Featured photo credits: YouTube video The protection of minors in the FGC / YouTube channel MGG Replays / The Stream / Webedia
On November 2, 2022, the Twitch channel of “The Stream” aired a program about the protection of minors in the FGC. The replay can be seen on YouTube in the video below.
I then jumped into my chair and contacted Cyril “Kawoshi” Baillif, who was fascinating during his intervention on the subject of the protection of minors.
I just used a lot of words that need to be defined so here they are:
FGC: Fighting Game Community: community of fighting game players
LeStream “is a French Web TV, created on March 8, 2017 by the company Webedia. It has more than 84 million views.” Wikipedia definition
And during his interview Mr. Baillif uses the following word many times:
T.O.: Tournament Organizer, video game tournament organizer.
Here is the topo:
There are video game events that are organized all over the world. Sometimes it’s conventions, sometimes it’s tournaments, sometimes it’s other types of events.
In this case, the show is dedicated to fighting games and its news.
Many children, so minors, come to play in video game tournaments on favorite games like: Super Smash Bros Ultimate .
The game is suitable from 12 years old, that’s okay if the child matches. The problem is that the tournament environment is not necessarily so.
Here are some of the problems that can happen:
- There may be people who should not be in contact with children, or even sexual predators. Unfortunately, we have had examples of sexual assault, influence and control in the past in video game tournaments.
- The games that children play or are exposed to the tournament are not age-appropriate. Indeed, in many events, several games are played or promoted simultaneously, and there are no regulations about their content. In Germany, adult games are hidden in conventions behind closed doors and access to them is restricted to adults.
- No parental permission is requested in the events. If something happens to a child, tournament organizers can’t do anything.
- If the child wins a monetary prize, he cannot legally win it. The lot must be deposited in a bank account and be accessible from the age of 18 (France).
And here’s what we can do:
- Parents accompany children to Basketball, Football/Soccer, Hockey, Baseball games but not to game tournaments? Parents must accompany minors to video game events.
This allows parents to better understand the whole context of the event, to assess whether the atmosphere, the staff, the game are adapted to the age of the child, and to ask questions to the organizers.
- Tournament organizers are legally responsible for what happens in their event. They must obtain parental permission, to protect their minor participants. It allows you to be in contact with parents, and to inform them about the content of the game, the event and to have their contact information just in case.
- We must start structures to talk to governments, associations, publishers, who protect children.
Mr. Baillif himself is trying to start a structure in France, and is therefore busy, because you have to start everything from scratch.
François Savard and his team at the Virtual Guardians Foundation in Montreal, Canada, is himself very involved in the protection of minors, but especially from the Twitch and Discord platforms. As a veteran of the competitive video game scene, this is an issue close to his heart.
For more information, please see the video below.
Mr. Baillif’s speech in French begins at 30 minutes in the video below.