones, on some smart TVs and on computers with an internet browser.

What does the provider say?

Amazon Luna offers parental controls with a number of protective measures. In the “Parental control” tab in the settings, you can set a PIN for the account. In the settings, parents can specify that the PIN must be used to purchase games. The games that Amazon Luna offers are all rated by the USK and set to a specific age. Luna is one of the affiliated systems that participate in the IARC process. Parents can specify the age rating above which the PIN must be entered in order to start the game. More information about Amazon Luna parental controls can be found on the medien-kindersicher.de website.

What is problematic about the offer?

Cloud gaming requires an online constraint. The games cannot be downloaded and played offline, as the game data has to be transferred from a server. This can consume a lot of data volume.

Online games can cause problems with the flow of the game due to the delay time to the server. Especially with action games (like Fall Guys ), sports games (like FIFA ) and shooters (like Fortnite ), it can be relevant to make decisions within fractions of a second. If your home Internet is not fast enough to implement these decisions, this can quickly lead to frustration.

The aspect that subscribers do not own the games can also be difficult. If your child wants to play the game over and over again, this option is not safe in the long term. This is because Amazon can decide to remove the game from its range at any time.

Amazon Luna ‘s parental controls are good in many respects, but there is still room for improvement in one area: you cannot limit your child’s playing time. To do this, they would have to use additional programs, such as the Salfeld app, which is available for Microsoft Windows and Android (up to Android version 14).

What parents should pay attention

Use the settings of the technical youth media protection of Amazon Luna and the devices on which your child plays. Talk to your child about play times and agree on rules. Involve your child so that they feel that their interests are taken seriously and represented.

Talk openly with your child about the risks of online gaming. Encourage your child to come to you if they have seen or heard something while playing that makes them feel insecure. Talk to your child about how they can deal well with challenging content or risky contacts. Also note that the integrated streaming platform Twitch is included with Luna and can bring its own challenges.

Does your child want to play a game that you don’t know? Find out about this in advance. Elternguide.online offers articles on many popular games. Observe the USK age ratings of the games and weigh up whether the game is suitable for your child depending on their stage of development. Educational recommendations for games can be found in the NRW games guide.

JusProg – the digital youth protection program

Many children surf the Internet independently from a young age. If you as a parent sit next to it, you get to see what websites and content your child sees. However, older children in particular – from secondary school onwards, for example – should also be allowed to use the Internet independently. Unfortunately, they may also come across content that is unsuitable or disturbing for them. Offers such as the filter program JusProg are designed to help better protect children and young people online.

In a nutshell:

  • state-approved, digital youth protection program
  • free of charge and without registration
  • can be installed on different devices
  • privacy-friendly and ad-free
  • Individual restrictions for different ages

What can it do?

The software filters web addresses and blocks non-age-appropriate sites on the Internet. JusProg runs in the background while you are surfing: If a website is listed in the system as not age-appropriate, it is blocked – a corresponding message then appears. JusProg bases its assessment of the pages on the age of the children, which the parents specify in advance. Unknown web addresses are automatically blocked for children aged 0 to 12. It’s a little different for children over the age of 12: For them, all pages that are not noted in the system are automatically unlocked. This makes the surfing space with JusProg very large for 12-year-olds and up.

JusProg can be installed on most iOS and Android devices. In addition to the listed web addresses, other pages can be manually blocked or unblocked. Multiple user profiles can be created on one device so that parents and children can surf on one computer and the level of protection is individually adapted to the age of the family member. For example, one child sees content for under-12s, while the older sibling can visit websites for ages 16 and up. The program was approved by the FSM’s expert commission and rated “good” by Stiftung Warentest.

What does the provider think?

JusProg ‘s system is based on negative (blocklist) and positive (passlist) lists on which various websites are noted. Of course, this does not offer one hundred percent security, as the Internet is very large and growing very quickly – non-German websites and content on social media channels in particular are difficult to track. Accordingly, problems have already been identified, such as a tendency towards overblocking, i.e. blocking too many sites rather than too few. JusProg promises to always check sites editorially in order to prevent overblocking or underblocking. Nevertheless, it makes sense for parents to use the option of individualization if certain pages are incorrectly classified from their point of view.

In addition, JusProg offers a reporting function on its website. Sites that are on the wrong list from the parents’ point of view can be reported here. According to the provider, these are then editorially reviewed and their assessment adjusted if necessary.

JusProg would like to point out that approved sites have only been classified as suitable for children and not harmful to development. Parents must assess for themselves or research other recommendations to determine if the content is appropriate for their child. You can find more information about the service and its functions on the JusProg parent page .

What should parents pay attention to?

JusProg is a good offer and the only state-approved youth protection program in Germany that meets all requirements. It can support media education and youth protection online and is particularly useful for younger children. From the age of 12, the surfing area with JusProg is very large, so the protection is lower. Websites like Google , Facebook , X and Instagram are difficult for the system to filter and must be set manually. The sites themselves often offer security settings that can be easily activated. In this article, you will learn how to make safety settings on your child’s smartphone and apps.

