Cracking Down On Online Games

counter-strikeAs a democratic country, you might say that the current crackdown on violent and/or pornographic online games in China will not happen in the Philippines. I am referring to a recent online news release where it says that China cracks down on online games when it placed more than 4.65 million computers at some 80,000 Internet cafes under watch in a bid to crack down on violent and/or pornographic games. The ban covered 219 Internet games for carrying “lewd, pornographic and violent” content and had blocked access to games 87 million times last year. China’s Culture Ministry says it plans to step up regulation of the fast-expanding online game sector and would improve censorship of the games in the future. The move affected Internet gamers in China which already reached 217 million in June, or 64.2 percent of the country’s online community. The stats show that these gamers have resorted to games like Dentist Games and car racing games.

As I said in my opening statement, many of us never expect a similar crackdown to happen in our country, the Philippines being one of the freest democratic country in this part of the world. What do I say? We will never know. Web filtering at ISP level of child pronography is already nearing implementation by having it embedded in a law with well-intentioned objective of curbing child prostitution. What would prevent our bright legislators from inserting the ban on violent online games in a law intended to protect the children online? And who would oppose such kind of law?

Lest I be judged as an instigator or a prophet of doom by some pretending champions of the Internet café industry, let me emphasize that I am not against gaming per se. I have sons and daughter who enjoyed the games during their youth and are now doing well in their chosen professions but I must say that not all children are created equal. They were those who played the games and did well in their professional lives but we also cannot dispel the truth that there were also children who got hooked playing games and did not finish their studies. These are the two sides of the coins that we must consider if we are to fight against the crackdown on violent games.

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