Gaming Industry Haunted by Safety Concerns
It's never been a better time be a game developer.
It's also never been more complicated. When building games, founders must keep young players safe--and stay within the law.
Two months ago, Habbo Hotel, the world's largest social game and online community for teenagers age 13 to 21, with 10 million monthly unique visitors, was front-page news--for all the wrong reasons.
Rachel Seifert, a reporter for Channel 4 News in London, had spent two months interacting in the game and on the site, and reported that most of her interactions were perverse, and certainly not suitable for teens.
"The chat was very sexual, perverse, violent, pornographic, overtly sexual acts, people saying they were going to do things to others, and it was very graphic," Seifert said. "Within two minutes I was being asked individually 'do you have a webcam?', 'can we chat on (instant messenger service) MSN, on Skype?' I was also, within a couple of minutes, asked to strip, fully naked, and asked what would I do on a webcam..."