As a parent, you should be aware that software cannot replace personal supervision of your child’s media use. Talk openly with your child about their media behavior and agree on rules for media use in the family. If you have supervised your child’s first steps online and explained to them what they should look out for, they will later be able to navigate online safely on their own and know how to deal with online dangers. Open, interested communication can also enable your child to turn to you or other trusted persons if they have problems. If you decide to use JusProg, do not give your child the feeling that you do not trust them. Explain to your child why JusProg blocks certain sites and decide together when your child is ready for more open Internet access.

Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular apps among young people. Experiences are shared as stories, influencersshowwhat’s hot at the moment, users find out about a news feed or are simply entertained.

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In a nutshell:

  • social network that can be used free of charge after registration via the app
  • Publish and view photos, short videos(reels), live streams and so-called stories
  • Minimum age: 13 years
  • Caution: contains a lot of advertising, children and young people can be confronted with unsuitable content,
  • Provider: Instagram is like Facebook a service of the large US internet company Meta

What is Instagram?

Instagram, or Insta for short, is more than just a picture platform. Above your own feed (accessible in the app via the house icon), you will find the latest stories and live streams from users you follow. These disappear again after 24 hours, but can also be saved by the person who posted the story on their own account as a so-called highlight. The feed also displays the newly posted photos and videos of the subscribed channels and people.

Users can find a wide variety of content on Insta: Posts by stars and starlets, about brands and products, current challenges and even personal profiles of friends. You can respond with likes and comments.

You can create and edit your own posts with filters, emojis, fonts, etc. directly in the app. In captions, your own content – i.e. photos and videos – can be assigned to topics with a hashtag. Under Instagram Reels (accessible below the feed via the video icon) you can find short videos in TikTok style.

What particularly fascinates children and young people about Instagram?

The popularity of Instagram lies, among other things, in its focus on photos and videos. Various and easy-to-use tools help to get the best out of your own image. It is particularly appealing for young people to present themselves in the best light and test their effect on others. The app also makes it quick and easy to document and share the best moments with friends or family.

Children and young people are constantly finding new content about their idols on Instagram. They can follow what they are doing virtually around the clock, comment on pictures, like them, save them and forward them to other people. Insta is a great way to while away the time waiting for the bus or to keep an eye on what your crush from the next class is doing in his free time.

Influencers, stars and people with a creator account can create broadcast channels. With the help of an invitation link, users can join and invite other people. Children and young people find out even more about the (public) lives of their stars in the broadcast channels and receive news before people outside this channel.

At the end of 2023, Meta also launched the app in Germany Threads app in Germany. This is (closely) linked to Instagram.

What is problematic about the offer?

The joint privacy policy of Facebook and Instagram, which all users agree to when registering, allows the sharing of user data with other services of the parent company Meta and with third parties. The app enables so-called crossposting. This means that a photo can also be posted on Facebook can be shared. If you have a Facebook account, you should check the settings carefully when publishing posts.

Instagram can determine the location of users via the posts they make. Privately set accounts prevent this. In addition, access to the location can be set both in the app and in the app permissions on your own smartphone and tablet. Then Instagram cannot see the location of public accounts either. However, a location can be added to each posted image manually afterwards.

Content on Instagram is subject to payment if children and young people not only follow an account, but also subscribe to it. The monthly price is set by the creators themselves and the subscription can usually be canceled on a monthly basis. Subscribers have access to exclusive content such as pictures, reels and stories. If you would like to subscribe to an account, you will find a “Subscribe” button next to “Follow”/”Followed” and “Messages” on the profile. A single click on this button does not yet lead to a subscription, but must first be confirmed with further clicks.

Certain content on Instagram can be problematic for young people: Inappropriate content such as erotic images, dangerous challenges and disinformation, but also advertising. Influencer business models play a special role here, which young people do not always recognize.

Instagram harbors various communication risks through functions such as chats and comments. For example, contact from strangers, hate speech or online bullying can occur.

What does the provider think?

The official minimum age for using Instagram is 13, but there is no effective age control so far. Until your child is 18 years old, you must consent to its use. There are extensive usage and setting options. If your child is under the age of 13, they can use Instagram if you manage the account. This must be included in the profile description. Accounts of children and young people under the age of 18 are automatically set to private after creation. However, this can be changed in the settings afterwards and the profile can be set to public. At Handysektor you can read a short version of the terms of use and download a flyer with the most important safety information about Instagram for young people.

Since June 2022, there has been “parental supervision”, which allows parents to link their account to that of their child. We present all the setting options in this article. You can find out how Instagram itself wants to make the app safer for young people directly on the Instagram website.

What should parents pay attention to?

