To protect online gaming players from harmful content and addiction, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has rolled out new rules. Self-regulatory organizations (SROs) must now approve games for them to operate in the country, following the government’s guidelines. The online gaming sector will operate under a self-regulation model. The government added these updated online gaming rules to the IT Rules of 2021 as an amendment.
The Indian government has described an online game as “a game that is available on the internet and can be accessed by users through their devices.” This description aims to clarify what constitutes an online game in India.
As online gaming continues to grow in popularity, it is important for regulators and policymakers to clearly understand what constitutes an online game to effectively address issues such as addiction, safety, and security.
What is SRO: Details
To control online gaming in India, the government has introduced new rules requiring Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) to determine whether a game is permissible, depending on whether it involves betting or wagering. While three SROs will initially be notified, the government can add more SROs later.
The new rules also specify that SROs must have representatives from various backgrounds, including education, psychology or mental health, and child rights protection. The aim of this move is to consider all aspects of online gaming and consider the welfare of players, particularly minors.
Stay tuned for more updates on implementing these new rules and their impact on the online gaming industry in India.
What are the new rules?
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has instructed SROs to prominently display a framework for verifying online real money games on their websites and mobile apps. This framework is designed to ensure the following:
- Protection of users from harm, including psychological harm and self-harm, caused by online gaming.
- Protection of children from improper or harmful online games through the use of parental controls and age-rating mechanisms.
- Prevention of gaming addiction, financial loss, and fraud by often warning users and allowing them to exclude themselves upon reaching user-defined limits for time or money spent.
- Ensuring that online real money games do not pose a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
In conclusion, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has taken a step towards protecting online gamers from harmful content and addiction by introducing new regulations.