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Why the gaming industry wants regulatory distinction between video games and real money games

While the distinction between real money games and video games may be important, is proactively ‘asking’ for regulation an overkill?

A group of over 40 video game and esports companies have written to India's IT Ministry [short version, full submission] asking for regulatory distinction between video games and online games played for stake. This feedback comes as a response to the Ministry's proposed rules to regulate the latter. "We will fail in our duty if we do not highlight that video games and online games played for stakes are distinct products, industries, ecosystems and subject matters for regulation. We hope that MeitY and all other regulators would appreciate the nuances and treat them so appropriately," the representation states. MediaNama's take: Although video games are not the intended targets of the government's recently proposed rules, the definition of "online games" is broad enough that it can be seen as covering some versions of pay-to-play video games. This confusion was well brought out in MediaNama's discussion on the topic last week where the various stakeholders couldn't come to a consensus on what is and what isn't covered by the definition. Given this, it is understandable that the video game industry feels like they need clarity on the same so that they are not treated the same as real money and fantasy games. But, on the other hand, the submission feels like an invitation from the video game industry to the government to frame regulations because the industry has proposed setting up self-regulatory bodies, creating a framework to address harm, etc. This could be problematic because not all video game developers, especially indie game…

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