Together with your child, decide at what age and according to what rules he or she is allowed to use Instagram. Make various settings together so that your child can useInstagram as safely as possible. Not all photos have to be shared with everyone or even just with friends via the internet!

Talk to your child about communication risks on Instagram, from online bullying to cybergrooming. Show your child how they can block or report other users and explain to them when these functions are useful – for example, if someone insults your child in the comments. Your child should also not simply accept subscription requests from strangers and be sparing with their own data, such as their location.

Educate your child about risks such as harmful content, hate speech, disinformation and political opinion making. Talk to your child about the critical behavior of influencers and keep talking to them about one-sided role models and clichés. Stay interested and check in regularly to see who your child is following on Instagram and who is following them. It is important that your child knows that they can always talk to you if they have an unpleasant experience on the platform.

Netflix – good streaming for families?

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming portals among families. We explain what to look out for if your child wants to watch movies or series there.

In brief

  • streaming platform of the US company Netflix, Inc.
  • Available in Germany since December 2014
  • Flexible monthly subscription: €4.99 (with advertising), €12.99 and €17.99 (without advertising, for two to four devices in parallel)
  • Up to five profiles can be created
  • Certified youth protection functions in accordance with German law

What is Netflix?

Netflix is a video streaming service where you have unlimited access to a huge selection of movies and series with your own account. The company has the rights to use them and also produces some films and series itself. Anyone who wants to use Netflix has to pay between €4.99 and €17.99 per month. The cheapest subscription has advertising in between – but this is soon to be completely removed. If you pay significantly more (at least 12.99 euros), you can stream on two or four devices simultaneously. Up to five profiles can be created per account with different settings, e.g. age rating, age rating, subtitle display or playback settings. The film and series suggestions in the profile also adhere to these settings, but what is actually suggested is calculated by an algorithm based on the viewing behavior of the individual user.

Account sharing, i.e. the use of an account by several people at the same time, is possible to a limited extent depending on the subscription. This is permitted with persons living in the same household. This is only permitted with persons from other households for an additional charge. The provider examines violations of this in various ways and demands compensation.

The subscription also includes Netflix games. Customers receive access to specially developed or licensed games for mobile devices. These can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store as separate game apps. There is no advertising or in-app purchases for the games.

What is problematic about the offer?

Netflix offers content for all ages. For the movies and series, the streaming service adopts the existing FSK rating. If there is no FSK rating, the age ratings are made by Netflix itself, which must comply with German law.

Due to the wide range of content on offer, there is also countless content for older teenagers (aged 16 and over) and adults (aged 18 and over) that can be frightening and problematic for children and young people. Parental controls can be set up by entering a PIN for selected age ratings or specific movie/series titles. In addition, profiles can be protected with a PIN and special children’s profiles can be set up.

Unlike with analog, linear television, you can theoretically watch series from start to finish. The appeal of spending a lot of time on Netflix is therefore high. Here, personal responsibility is required to limit one’s own viewing time . What is already difficult for some adults is even more difficult to control for children and even teenagers.

What does the provider think?

Netflix displays the respective age rating for movies/series in various places, on the overview page for the movie, in the detailed information or as an overlay at the beginning when playing. Also, individual titles can be locked for individual profiles. These will then also no longer appear in the search or in the suggestion list. In addition, individual profiles – e.g. the profile for adults or older children – can be assigned a PIN so that younger children do not have access. It is also possible to create children’s profiles. This gives you, as parents, the option of making settings appropriate to the age of your child. For example, you can see what content your child has watched in the last few days or you can prevent the next episode of a series from playing automatically.

What should parents pay attention to?

Pay attention to the age ratings of movies and series. Use the child or parental control options by creating appropriate profiles and protecting them with a secure PIN . This is the only way to ensure that your child cannot end up in the adult section from the child profile.

Only display titles suitable for children in the children’s profile; these are based on the age ratings 0, 6, 12, 16 or from 18 years. Consider whether automatically playing more episodes really makes sense for you. Also, you can have animation effects reduced in the child profile when navigating on the TV. When watching on portable devices, feel free to use the screen lock so that smaller children in particular cannot adjust anything on the device themselves.

Keep an eye on your child’s screen time. It’s best to set media rules together – and set a good example yourself. Media time should be just one of many other non-media activities. If you’re not sure how much time your child should spend in front of the TV or laptop, check out our video: “How much media time is too much?”

Ask your child about his or her favorite series or movies, and it’s best to watch them together so that your child doesn’t feel alone even during scary scenes. It can also turn the shared experience into a beautiful ritual .

Use Instagram safely

The social network Instagram continues to be very popular with children and young people, but is repeatedly criticized for not protecting them sufficiently. Instagram is working to improve security on the platform. The latest innovations:

  • By default, children and young people cannot receive direct messages from people they do not follow or with whom they are not connected – this also applies to other minors.
  • Parents must approve or reject changes to Instagram settings in Parental Controls, including security and privacy settings.
  • There are plans to introduce a new feature to protect children and young people from inappropriate images in messages. It is also intended to prevent minors from sending such images themselves in future.

