Elisabeth Secker joined the Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) as Managing Director in January 2018. Due to her prior function as Deputy Head of the Division Protection of Minors at the joint management office of the German media authorities in Berlin, she gained extensive experience in the field of Youth Protection of minors in the media. Before her position at the German media authorities she worked as Public Affairs Consultant for leading IT-companies in Berlin after finishing her studies in Communication Sciences at the University of Salzburg.
Youth Protection in Games: Current Challenges and New Debates
Lecture, Saturday, 20th October, 17:30 – 18:00
The German Entertainment Self-Regulation Body (USK) is responsible for German youth protection for digital games and apps. In the year 2018, that means reconciling federal law and state law applying different rules, depending on whether a game is released physically or can be downloaded. In times of mobile gaming and digital storefronts this duality requires new ways of thinking, while carefully transitioning established youth protection practice into modern approaches.
In the course of the last years, the USK has taken different steps to be one step ahead of the paradigm shifts that are taking place right now: It has become a founding member of the International Age Rating Coalition IARC. IARC brings national rating authorities like USK together with global digital storefronts like the Google Play Store, enabling millions of apps to be rated on release, each reflecting the respective local age rating norms. Also, USK has partnered with Nintendo to certify the first law-complying Youth Protection System on a console, making it easier for families to set up safe environments to play.
At the same time, the way USK rates specific types of contents always has to reflect the contemporary ethical and moral standards of society, so new debates and changing perspectives always have to be implemented in whatever the newest technical framework for Youth Protection might be. A very recent example is the decision to apply the german law of social adequacy within games – meaning that NS-symbols like swastikas can be allowed in educational and art context.
Elisabeth Secker will talk about the mulidimensional challenges USK is facing, with questions regarding Youth Protection ranging from technology to society.0