The gaming industry is one of the few sectors that was not affected by Covid-19. Instead, the number of online players and new games rise during the lockdown. The reason was people were bound to stay at home because of social distancing SOPs. There was a very little physical movement so that the virus spread can be controlled. People start playing games for entertainment or time-pass. It is estimated that there were 2.6 billion online players at the end of 2020 and is expected to grow more in the coming years. It is calculated that the playtime of the last ten days of March was 62 percent more than the first ten days of January.
Online gaming is an activity that appeals to kids more than elders. The reason can be that the new generation is more attracted to modern technologies. Also, the gameplay is very appealing and charming that engages players of all generations. As the gaming industry is not regulated and well-structured, age verification is essential to prevent minors.
Age Verification in Gaming
As minors meet players of all ages around the world, they can be easy victims of online frauds and scams. Also, there is a risk of bullying or usage of offensive language during gameplay. There should be an age barrier that can restrict kids from the above hazards. Gaming platforms can do an age verification check during player onboarding. This is also known as Know Your Player, in which the identities of players are verified. The process is completely automated, done by AI-powered software.
Know Your Player
Below is the process of age verification in Know Your Player
- Player onboards on the gaming platform
- Enters his name and DOB
- Upload supporting documents like an ID card
- The information is plucked from the image
- The players provided data is confirmed with the document’s data
- Upon verification, the player is allowed to access the gaming services
There is another method of verifying age i.e. debit/credit card verification. The player has to give the card number. The age is indirectly verified in this method, it is assumed that if the player has a credit card, he must be above eighteen. The gaming sites rely on the age verification check of the card provider. But it only verifies the age, not identity. Minors can use their parents’ cards for accessing gaming services. This method will not sustain longer because it does not provide a validated age check.
Why Age Verification?
Not all the content on online gaming platforms or the game itself is for minors. Early exposure to age-restricted content can harm the mental health of minors. There are some cases where the kids’ access to age-restricted products or services resulted in depression and other physiological disorders.
To restrain minors away from the above problems age verification is essential. This will help in blocking the kids’ access to age-constrained content.
A kid’s mind is not matured to spot fraudulent activities. They can be easy prey for online frauds. The frauds can range from financial to blackmailing. Criminals can hack their online accounts and demand ransom for their recovery. The other can be lottery scams where the player is informed by some person that they have won a jackpot. Normally, they develop fake games or arrange fake gaming competitions for it. They tell the player that he has to pay some amount to claim his winning money. In fact, there is no jackpot or winning amount, all of this is done to plunder the player.
Summing it Up
Age verification is incorporated by many businesses like banks, e-commerce, and pharmacies. Every business has set some protocols over its customers. For instance, banks have set the age limit of eighteen years for account opening. This will assist the European gaming websites in better compliance with European Union age verification rules. Likewise, the gaming industry can also streamline its procedures and make a more secure online environment by having age verification services.