Why were innovations necessary?

Minors were often unprotected on the platform, received inappropriate advertising, were tempted to use it extensively and could be contacted by strangers without restriction.

The legal situation in Germany has changed with the amendment of the German Youth Protection Act. Providers of social media platforms are now obliged to set up protective measures for minors. For example, there must be default settings so that strangers cannot simply contact minors. In addition, parents must be able to monitor and control their children.

What has already been adapted?

It is now more difficult to circumvent the age limit (use from the age of 13). Any person who Instagram wants to use must necessarily indicate their age, otherwise the account may be blocked. In addition, it is planned that accounts of minors will automatically be “private”. This means that young people decide for themselves who can see their profile. So far, this has been a voluntary option.

Protection from strangers: Minors can only be contacted by people or tagged in posts if they follow them themselves. If a stranger wants to follow minors, he/she will receive a warning. Posts by “suspicious” persons under the public posts of minors are now automatically invisible. It is also easier to delete your own posts, comments and other footprints.

The so-called parental control for Instagram has been in place since June 2022. Accounts of an adult can be linked to accounts of users under the age of 18. Both sides must agree and can end the parental supervision with a click. This makes it possible:

  • View usage times from the last week, set time limits or set breaks together with your child, for example during school or bedtime
  • A feature is planned that will remind young people at night that it is late and encourage them to close the app after spending more than 10 minutes on Reels or direct messages.
  • Weekly report: Who does your child follow, which new followers have been added
  • Children can inform parents if they report content to support while on duty. Parents can find out more about reporting or get expert advice in this section.
  • Not possible: Parents cannot read their children’s private messages or delete their account.

There is also a guide for parents with tips on how to deal with Instagram use, a list of suggestions for a conversation about use and a glossary of important terms.

What should you know about the new settings?

  • The true age of users cannot be determined with certainty. This means that a child can make themselves older and the security settings do not work. This problem exists on other social media platforms as well. In the future, artificial intelligence will help here, but this is still being tested.
  • There are no public guidelines as to when the behavior of adults on the platform is considered “suspicious” and comments are therefore no longer visible. The decision is therefore in the hands of the platform.

What do parents need to keep in mind?

  • Trust and dialog: If you as a parent gain insight into your child’s Instagram use, make sure you do not violate their privacy – because children and young people also have a right to this. Control doesn’t feel good for children and young people either. It is better to build a relationship of trust. Talk to your child about what he or she is doing on Instagram. Be open and interested!
  • Informing about risks: At the same time, you should also inform your child about possible dangers such as harmful content, hate speech, disinformation and manipulative content for political opinion making, war videos or fake videos. Communication risks ranging from cyberbullying to cybergrooming can also be addressed. Show your child which settings make the platform safer to use.
  • Support: Parental supervision can be a good way to support your child during their first time with the app. Support your child by setting up the account together and regularly discussing who is or will be subscribed. But this should happen in a constant exchange with each other. If your child sets their own account to private, you will no longer be able to see the postings.
  • Also ensure an appropriate service life.

Instagram has upgraded – but responsible use is still important. There are more tips for you as parents on how to talk to your child about safety, wellbeing and mental health on social media in the family section.

Threads – the new text-based app from Instagram

Instagram recently introduced Threads, a new text-based app designed to facilitate private communication between close friends. With this app, users can share photos, videos, messages and stories with a selected group of people. We explain what’s behind Instagram ‘s new text-based app.

In short

  • Free messaging app for iOS and Android
  • Connection with your own Instagram account
  • Photos, stories, and direct messages are shared only with selected people
  • Minimum age according to terms and conditions 13 years, in the app stores from 12 years
  • Available in Germany since December 2023

What is behind the offer?

Threads was developed to fulfill the need for private and personalized communication with close friends. The functions of Threads have similarities with the platform X Among other things, users can seamlessly share photos, videos and messages with selected contacts as well as real-time updates that show their own activity or mood. Meta’s free messaging app aims to increase the feeling of connection between friends and fulfill the social needs and preferences of young people in today’s digital age.

What fascinates young people about it?

The functions of threads correspond to young people’s need for self-expression and social contacts. It allows users to control who can see their content and offers a more intimate space for interaction. This makes it possible, for example, to check the news without being distracted by the latest pictures and stories from all subscribed Instagram profiles. Instagram is also used by many adults and all kinds of stars and companies. This means that young people are not really ‘among themselves’ – with threads they are.

What can be problematic?

Similar to other social networks, there are also potential risks with threads. As all users can publish content there, young people can come across content that is not can be age-appropriate or even problematic, such as harmful content, hate speech, disinformation and manipulative content for political opinion making, war videos and propaganda or conspiracy myths and fake videos. Even if the content violates thread guidelines, it may be visible on the platform until it is discovered and deleted. Communication risks ranging from cyberbullying to cybergrooming can also be addressed.

