Vietnam Comes Down Hard on Online Games

The government of Vietnam has implemented a few (previously alluded to) measures restricting online games as it bides time in order to formulate an overall master plan for dealing with the industry.

Minister of Information and Communications (MoIC) Le Doan Hop called for the immediate  implementation of a trio of stop-gap measures reports Saigon Daily: until new laws are drafted and propagated, all new licenses for online games will be suspended, all public media ads for online games are banned and Internet cafes will have to shut down game services between 11PM and 6AM every day. Vietnam News stated that these measures will be in place through year-end.

Gamers will also be limited to three hours of playtime for any title that interacts “with a server,” though taking part in educational or cultural games will be permitted for four or five hours per day. The Ministry will also draft a provision for dealing with offline games.

The Department of Information and Communication also ordered game operators to detail the level of violence in titles they offered via a report which “must include video clips that illustrate the violent nature of particular games.” They have until August 2 to submit these reports, according to Vietnam Net.

Operators also must break down games into acceptable age groups, selecting from six and under, 6-11, 12 to 15, 15 to 18 and 18+.

The measures were taken, according to Vietnam News, following “a public outcry about their (online games) negative influences on the youth.”

The paper added that a whopping 100 percent of respondents to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education and Training indicated that they played games on the the weekend. During the week, the number dropped to 70 percent for kids in Ha Noi and 76 percent for children from Ho Chi Minh City.

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