Genshin Impact has become one of the top-selling online games in Germany since its release in the fall of 2020. In a mysterious anime-style game world, players take on the role of a twin who must search for his missing sibling.
In the action role-playing game, players explore the open fantasy world of Teyvat, collect objects and fight against monsters and other players. In the course of the story, which you follow from the beginning as a single player, you unlock various characters.
Whoever slips into the role of another character has corresponding strengths. With the help of these skills you can master the tasks of the story and advance level by level. As the game progresses, the multiplayer mode is unlocked. In this mode, gamers can compete in battles with up to three friends or strangers or complete daily missions.
Genshin Impact is easily accessible for children and teenagers, since it is a free game. At the beginning, players choose between two main characters, a sister or a brother. The plot, in which the main character searches for the twin sibling kidnapped by a strange deity, appeals to children and teenagers. Besides, the anime-style game world invites you to explore and discover buildings and secrets. New regions and updates are added here all the time. In battle mode or in small mini-games, the required skill is an exciting challenge.
The payment system and the different currencies within the game are designed in a complicated way, which is especially difficult for younger children to understand. One way to get characters and objects is the so-called “praying”. When “praying”, players buy virtual tickets. This gives them randomly selected items or game pieces according to the “gacha mechanics”. This mechanism simulates the operation of “real” Japanese slot machines, the so-called “gachas”. It is true that gamers also receive the necessary currencies in the course of the game, so Genshin Impact is basically playable for free. However, progress in the game becomes increasingly difficult, which may tempt younger or inexperienced children in particular to want to spend real money.
In Genshin Impact you can form a team with other players, fight against them and communicate via chat. Gamers can thus come into contact with strangers who are sometimes not the people they claim to be. There is a risk of cyberbullying and cybergrooming here.
The anime look of the game, while colorful and imaginative, also contains stereotypical and exaggerated gender portrayals – especially of female characters. This can reinforce sexism and expectations of certain gender roles. The game is all about fighting and winning, depictions of violence remain on a rather abstract level due to the cartoon style.
The Chinese provider miHoYo allows the creation of the required game account only from the age of 13. For minors, miHoYo requires the permission of their parents or legal guardians.
The company stores personal data that can be deleted upon request. When starting the game, the location of the server can be selected, for example, also the EU.
The Windows version of Genshin Impact includes software that is supposed to prevent cheating in the game, but provides a point of attack for cyber-attacks. The Genshin Impact development team does not see this potential security vulnerability as a pressing issue.
Genshin Impact is not suitable for younger children. If your child is 12 years old or older, discover the game together at the beginning. Observe how he or she reacts to the depictions of violence and talk to him or her about what he or she has experienced. Discuss whether your child is allowed to make in-app purchases, and if so, how much. If you do not want your child to spend money on the game, you should not set a payment method in the game.
Play provides opportunities to determine who your child has contact with. Friends can be searched for via their respective account ID. Educate your child about communication risks online and show your child how to block unwanted contacts via the blacklist.
Since the game tempts you to keep playing, agree with your child on rules for dealing with games: How long can you play per day or per week?
The anime-style characters convey stereotypical gender images. Talk to your child about gender roles in games and ask how they perceive the different characters.