What does the provider think?

Instagram offers various tools and settings to protect children and young people who use threads. This includes data protection controls, reporting functions and advice on safe online behavior. In addition, the platform regularly updates its privacy and security features to address new concerns.

This is what parents should pay attention to

An Instagram account is required to use Threads to its full extent. It is not possible to create only a Threads account. Your child will therefore probably use both platforms. Go through the settings together with your child and determine which data the app is allowed to access.

When registering for the first time, the profile is automatically set to “private” on threads for people under the age of 18. However, this default setting is very easy to bypass by clicking on “public”. Then all thread users can follow your child, repost their content, send private messages, etc. This increases the risk of unwanted contacts enormously.

As a parent, you can link your Instagram account to your child’s account. Parental supervision extends to your child’s activity on both Instagram and Threads. For example, you can view followers, accounts that are followed or privacy settings.

Try to understand why it is important for your child to share a status or certain personal information. Talk about privacy and communication risks online. Accompany your child in an age-appropriate manner and keep asking about your child’s online experiences. It is important to talk openly about this so that your child knows that they can confide in you if they experience harassment, disturbing content, cyberbullying or cybergrooming.

Use the option to delete or report content. Accounts that you no longer wish to interact with can also be blocked.

The app only offers added value if it is really only used to communicate with good friends. Your child should only include people in the list of “close friends” that they actually know. Set rules together about what content your child should and should not share. Please refer to our legal information for social media use.

JUUUPORT – Help for young people with questions about online topics

Whether cyberbullying, computer game addiction or data protection: If young people have problems and questions about the Internet, they can contact the youth scouts and experts from JUUUPORT turn. The website also provides information, links and online seminars.

Advice from experienced young people at eye level

When young people have problems or questions, they sometimes find it difficult to talk to their parents or other adults, especially about sensitive topics such as cyberbullying or sexting. That’s why JUUUPORT has youth scouts who have experienced something similar and can advise other youth. They have undergone special training on Internet topics and in the areas of psychology and law and can be requested anonymously. If they get stuck, the young people’s concerns are passed on to adult experts who then take care of them.

Various contact and information channels

On JUUUPORT, counseling takes place free of charge, anonymously and in compliance with data protection laws. In addition to the contact form on the website, since May 2020 there is also the possibility to get advice via WhatsApp or Telegram chat. Messenger counseling is available Monday through Friday between 6 and 8 p.m.

The JUUUPORT website also contains a wide range of information on Internet topics. In addition to tips on how to deal with cyberbullying, there is a magazine on various topics such as “Trends on the Net” or “Games”. They also provide a collection of links to other places for youth to go.

Online seminars for schools, youth clubs and associations are also offered by JUUUPORT. Topics here include “Hate on the Net” and “WhatsApp Stress.” Perhaps there is a need for a seminar at your child’s school or you would like to draw attention to the offer with information material.

Why not tell your child about JUUUPORT – maybe there are topics he or she would rather not discuss with you, but rather anonymously with other young people. If your child would like to get involved with JUUUPORT themselves and become a scout, they can sign up for training here.

Character.ai – Chatting with “celebrities”

Has your child ever chatted with Napoleon or Harry Potter? This is now possible with character.ai. The service allows users to create and use chat bots. These bots are trained with the help of artificial intelligence and can authentically imitate well-known personalities or fictional characters in live chats. What sounds harmless at first, however, can also harbor risks.

In a nutshell:

  • Creation and use of chat bots based on artificial intelligence
  • Can be used in the browser and as an app for iOS and Android
  • From the developer Character Technologies Inc. released from the age of 16
  • Registration with e-mail address required
  • Can be used free of charge

What can it do?

Chat bots use technology based on artificial intelligence (AI). They are programmed so that they can imitate a conversation with a real person. By chatting with users, the bots are constantly learning. The special thing about charakter.ai is that users can create such chat bots themselves and customize their personality. Users can make their bots publicly accessible so that everyone in the community can chat with them. The basic language of the website, the app and the chat bots is currently English. Many bots also understand other languages and can even communicate in German.

What fascinates children and young people about it?

The appeal lies first of all in chatting with the bots already created and shared by the community. On the homepage, children and young people will find a whole host of popular chat bots that they can talk to immediately. Most of them are based on well-known people such as celebrities, politicians, historical figures or fictional characters from books, films or anime. This gives children and young people the impression of coming into direct contact with their heroes and role models. Chatbots are also used for practical purposes. For language learning, users can chat with a bot in a foreign language. If you want to write a story, you can create fictional characters as a bot and develop a story together.

What can be problematic about the offer?

In addition to the many opportunities offered bycharacter.ai, there are also risks for children and young people that you as parents should be aware of.

On the one hand, the answers of the chat bots are generated by the AI technology and are neither categorized nor checked for factual accuracy. This can be particularly problematic with chat bots that imitate real people. It must always be clear to users that this is not real information about the people being imitated.

