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Game sites on the net – between fun, games and advertising

2 minutes reading time
6-13 years
© photothek.net

Digital games are a popular pastime among children and young people. People also like to play via the Internet. There are various game sites on the net where children can play, some for free and some for a fee. Beim Spiel allein oder im Team werden verschiedene Fähigkeiten gefördert, aber vor allem sogenannte Multiplayer-Spiele bergen auch Gefahren wie Mobbing.

Free sites with lots of advertising and questionable data protection

Many games portals that are particularly popular with children and young people, such as spielaffe.de, are financed by advertising. This is the only way they can offer the games for free. In return, children are confronted with many advertisements and links to external partners. Not every child is able to distinguish advertising from the actual content of the website and may thus unintentionally end up on other pages.

Play monkey is not made specifically for children. Not all games are suitable for every age of child, but still achievable. One problem here is that games that are offered online do not yet have to be provided with an age rating.

Younger children in particular are likely to be overwhelmed by the wide range of products and the many colorful pictures and buttons on spielaffe.de. The chat with other users is only possible after prior registration – but you can also play without registration. The section with information for parents and children on how to use the site safely is hard to find – at the very bottom left.

Even if Spielaffe does not collect data directly, data is collected and passed on via the integrated external pages, such as Facebook. The situation is similar at spielzwerg.de and spielkarussell.de. When registering, parents are not asked whether they agree that their children who are not yet of age can play here.

Many of the games offered on such portals also work with outdated gender stereotypes. There is often a category “girl games”, where you can find games about household or beauty. None of the three websites are displayed directly in a search with the fragFINN child search engine. Websites that are otherwise harmless for children can be found via fragFINN.

What you should pay attention to as a parent

Despite all the risks, children and young people like to use these sites – certainly also because of the large selection of games. Try to understand your child’s fascination with these sites and show interest without ignoring the dangers. Help your child recognize advertising and agree on rules for using such sites. Install ad blockers and check out what educators have to offer and what they think. Online services such as the initiative Gutes Aufwachsen mit Medien (Growing up well with media ) or the Seitenstark community offer help here. You can find pedagogically valuable offers via fragFINN, among others.

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