Towards the end of last year, we received news regarding the government officially recognizing online gaming and esports, with amendments made to certain acts and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports taking over the responsibility.
Now, insider sources for The Economic Times, have revealed key details regarding the regulatory action and laws we can expect the government to put in place and corporations to comply with.
The Government’s interference in online gaming might present a privacy risk for gamers and gaming corporations
Under the Digital India Act, the Indian Government is making attempts to understand the extent of addiction to video games amongst younger audiences. It is even seeking anonymous reports to study this better, after which they’ll be working on framing rules.
They also introduced some draft laws regarding self-regulation earlier this year. This pushed for making verification of players through Know Your Customer (KYC) mandatory, gaming companies having a physical presence in the country, and grievance redressal mechanisms.
The additions majorly speak of ways to curb addiction to online games amongst youngsters. It is also to ensure the safety of women gamers, along with discouraging gambling and betting. Back in December, Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for electronics and information technology had promised that there will be no bounds on the time that can be spent in games.
However, the most concerning and somewhat controversial point here is the one regarding KYC. This while ensuring verification is a major privacy risk. A private corporation having access to millions of identity cards with personal details could put all of those people at risk in the case of a breach. Furthermore, the corporation itself could make use of the information in ways that isn’t exactly acceptable.
That being said, it’s a little disheartening to see that instead of focusing on growth, the government seems to be clamping down on the gaming industry with so much potential. While not as extreme as the Chinese Government, for example, the introduction of these rules barely a handful of days after the industry got recognized seems off-putting.
What are your thoughts as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is set to regulate Online Gaming in India? Let us know in the comments below!