FIFA is the most famous and popular series of soccer video games. A new version has been published annually since 1993. Teams from real soccer leagues can be used or your own can be created.
FIFA is one of the most popular games among teenagers. This takes advantage of the popularity of well-known teams and soccer stars. Young people can take on the role of their favorite player and compete against other teams alone or with others in cross-platform online mode.
FIFA is especially interesting for young people who are passionate about soccer anyway and can experience their favorite sport in yet another way. The game establishes a connection with the real teams and players who are idols for many soccer fans. Since FIFA 23, some women’s soccer leagues are also represented in the game.
Playing together with others and the competitive principle offer a special fun. Exciting are the clear rules that are taken from the soccer field and have to be implemented in the game environment: A foul is also a foul in FIFA. Various game modes, such as the manager mode, offer the possibility to shape the virtual soccer world beyond the game on the pitch. Here, for example, birthday parties or social media posts can be used to promote careers.
The most popular mode in the game is FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT). The attraction is to put together your own team from your favorite players according to the trading card principle and to compete with gamers from the worldwide community. The FIFA WebApp allows young people to work on their favorite team via cell phone or PC away from the game.
Just as in a soccer game on the sports field or in the stadium, conflicts can also arise in computer games – for example, arguments or insults in multiplayer or online mode.
The criticism that a lot of money is at stake in professional soccer and that the sport is losing its importance is ignored at FIFA. The idols and favorite teams are portrayed positively throughout and are role models. The commercialization of soccer is also evident in the online mode: With the necessary money, you can put together your dream team in the FIFA Ultimate Team game mode.
As an alternative for game rewards (e.g. for completed online tournaments), the in-game currency FIFA Points can be purchased for real money, which can be invested directly in the game in new players, virtual goods or random-based player packages (so-called Lootboxes). Lootboxes are controversial because their principle is reminiscent of games of chance: sometimes the players received in them are better, sometimes worse. This can tempt inexperienced gamers in particular to spend a lot of money in-game.
The game does not contain any aspects relevant to the protection of minors in terms of content and has therefore been released by the USK without age restriction so far. As a result of the amendment to the German Protection of Minors Act, usage risks such as purchase functions can also be included in the rating in the future. This is to be done primarily by means of additional information, but can also have an impact on the age rating if the provider fails to take technical precautionary measures.
EA Sports focuses on the sporting and playful character of the game. In addition to the annual sale of its FIFA licenses, the provider EA Sports earns considerable sums with microtransactions like lootboxes. The manufacturer calls them “virtual surprise eggs” and sees no need for change.
Parents should realize that for kids and teens, FIFA is all about having fun together. Play once together with your child and try to understand the fascination. This connects and at the same time provides an opportunity to exchange ideas about the critical aspects of soccer.
Be sensitive to the potential conflicts within the game. Give tips and agree on rules on how best to behave when communicating in online games.
As parents, you should be especially attentive when it comes to in-game purchases. Together with your child, consider whether these are necessary and – if desired – set an upper limit. Talk to your child about the dangers of gambling mechanisms. The popular game consoles also offer detailed protection settings in which purchases within a game can be prohibited.