Games play an important role in society. They help in reducing stress, enjoying free time with loved ones, become the reason for Unity, Patience, and Discipline. There is no doubt that games have a lot of important good impacts on society, but irresponsible behavior of the game publishers can change this good impact to a bad impact on society. It can stop the development of society and disturb peace, unity, discipline, personal goals, and many other things. This is the reason that the PEGI Code of Conduct elaborates on the legal duties of the game publishers, providing guidelines so the games can be safe and healthy for the communities.
Article 2 of the PEGI Code of Conduct states the purpose of the code and it states that this is the responsibility of the software industry to make those games that are safe, healthy, and a learning source for the communities. Article 2 further elaborated that the software industry under this code should provide the objective of the games to the parents and children. The user should know the objective of the game, the all-relevant details of the game should also disclose to the users so they can be familiar with the game procedure, its guidelines, and rules and regulations. The software industry is legally bound to set an age limit for the game according to the game type, content, and objective. Any user who is less than the set age can’t participate in the game.
This code further provided the guidelines that it should ensure that all marketing, promotion, advertising of the games should be responsible. The method of marketing, promotion, etc. should be healthy and an entertaining purpose for the viewers. Under this Code of Article 2 the software industry is legally liable to ensure that the marketing, advertising, and promotion of games don’t offend human decency.
The code further elaborated that it is the legal responsibility of the software industry to provide a safe environment where the children and other users can participate, enjoy their time, and learn. Article 6 of PEGI Code of Conduct brief about the Legal and Regulatory Environment. It states that the signatories should make sure that the games, their distribution, promotion, marketing, and advertising should be according to the present and future laws of the EU and also according to the state. There should not be any content, method of promotion, etc. that infringe existing or future national mandatory governmental rating and labeling systems.
While developing the games, the first duty is to consider what impact this game will have on the children. Children are susceptible and learn from their surroundings, games, and people around them, so the software industry and the game publishers should develop and publish things that help the children learn, enjoy their free time, relax their minds, teach them patience, discipline, and unity. This is the legal responsibility of the game publishers and the software industry to provide a healthy game that has no effect on the mind and users’ health. The game should be safe and in a comfortable environment.
The game publishers are responsible for mentioning and adequately disclosing the guidelines, rules and regulations, and consequences of violations. It will help the users to read the terms and conditions of the game, and then they will try to obey the mentioned rules and regulations. The game publishers should disclose the following guidelines, rules and regulations;
1: Protection of Personal Information
2: Intolerance and Discrimination
The game publishers should have zero tolerance for discrimination, hate, racism, and religious discussion. The game publishers are legally bound to mention these rules and regulations and take immediate action in case of any violation. In case of a repeating violation, the account or participation of the user should be banned for a lifetime.
3: Bullying and Harassment
It should mention that the users are morally and legally responsible to respect other people. While playing, make a comfortable environment for each other so everyone can enjoy the game and learn from each other. No one should be allowed to harass or bully each other. In case of violation, the offender can face severe consequences. This is the moral responsibility of the users to respect and care for each other. The games should be free from racism, discrimination, bullying, and harassment.
4: Cheating and Trolling
As we discussed in detail, games have a lot of good critical impacts on society. They help make unity, patience, tolerance and the most important thing: to accept failure. A person who doesn’t want to lose in a game or has no patience to accept failure can’t participate in a game. So, the game publishers should make the rules and regulations that Cheating in a game is not allowed, the game should be played according to the settled rules and regulations. In case of cheating, the offender can face the consequences.
Trolling is a part of a game but it should not cross the limits. The trolling should not enter in discrimination, violation of privacy, personal rights, etc. The players in a game should call each other by their name, any other name that includes discrimination, racism, etc. is not allowed in a game. This is the legal duty of the game publishers to mention these rules and regulations so everyone can be aware that respect, care, and patience is the first key in the game.
5: Dangerous or Illegal Activities
The basic purpose of the games is to relax the mind and body, so anything that can be dangerous for the participants should not be allowed in any game. The game publishers should provide guidelines about this that no one can do any activity that can be dangerous for others. The game should be free from any illegal activity. While playing the game, the discussion should be regarding the games; there should be no discussion about any illegal activity i.e. scam, drugs, cheating, etc.
The game publishers should also make sure to check and balance systems that can monitor all the activities and, in case of any violation, the illegal action can report to the system. The rule should also be clear that no user is allowed to post inappropriate content that includes discrimination, racism, religious hate, or any other violation of laws.