Google Play Store Criticized For Hosting Violent Games For Kids

Harin - Apr 10, 2019

Google Play Store Criticized For Hosting Violent Games For Kids

Young children can install and play games packed with stabbing, shooting, gore, and microtransaction gambling on Google Play Store.

Google is having issues with hosting inappropriate games made for kids on its Google Play Store platform. Wired reports that it has detected numerous apps made for kids but have gruesome content.

For example, Mad Max Zombies had PEGI 3 rating which is for all age groups but featured plenty of bloody scenes while Baby Panda Dental Care had players pulling teeth in an aggressive way. Apps with this rating should contain the mildest violence suitable for children and have no pictures or sounds that can scare them. There were even pay-to-play slot machines and questionable apps requiring device permissions and location tracking.

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Among 52 titles which were sent to Google by Wired, 16 have been removed immediately or re-released with more suitable permissions and ratings. For instance, Mad Max Zombies is changed into Mad War Zombies with a PEGI 12 rating. However, it is still unclear how many titles left unaltered, and some even have been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Google has been contacted for comments but hasn’t made any response.

The reason why the disconcerting material shows up on the Google Play Store is probably because of the company’s approach to rating app content. The content questionnaire the company using is similar to what Microsoft Store and Nintendo’s eShop use. The difference here is Google does not screen games like those companies.

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The Play Store is a money maker for Google as the company takes a cut of 30 percent for all microtransaction payments, subscriptions, and purchases made on the platform. Sensor Tower statistics suggest that Google made $21.5 billion last year for Android mobile game.

It does not take many efforts for a Play Store developer to understand a game’s suitability and get past content filters and concerned partners. Until Google decides to implement a stricture approach to app’s verification, parents may need to double-check games and apps before letting their young ones play.


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