NEW DELHI: The government is aware of the possible risks and challenges associated with online games but there is no plan to limit the amount of time that children can spend playing online, minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Chandrasekhar’s statement came on a question by Khajuraho lawmaker Vishnu Dutt Sharma who said that there was a new trend of violent video games online and asked if there was a plan to allow children to play online games for a maximum of three hours a week and require the gaming websites to enforce this rule as China has done.
“No proposal to limit the amount of time spent by gamers in playing online games is currently under consideration of the Government,” Chandrasekhar said in his written response to the unstarred question by the Bharatiya Janata Party MP.
In 2021, the Chinese government restricted online games for minors to one hour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chinese game companies were required to implement the restriction by requiring a real-name verification systemf for its users.
The minister said the Indian government’s policies are aimed at ensuring an open, safe, trusted and accountable Internet for its users. He said the potential for Indians being exposed to content depicting violence has grown because more people are using the Internet.
“Online game content too is one among various categories of online content offered by online gaming platform intermediaries, which is picking up around the world, including among children and adolescents in India. The government is aware of the possible risks and challenges associated with online games including that of violence associated with video games,” the minister said.
Chandrasekhar also listed provisions of the rules that cast a specific obligation on intermediaries to make reasonable efforts to ensure that its users do not host, display, publish, transmit or share any information that is harmful to the child, causes incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence, relates to encourages gambling, or violates any law for the time being in force.
“The rules also cast an obligation on intermediaries to provide, upon receipt of an order from a lawfully authorised government agency, information or assistance for prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution under law,” he said.