On the other hand, it is possible to train the chat bots to engage in problematic behavior such as sexting or spreading radical political messages. As it is not possible to see exactly how a bot was trained, users should be particularly vigilant here. character.ai does try to use filters to prevent problematic content from being generated. However, there are numerous easily accessible instructions on the Internet on how to bypass these filters.

What does the provider think?

Character.ai itself has specified an age restriction of 16 years. However, this is only checked by entering the date of birth when registering and can therefore be easily bypassed. There are also warnings within the chat function that you should not take the chat bot’s answers seriously, as the answers may not correspond to reality.

What should parents pay attention to?

Character.aiis approved by the provider from the age of 16. Weigh up whether you trust your child to use the service responsibly. If you allow your child to use character.ai, stay in touch with your child about the conversations they have with chat bots and be vigilant. Explain to your child how AI-supported technologies work and the opportunities and risks involved:

  • The chat format of character.ai carries the risk that your child gets the feeling of communicating with a real person and thus builds up trust in the characters. This can be risky if your child asks character.ai for advice or shares sensitive information. Make your child aware of the issue of privacy online and make it clear to them that personal details have no place in conversations with chat bots.
  • Chat bots are not search engines and the information is not based on any sources. Talk to your child about the unreliability of statements and possible manipulation that can occur when chatting with AI tools.
  • Entertaining chats can take a lot of time. Pay attention to your child’s screen time and, if necessary, talk openly about it.

Explore together with your child the possibilities offered by character.ai to prepare your child optimally for dealing with AI-based chat tools. You might even create a chat bot yourself and share it with the community.

Netflix games

From binge-watching to gaming – the popular streaming service Netflix has been offering an additional service alongside films and series since the end of 2021. Netflix games give Netflix customers access to specially developed or licensed games for mobile devices. These can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store as separate game apps.

In a nutshell:

  • Mobile games for Android and iOS devices
  • Currently more than 50 games available
  • Are with a Netflix -subscription included
  • All games have an age restriction and are not available for children’s profiles
  • No advertising or in-app purchases

What can the Netflix games do?

With Netflix games, the well-known streaming provider is trying to offer its customers even more content for their subscription in addition to films and series. To this end, Netflix has acquired a games company in order to be able to develop games itself. To date, Netflix has already developed more than 50 games and plans to further increase the range over time.

For Netflix customers, the service has the great advantage that it is included in the subscription. This means that there are no additional costs when playing Netflix games. There is also no advertising or in-app purchases in the games. This is also independent of the chosen subscription model. Netflix games are available even with the cheapest Netflix subscription. The offer is not a separate “Netflix games app”, but access to various apps via a Netflix account. If you want to download one of the game apps, you have to log in with your Netflix account and have a valid subscription.

What fascinates children/youth about it?

Netflix Games has a wide range of different genres of games, from action and adventure to puzzle, role-playing and strategy games. There are currently 14 categories of games. Games based on well-known series such as Stranger Things are certainly of particular interest to children and young people. Netflix is constantly working on improving the attractiveness of its offering. Recently, the classic games GTA III, GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas have been added to the range. There are also many games that are suitable for children and younger teenagers, such as puzzles and soccer games.

What does the provider think?

Since Netflix wants to offer different genres of games, not all of which are suitable for children and young people, Netflix games are not available for Netflix children’s profiles. Parents must download individual game apps to their children’s smartphone or tablet via their adult account. All Netflix games are age-rated in the Google Play Store or App Store so that parents can make an informed decision about which games they allow their child to play.

What can be problematic about the offer?

Netflix games has a large collection of different games from various genres. Some of these games may therefore contain depictions of violence or sexual content and are not suitable for children.

What should parents pay attention to?

If you give your child access to Netflix games, pay attention to the age ratings and only give your child access to games that are suitable for their age and level of development. Please note that Netflix games can only be used with an active Netflix account and subscription. Make sure that your child does not get access to your Netflix account via this detour and do not give your child the access data for your regular Netflix account to play Netflix games. This is because it could access streaming content that is not age-appropriate.

When dealing with mobile games, it is generally important to discuss rules on media use within the family. Make binding agreements with your child about gaming, smartphone use and screen time. Use technical precautionary measures to set the playing time and title according to age.

Pokémon Sleep – The game with sleep monitoring

“With Pokémon Sleep, you can turn your sleep into entertainment!”. This is how the Pokémon Company advertises its new game – with success. The Google Play Store has recorded more than 5 million app downloads since its release in July 2023. The catch: the app accompanies children and young people to bed and collects sensitive health data in the process.

In a nutshell:

  • Game app for iOS and Android
  • Provider: The Pokémon Company
  • free download, in-app purchases
  • USK from 0 years, according to the provider, use for under 16s only possible with parental permission
  • collects sensitive health data

What can the game do?

