And government censors propose even more restrictions
See article from vietnam-briefing.com
In July 2023, Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issued a draft law to update the country's video game censorship laws currently defined by Decree 72. The MIC is taking feedback in a public consultation until September 15, 2023.
The current rules under Decree 72 are as follows: Foreign companies must establish an entity in Vietnam in accordance with the country's foreign investment legislation in order to provide video game services. Foreign ownership is also limited to
49% under Vietnam's current foreign investment regulations. This means that companies looking to legally distribute video games in Vietnam will be required to set up a joint venture or sign a business cooperation contract with a local company.
games are organized into the following categories:
Video games are also classified by age:
- G1 games: Video games that have interaction between multiple players via the server;
- G2 games: Video games that only have interaction between the players and the server (but no interaction between different players);
- G3 games: Video
games that have interaction between multiple players but no interaction between the players and the server; and
- G4 games: Video games that are downloaded from the internet without interaction between players or between players and the server.
The draft decree released in July 2023 will add an additional 16+ age category:
- 18 and up (denoted as 18+): Games with continuous protest and combat activities using weapons of a violent nature; no sexually explicit activities, sounds, images, language, or suggestions
- 12 and up (denoted as 12+): Games involving
resistance and combat activities with the use of weapons, but the weapon imagery is not displayed in close-up or clear detail; there is a moderate amount of sound and weaponry during combat; there are no activities, images, sounds, languages, dialogues,
default character imagery, explicit content, or scenes that draw attention to sensitive body parts.
- Players of all ages (denoted as 00+): Animated simulation games in which there are no weapon-based activities; there are no eerie sounds or
imagery, horror, or violence; there are no activities, sounds, languages, dialogues, default character imagery, explicit content, or scenes that draw attention to sensitive body parts on the human body.
In order for a company to provide G1 games, it must obtain a license to provide game services and receive approval for the game's contents from the MIC. To provide G2, G3, and G4 games, a company must obtain a certificate of registration and announce the
service provision for each video game.
- 16 and up (denoted as 16+): Games that involve protest and combat activities using weapons; no activity, imagery, sound, language, dialogue, sexually suggestive characters, or content that draws attention to sensitive body parts.
Companies must meet the following requirements to provide video game services in Vietnam:
- Be established in accordance with Vietnamese law and have a certificate of business registration for video game services;
- Have registered domain names for the services;
- Have sufficient financial and technical capacity,
organizational structure, and personnel suitable for the scale of operations; and
- Have measures in place to ensure information safety and security.
The validity of a video game license may vary depending on the request of the company but cannot exceed 10 years under the current Decree 72. However, this time limit has been reduced to five years in the draft decree. In addition, to provide G1
games, the service provision system of the company must also meet certain criteria:
- Being capable of storing and updating the personal information of players, including their full name, date of birth, permanent residence address, identity card/citizen identification card/passport number and its date and place of issue, and phone
number and email address.
- Having a payment control system for the video games located in Vietnam and connected to Vietnam's payment support service providers, ensuring accurate and sufficient updates and storage and allowing players to search
for detailed information on their payment accounts.
- Being able to manage players' playtime from 00:00 to 24:00 hours daily and ensure the total playtime of all G1 electronic games for players under the age of 18 does not exceed 180 minutes per
- Continuously display the player age classification for all games during the game's introduction, advertising materials, and during the game's service provision; and display the warning Playing for more than 180 minutes a day will badly
affect your health in prominent positions in games' forums or on players' computer screens during playtime.
The draft decree has lowered the daily limit for players under the age of 18 from 180 minutes to just 60, in line with the proposed reduction of the daily limit in the previous draft amendment to Decree 72. However, whereas this was initially only
proposed for G1 games, the draft decree stipulates the same requirement for G2, G3, and G4 games as well. Video games are subject to certain censorship laws, and companies must obtain approval from the MIC to ensure that their content is not
prohibited. Under Decree 72, the following content is prohibited:
The draft decree adds two articles regulating virtual items, units, and reward points and game cards. The draft decree stipulates that companies may only create virtual items, units, and reward points for the video games to be used in exchange for
virtual items within the scope of the game itself.
- Images or sounds that are horrifying, incite violence and brutality, are vulgar, erotic and obscene, immoral, contrary to traditional ethics and culture and national customs, or distort and undermine history; and
- Images or sounds that depict
suicide, use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, or terrorism, child maltreatment, abuse, and trafficking, or other harmful or illegal acts.
