When it comes to video games, India seems to be heading for a grueling future. This appears to be the case according to the Online Gambling (Regulation) Bill 2022, which was proposed to the Lok Sabha by Congressman Dean Kuriakose.
The proposed body will deal specifically with online video games and will be given powers that could significantly curtail gamer freedom in the country.
As MediaNama reported, the bill was proposed and presented at one of the previous sessions. The council will basically review all online video games available on Indian platforms.
It will also have the power to take certain measures, such as reducing the number of times players can play in a certain period. The body will also have the ability to ensure that players can only spend a limited amount on different in-app purchases.
Congressman proposes bill in India’s Lok Sabha to monitor online video games
Based on the draft made available to MediaNama, the bill was suggested keeping in mind the dangers associated with online video games in particular. The body focused on the long stretches some players spend on their favorite games. Another area of focus seems to be the actual money players spend to get different items:
“..more people will be exposed to online gaming in the years to come. The effect of long hours of play, especially among teenagers, is well known. It can interfere with normal socialization, cause physical and mental harm and even monetary loss,”
The project also mentions that they are aware of the dangers of online video games. The Indian government recently banned several mobile games which included popular titles like Free Fire and Mobile Legends Bang Bang.
The bill contains full details of its scope. The body will be set up and probably maintained by the Union government, which will also have the right to dismiss someone.
The body will monitor all forms of online video games currently available in the country. It will monitor sites deemed illegal and develop measures to curb such activities.
In addition, the body will also oversee related proceedings such as licensing websites, organizations and such bodies, including actions such as revoking licenses and imposing penalties. The plans also include regulating the age, terms and fees of everyone involved in online gaming, even tournaments of said games.
Foreign investment, as well as the maintenance of online gambling accounts, is also an area that the body, if established, will oversee.
It remains to be seen whether the bill is passed and whether the government will set up the body. It has been proposed that 100 crore one-time Indian Rupees will have to be spent initially to set up the body and make it functional. A point can certainly be made if awareness instead of censorship is a better step to take. After all, there might still be ways for players to get around the restrictions.