Pokémon Sleep is an app that embeds human sleep in a gaming experience. Players have to help Professor Neroli with sleep research on an adventure island and work together with the Pokémon Relaxo. The app records noises and movements during the night and uses the data collected to create a sleep log. The longer users sleep, the higher their score the next morning and the more new Pokémon appear around Relaxo. Sleep is divided into three types: Semi-sleep, light sleep or deep sleep. In the morning, Pokémon appear that sleep in a similar way. During the day, players can explore sleeping poses, feed the Pokémon and carry out other game activities. The aim is to record as much sleep as possible and thus collect many different Pokémon and poses. The app is also compatible with Pokémon GO Plus, which is the gadget for the game Pokémon GO.

What fascinates children/youth about it?

Whether as playing cards, a TV series or a video game – many children and young people grow up with Pokémon and love the little monsters. Pokémon is aimed at young people’s passion for collecting. With Pokémon Sleep, players can get new Pokémons and take care of them without much effort. Getting information about sleep behavior appeals to young people’s love of discovery. Tasks from the friendly Professor Neroli and rewards such as bonus cookies make children and young people want to spend time in the game world with the Pokémons.

What can be problematic about the offer?

Consumer protection warns that Pokémon Sleep monitors the sleeping behavior of children and young people and that the game concept can encourage addictive behavior:

  • The app should be viewed extremely critically in terms of data protection. The smartphone or tablet must be placed on the mattress when sleeping. The app collects sleep data from users via the motion sensor and microphone. This is sensitive health data and is specially protected under the GDPR.
  • With Pokémon rewards, Pokémon Sleep is intended to contribute to a regular sleep rhythm. However, the game concept exploits children’s play instinct and can encourage excessive use. The tricky thing is that the last thought in the evening and the first thought in the morning is about the app.
  • The game contains in-app purchases. Diamonds are available as digital currency, which can be used to buy Poké Biscuits and more.
  • As with other sleep monitoring systems, if you sleep all night next to a mobile device that is switched on and connected to the internet, you are constantly exposed to radiation.
  • Pokémon Sleep is available in the Google Play Store without age restriction (USK 0), in the Apple App Store released from 4 years. At the start, a message appears stating that under-16s should read through the terms of use with a parent or guardian. However, children and young people can easily get around this.

What does the provider think?

In this test, the data protection website mobilsicher.de proved that the app sends data to advertisers. The audio recordings are saved locally and deleted after 24 hours. However, users’ sleep profiles are stored on company servers. The Pokémon Company states that it does not sell sensitive data of minors for advertising purposes. It is not possible for minors to link their accounts with those of friends. The provider advises you to switch off the audio recording function to save data.

What should parents pay attention to?

Protect your child’s privacy online and avoid data-hungry apps such as Pokémon Sleep. Younger children in particular can be very absorbed by this game directly before and after sleep, but also during the day. Children are not yet able to assess the implications of sleep monitoring in connection with digital currency.

If your child is older and really wants to use the app, please note the following information:

  • Talk to your child about personal data on the internet, check the app permissions together and switch off push notifications on the device and the audio recording function in the app.
  • Prevent your child from accidentally making expensive in-app purchases and avoid using a payment method such as your credit card in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  • Set binding rules for gaming use together with your child, pay attention to your child’s screen time and limit the time your child spends playing Pokémon Sleep. In consultation with your child, you can also use apps and programs from the technical youth media protection service.
  • And last but not least: make it clear to your child that the information on sleep behavior is only collected and evaluated for entertainment purposes. They are neither precise nor do they say anything about the actual quality of sleep.

Disney+ – Nemo, Frozen & Co. as a streaming offer

There seems to be something for young and old on Disney+: from cartoon classics such as Snow White and Mickey Mouse to big blockbusters such as Star Wars and the most popular Disney films of recent years such as The Ice Queen. What parents should know about the offer.

In a nutshell:

  • Available in Germany since the end of March 2020
  • Family and child-friendly streaming portal
  • Monthly subscription: €5.99 with advertising, €8.99 Standard, €11.99 Premium [zunächst keine Preisänderungen für Bestandskundinnen]
  • Child profile can be created
  • Certified youth protection functions in accordance with German law

What does Disney+ offer?

The streaming portal offers a large selection of films and series, similar to Netflix, Amazon Prime and the like. In addition to successful movies from Walt Disney and Pixar in recent years, older Disney films are also available. In addition, there are exciting documentaries from National Geographic. Episodes of current Disney Channel series are also published on the platform at weekly intervals. This way, there is less danger of watching through an entire season without a break. There is also the option of downloading content (does not apply to the subscription model with advertising). With the Standard and Premium subscriptions, Disney+ can also be used on the go with any internet-enabled device. So far, the offer is not as large as on Netflix, for example. However, more and more films are being added.

What fascinates younger and older people about the offer?