- Opposition to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
- Undermining national security and
social order and safety;
- sabotage of national unity;
- conduct propaganda about wars and terrorism;
- sow hatred or division among ethnicities, races, and religions;
- Propagate and incite violence, obscenity, pornography,
crimes, social vices, and superstition;
- harm national traditions and customs; Disclose state secrets, military, economic, and diplomatic secrets, or other secrets protected by law;
- Provide information that distorts, slanders, or offends
the reputation of organizations or honor and dignity of individuals;
- Advertise, propagate, and trade in banned goods or services;
- spread banned newspaper articles, works of literature or art, and publications; and
other organizations and individuals and spread false and untruthful information that infringes upon the rights and lawful interests of other organizations and individuals.
Supporting the hype for an ultra realistic police shooter video game
|28th April 2023
Thanks to Daniel
See article from
There is a little hype brewing for a new shooter game suggesting that it be heavily censored for younger players on the grounds that it is simply too realistic and also glorifies police brutality.
French game developer Studio Drama has unveiled the
first trailer for its latest body-camera shooter game, Unrecord . The game is a single-player first person shooter that tells the story of a tactical police officer from the perspective of his body camera.
In the newly-released footage, we
see the officer heading towards an abandoned building covered in graffiti, before checking his weapon and inspecting the scene. As the officer walks around the vacated lot, he hears commotion from the other side, leading them to kill seven armed suspects
roaming the building. The graphics on display in the trailer proved so realistic that it left gamers doing a double-take, but while the visuals are being widely praised, the game is also being met with criticism. Twitch streamer Trainwreck said:
In its press deck, Studio Drama said it understands that people may feel disturbed by the game's footage:
I'm going to get a lot of hate for this - but this level of realism in video games should be heavily moderated in *shooters* for anyone *under a certain age*, I hope parents do their job. This level of realism for
shooting and killing makes *me* feel uncomfortable as if I'm watching a real leak from a military or police operation.
Studio Drama said the game is currently in pre-production and is unlikely to release this year.
As a French studio addressing a global audience, the game does not engage in any foreign policy and is not inspired by any real-life events. Unrecord is a single-player FPS that tells the story of a tactical police officer from the
perspective of his body camera.
The game will obviously avoid any undesirable topics such as discrimination, racism, violence against women and minorities. The game will have no biased or Manichaean take on criminal acts and
police violence. We also respect and understand people who may feel disturbed by the game's images. Art cannot fight against interpretation.
The public generally trusts film, series, and novel writers on the intelligence of the
point of view when it comes to detective, gangster, or police stories. Why not for a video game? If the game presents political messages, they will be made consciously or in your interpretation. If the game aims to be subversive in certain countries, we
will assume the label.
Video game banned from a Nintendo release, cut for PC
|5th August 2022
Thanks to Daniel
See article from comicbook.com
An upcoming and controversial Nintendo Switch game has been officially postponed and delayed indefinitely.
The game Massage Freaks was reported by ComicBook.com as the most NSFW game released on the Switch yet. Now it looks like it is Nintendo
itself that has prevented the game from releasing on Switch this week, at least in its current form.
The game developer Qureate recently announced the game had changed names from Massage Freaks to Beat Refle and is no longer Switch bound.
According to developer Qureate, the delay is the result of discussions with related parties. Nintendo isn't name-dropped, but it's unclear who else this could be referencing. Querate said in a statement:
Nintendo Switch version of 'Massage Freaks,' which was scheduled to be released on August 4, 2022, has been postponed after discussions with related parties, We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers.
Further background from
article from en.wikipedia.org :
The game received criticism for its depiction of women, which was considered
discriminatory and reminiscent of real-world sexual crimes at massage parlors in Japan. It was also noted that female characters in the game shared their first names with members of the idol group Hinatazaka46. Following the criticism, qureate delayed
the Switch release indefinitely, cancelled preorders, and changed the characters' names. beat refle was silently released on Steam on July 31, 2022, albeit censored.
The government decides against introducing laws to ban loot boxes in video games
|19th July 2022
See article from
The video game monetisation method of loot boxes will not be banned in the UK, despite a government consultation claiming evidence of an association between the features and problem gambling.
Loot boxes have attracted comparison with gambling because
they allow players to spend money to unlock in-game rewards, such as special characters, weapons or outfits, without knowing exactly what they will get.
The features, popular in games such as Call of Duty and the Fifa football series, were
effectively banned in Belgium in 2018, but the censorship culture minister, Nadine Dorries, said the UK would not follow suit.
Instead, after a 22-month consultation, she said the government would discuss tougher industry-led protections with the
UK's gaming trade. Dorries explained the decision saying that
While the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) stopped short of proposing legislation, Dorries said:
Legislating to impose curbs or a prohibition on loot boxes as part of an expected overhaul of the UK's gambling laws could have unintended consequences.
For example, legislation to introduce an outright ban on children purchasing loot boxes could have the unintended effect of more children using adult accounts, and thus having more limited parental oversight of their play and
spending, the government said, in a response to the consultation published in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Children and young people should not be able to purchase loot boxes without parental approval.