Important Facts For Prelims
Segregate Video Games from Money Games
- 18 Jan 2023
- 3 min read
Why in News?
Recently, Representatives from the video gaming industry have written a letter to the Ministry of Electronics, Information and Technology (MeitY) seeking to treat video games separately from real money games that involve wagering real money.
- Earlier, the MeitY released the Draft Rules for Online Gaming as an amendment to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
- The letter requests and recommends that MeitY as “the nodal agency for ‘online gaming’” should recognise the difference between the two industries.
What are the Concerns over Video Games?
- Same Regulatory Purview:
- As part of the amendments of IT Rules, 2021, there is a proposal for a self-regulatory body which will certify a permitted online game in India.
- The current draft notification combines ‘video games’ and ‘online games played for stakes’ into the same regulatory purview.
- There are no countries in the world which recognise and regulate” these two categories of games similarly.
- But gaming companies are worried about the lack of distinction between them and ‘real money games’ (RMG), which are often in the gray zone due to state rules and laws around gambling.
- Purely Entertainment:
- Video game companies state that their “games do not involve staking money and are purely played for entertainment.”
- They point out that Real Money Games and Fantasy Sports are collectively referred to as the “iGaming Industry” in other countries.
What are their Demands?
- To make world-class video games in India for a global audience, it is crucial to have a suitable framework which respects the nuances of the industry and aligns with global best practices.
- This will go a long way to attract capital, enhance market access, increase foreign technology collaboration, build talent pools and help develop India’s global champions.
- Video games are regulated through an India-specific age and content rating mechanism by setting up a video games industry-specific self-regulatory body (SRB), in line with global standards such as PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) in the European Union and ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) in North America.
- Create a robust framework to deal with issues such as children’s addiction to video games, their exposure to in-game purchases, age-inappropriate content and online harm, which will be regulated by video games industry-specific self-regulatory body in line with global standards such as COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule) in the USA and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the European Union.