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Vietnam's partial ban for online gaming

MMO licensing, advertising and night-time play restricted following real-world crimes

The Vietnamese government has placed heavy restrictions on the playing and availability of online games, in response to public and media concern about their effects on the nation's youth.

The Ministry of Information and Communication has banned the advertisement of MMOs, and demanded that ISPs turn off internet access to game shops and cafes after hours.

It will also stop licensing further online games until the sign-off of further government legislation, reports the Associated Press. Currently, 93 games - all developed outside of Vietnam - are licensed, with the most successful titles drawing around 200,000 players.

The bans come in the wake of a number of murders and robberies incited by online conflict and desire for virtual items. In one instance, a 15-year-old girl attacked a local four-year-old, reportedly to obtain $10 for microtransactions. The girl was sentenced to ten years in prison.

The Ministry is also seeking to limit violent and pornographic content in games, in addition to the censoring of any government criticism.

Latest comments (3)

John Welsh Program Manager Defence/Serious Games SME, Sydac6 years ago
Any type of crime associated violence is abhorrent and the incident cited here is certainly alarming. However, if indicative it reflects propensity for aggravated robbery or worse rather than behavioural inspiration through online gameplay. How does this compare to robberies and murders with other apparent motivations? Will a partial ban resolve this issue or is it a simpler solution to ensuring society abides by its responsibilities? Perhaps "...censoring of any government criticism." is a clue.
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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts6 years ago
To deliberately misquote the NRA - "Games don't kill people, people kill people".

With the reasoning mentioned, maybe we should ban mobile phones? After all, some kids get addicted to texting, so the logic surely is to stop everyone pursuing a harmless pasttime because a couple of people can't control themselves.

Oh wait, ban cars too, because some people break the speed limit.

I could go on, but you get the point...
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany6 years ago
We Ban online games because care about the young people... but we have no problem in sending a underage girl 10 years to prison for stealing 10$.

No comment is necessary here I think.
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