Video Game Violence

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India’s Madras High Court Wants Government to Ban Violent Online Games

Abhimannu Das
Updated On: 
Highlights
The Madras High Court in India initiated a public interest litigation asking the government to ban violent online games.
The court is seeking responses from the Central Government, State Government, YouTube and Google.
The court also wants awareness programs in educational institutions to be hosted to educate students about video game addiction.

The Madras High Court in India initiated a public interest litigation by itself seeking steps from the central government to issue bans on “violent online games.” The High Court is seeking responses from the Centre, State Government, Google, and YouTube on the matter and called for hosting awareness programs in educational institutions. The High Court has taken issue with the fact that there are unethical videos educating players on how to install banned games like Free Fire using VPN applications.

Why the Madras High Court wants video games to be banned

A division bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and J. Sathya Narayana Prasad stated that addiction to online games by students, men and women has become “a major public health issue and a great concern of parents.” The bench wants violent games to be banned in India.

The judges noted that those affected by video game addiction steal money to fund their purchases in games and there have also been instances of suicide due to video game addiction. With no regulatory authority present to regulate the communication between players, “anti-social elements” gain access to private player accounts and steal personal data.

The judges cited Subway Surfers and Free Fire as examples of addictive games and noted that it leads to younger generations being affected by health problems, anxiety, and depression. Several games were banned by the Indian government over the past two years including PUBG Mobile and Free Fire and yet there are still ways to play the games which is something the High Court has taken issue with.

The judges observed that teenagers play online games and spend too much time on social media and it needs to be curbed. They requested the police and social activists to sensitize the youth and also requested parents to monitor their children’s online activity.

The central and state governments have been requested to report how banned games were allowed despite the ban. And it also seeks to crack down on YouTube content that actively teaches players how to access these banned games. Currently, the central or state government is yet to offer a response to the judges and it is unknown if any action will be taken against violent video games.


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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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