The BBC today reports that those governing the Malaysian city of Subang Jaya, near the capital Kuala Lumpur, have announced they are cracking-down on net cafes where online games can be played, amid fears that addiction levels are becoming a social problem. The Chinese and South Korean governments are also faced with similar problems, and China in particular has been highly pro-active in limiting the amount of time that can be spent in games. Authorities in the Malay city have given police powers to close cafes allowing gamers to play late into the night, the move being taken after a mother afraid for her missing son found him playing in a cafe during a 48-hour mammoth stint. The new rules governing net cafes will be introduced from next year.
Under the laws, cafes will have to separate gaming and surfing areas, obtaining a separate entertainment licence to allow gaming. Gaming areas of said cafes will be required to close at midnight, under the new legislation. Officers will be sent to patrol night cafes and check that owners are abiding by the new legislation. Many gamers resent this intrusion into their hobby, whilst other citizens have welcomed the news, saying they believe it will help cut crime and addiction levels.
With gaming, especially the online variety, booming across east-Asia like never before, it won’t be long before other countries beginning introducing laws to combat the negative impacts of excessive play – like China are already doing. More soon.
Source: BBC News
Is this good bad or ugly?
From personal experience I’ve seen the cops trying to shut down the cybercafes after midnight, but well it doesn’t really happen, they just lock the door, and you can knock to go round the back or they will just unlock and let you in if they know you.
Plus with the greater penetration of broadband at home, kids can just play games there instead.
Many gamers though are over 18, surely it’s their choice how to spend their time, and that SHOULD NOT be dictated by the government, that’s how I feel anyway.
If I want to stay in a cafe for 3 days straight, without sleeping, washing or eating properly, why can’t I?
It’s my prerogative.
I guess it protects the kids, but why not just make it over 18 after midnight? Compulsory IC check at the desk, police do spot checks?
Wouldn’t that be a more reasonable solution rather than out and out shutdown.
Some of us work during the week, so we enjoy playing until 4-5am at the weekends..
I personally like gaming, especially DOTA, and well it does worry me when I see young kids in cafe’s every day playing games, because well:
How do they pay for it?
Shouldn’t they be doing their homework?
Do their parents know where they are?
Why are they out so late alone?
And so on..
But well at some point it’s going to infringe on the rights of others due to what? Bad parenting? Irresponsible kids?
There has to be a healthy balance somewhere, or a lot of people are going to be pissed.