Disney+ is clear and easy to use for children. The wide range of popular franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars offers both familiar and new adventures. Until February 2021, there were no films with an age rating above FSK 12 or certain scenes were cut out of individual films so that they are also suitable for younger children. In the “Star” category that was then added, adult content is now also available. Adults enjoy the favorite films of their own childhood.

What parents should know

Disney+ has additional parental control settings despite primarily adult content. However, films from the age of 12 can also be found in the offer. Especially smaller children can still be frightened by such films. It is therefore important to guide children in their film selection and viewing.

By creating a children’s profile (called Junior mode), films that are not approved for younger children are not displayed. There is no specific age rating. Disney+ decides what is displayed in Junior mode. This means that films and series with a rating of 0 are also missing from the children’s profile. In the children’s profile, you can, for example, prevent the next episode of a series from playing automatically and the user interface is simplified. Parental controls can be used to assign a PIN to individual profiles – e.g. the profile for adults or older children – so that younger children do not have access. Individual titles cannot be hidden.

If you want to set the age rating yourself, you can assign an age rating to a normal profile (without parental control, without junior mode): 0, 6, 12, 16 or 18 years. However, depending on the subscription model, advertising will run in such a profile.

Each profile, with the exception of the main profile, can also be subsequently converted into a children’s profile (junior mode).

Disney states that advertising content such as clips and trailers for content available on Disney+ or for other Disney products can be shown. Live content can also contain traditional commercial breaks and other advertising formats. There is no advertising in Junior mode. Incidentally, there are no in-app purchases with Disney+, which can lead to unwanted costs, especially for children and young people. And if tobacco products are shown in a movie, Disney draws attention to this with a warning at the beginning.

Account sharing, i.e. the use of an account by several people at the same time, is prohibited under the terms and conditions, but is possible. From 2024, Disney+ will take decisive action against this breach of the rules.

As a parent, what should you be aware of when using Disney+?

Since Disney+ is primarily aimed at children, they will quickly become accustomed to having access to their favorite series and movies at all times.

Especially accompany young children watching movies. Find out about specific movies and series in advance. Choose age-appropriate programs, for a younger child rather short episodes than long films. Also, schedule plenty of screen-free time for other activities such as walks in the fresh air or hobbies. Talk about set media times within the family.

POSA cards – gaming credit at the supermarket checkout

They hang neatly sorted in the supermarket, usually near the checkout: credit cards. Whether for telephone providers, Netflix, Amazon, Google Play or Steam – the purpose of these small plastic cards is always the same: they are a form of digital payment. Credit cards are also used in computer games. But how does it actually work?

In a nutshell:

  • Prepaid cards according to the POSA procedure
  • available in supermarkets and petrol stations as well as online shopping
  • for payment with providers
  • Fixed prices, only rarely selectable amounts

What is that actually?

The credit cards work according to the POSA procedure. POSA stands for “Point-Of-Sale-Activation”. This means that the printed code is only activated after payment at the checkout. The code can then be exchanged for credit on the respective online platform. Because it is virtually impossible to trace the original purchaser of the prepaid card afterwards, this type of payment is relatively anonymous.

What do children and young people who love to play use POSA cards for?

The games market offers a wide range of paid games for smartphones, tablets and game consoles. POSA cards with credit for individual games such as Fortnite, Minecraft or Roblox as well as credit cards for gaming platforms such as Steam are available for sale. Many additional contents are offered in free games to change the gaming experience. These include, for example:

  • Skins, i.e. cosmetic changes to the game characters,
  • DLC (downloadable content), such as new game modes or worlds,
  • Season Pass, a kind of stamp card that rewards players for completing tasks. A Season Pass can be upgraded with real money to receive more rewards.

Popular games and their additional content are a way for children and young people to compete with each other. Whoever has the coolest, super rare skin can brag about it. This sometimes leads to a lot of pressure to consume because your child doesn’t want to look bad in their circle of friends. Therefore, set up rules in the family and work them out together with your child. Discuss with your child how much money they spend on gaming. A good way may be for your child to buy the prepaid cards – and therefore their in-game purchases – as part of their pocket money. This will help your child learn to manage their own money and understand the value behind it. One advantage of POSA cards is that there are no hidden cost traps such as in-game purchases when gaming, but only the limited amount of prepaid credit can be spent.

What should parents pay attention to?

For children, video games, whether on their cell phones or consoles, are part of their everyday lives. Take your child’s interest in gaming seriously, even if you can’t understand their enthusiasm for some of the games.

The age rating of the USK is printed on the front of POSA-Cards. Whether in the supermarket, at the petrol station or at the kiosk – the sale of POSA-Cards is tied to the permissible age of the purchaser. It becomes more difficult if your child buys POSA-Cards online or obtains them through friends. Pay attention to the age ratings of games and make it clear to your child that the USK age ratings for gaming are there for their own protection. After consulting with your child, make settings for technical youth media protection on game consoles, apps and games.

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