“We are looking to form a video games industry-specific self-regulatory organisation, which hopefully, should get recognized by the government of India,” Harish C. informed MediaNama, in an exclusive interaction, while spelling out various regulatory issues the industry is concerned with. Harish is the Founder of Outlier Games, one of the 45 video games companies that wrote to the Indian government earlier this week, requesting regulatory distinction from online real money games. “We've also been proactively pitching an age-rating mechanism for video games that the SRO would use to classify and assign age ratings,” Harish added. “We have proposed a framework that categorizes content into five age tranches, 3+, 7+, 12+, 15+, and 18+.” This urge to carve out a separate regulatory turf for video games (and Esports) comes after multiple policies on ‘online gaming’ that seemingly lumped the industries with online real money games. For example, the GST Council recently announced its intent to tax online gaming at par with gambling at 28%. While the government has since clarified that the move only impacts online games involving wagering, like real money games, it's been painted by some as a body blow to the online gaming industry as a whole. The video games and Esports industry has strongly denied this conflation with the real money gaming industry (now tarnished as a gambling industry). “We must acknowledge the TRUTH that the primary objective of the 400 million Indian video gamers (and approximately 3 billion gamers worldwide) is ‘purely entertainment’, and not financial…
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