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India to enact new laws prohibiting three types of mobile game

The new regulations are both a clarification, and an incredibly broad set of factors to be interpreted
India to enact new laws prohibiting three types of mobile game
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According to recent statements laid out by the Indian minister of state for electronics and information technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the country may soon be adopting regulations to prohibit three types of mobile games.

As reported by outlet Asia News International, according to Chandrasekhar, amongst a raft of new legislation to deal with technologies such as AI, games will also face stricter regulations. It comes after Indian game makers penned an open letter earlier this year calling for industry consultation over concerns about legislation that would allegedly treat all games under the same regulations as gambling.

In his statement to ANI, Chandrasekhar said, “For the first time we have prepared a framework regarding online gaming, in that we will not allow three types of games in the country. Games that involve betting or can be harmful to the user and that involves a factor of addiction will be banned in the country.”

Unsurity in Asia

Although the exact extent of the legislative changes are unclear, if the statement is accurate that means the Indian government may soon adopt categorisation of games which would be surprisingly broad. Services which provide gambling would naturally fall under the first or third distinctions, but “harmful to the user” may raise concerns about the broad application of this term.

Mobile games in India have not always had a smooth ride, from either the public or the government. Despite the massive popularity of PUBG: Mobile spin-off BGMI (BattleGrounds Mobile India) and other battle royale titles there has also been legislative action that took the latter offline for almost ten-months. Initially, this was due to concerns over data privacy and the connection of companies like Krafton to major Chinese corporations like Tencent. With continued tensions between India and China assumed by some to contribute to the initial banning of apps such as PUBG: Mobile and TikTok.

Public opinion has also been marred by tabloid stories, including tabloid speculation that a murder committed in the city of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, had been influenced by the playing of PUBG: Mobile (an incident Chandrasekhar launched an investigation into). However, later reports indicated that this connection was unfounded. It does indicate the level of public scrutiny games, and mobile gaming, receive from government and news media in the country.