Many celebrities and influencers are currently promoting the Coin Master game app. Influencer marketing specifically addresses children and young people. The childlike design also means that younger players tend to download the app. However, the Federal Testing Agency for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM) initiated proceedings because the game was criticized for having elements of gambling.
How does Coin Master work?
Coin Master is a combination of strategy and gambling games. The aim of the game is to build your own village, protect yourself from attacks by other players and attack other villages. By building houses, users can collect stars, with which they can advance to the next level when they reach a certain number. Other villages can then be built there. A total of over 200 levels are available to the players.
In order to be able to take actions and moves, the players need virtual “coins”. They receive this through spins, i.e. the operation of a simulated slot machine. These spins are referred to as coin master free spins (https://www.inversegeek.com/gaming/coin-master-free-spins/). However, users only get coins when all three wheels of the wheel of fortune show the golden coins. Three piglets allow you to attack another village and three shields can block attacks from other players. If no identical symbols appear, you must rotate again. However, users can only spin the slot machine five times an hour. If you don’t have that much patience, you can either buy coins with real money or watch commercials to earn more spins.
Critique of Coin Master
Due to the childlike graphics and the cartoon characters, Coin Master is obviously aimed at adolescents. However, critics see the gaming app as a kind of “gateway drug” into gambling. However, if you combine it with a strategy game, this would tend to take a back seat. Nevertheless, the motivation to always want to move up the ladder and to network with friends can tempt players to invest a lot of time and money in the game app through in-app purchases.
The advertisements that users can watch to earn more coins are also viewed critically since many commercials advertise real online casinos and are therefore unsuitable for children and young people. Therefore, Coin Master is currently being checked in an indexing process by the BPjM for a possible threat to adolescents.
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Information for parents and educational professionals
Since the Coin Master game can be viewed as a simulated game of chance, parents and educators should educate adolescents about gambling addiction and the intentions behind these game mechanics. In-app purchases, especially younger children, are tempted to invest money in order to achieve faster game progress. It is therefore advisable to deactivate these purchases on the smartphone or tablet and to protect them with a password.
In the meantime, the age limit for the Coin Master games app has been changed to 17+ in the Apple Store and the app has been rated USK 16 in the Google Play Store.