HCM City plans to further tighten control of online games as games with violent features have returned to internet sites popular with youth.
HCM CITY —
Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday to review the management of online games in the city, Le Manh Ha, vice chairman of the municipal People's Committee, asked the Department of Information and Communications to crack down on the licensing of online games, citing loose management in recent months.
From September last year to February, 69 online games received licenses, 10 of which were granted by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
From 2006 to 2010, the number of online games jumped more than 30 times, to 30 games with 5 million regular players, most of them adolescents.
According to the department's 2010 survey, up to 66 online games have elements of violence and 8 per cent contain gambling.
In 2010, HCM City asked the Government to ban online game imports and advertisements nation-wide.
Between 2010 and 2011, the city banned 18 out of 43 games containing violent elements and managed to take out the combat functions in 29 fighting games.
Thousands of internet shops and online game providers have been investigated and fined for violations. Game producers were banned from providing online games from 10pm to 8am every day.
Last year, the city planned to install software which could filter internet access to games containing violence and websites with unhealthy content. But the plan is still on paper.
Despite the city's effort, a large number of games with Vietnamese versions provided from overseas servers and social networking sites can still be downloaded or accessed easily, according to the department.
The department said it planned to implement this project in school areas in the city later this month or early June, ahead of the summer break, when most students play online games.
The poor co-ordination among authorised bodies has been blamed for the loose management of the recent return of online games.
To identify those that should be banned, Ha called on local administrative authorities to work with the department on reviewing all online games circulating in the market.
The vice chairman also urged the department to ask the ministry to draw up a written agreement on the management of online games nation-wide. — VNS