The government has established an inter-ministerial panel to develop regulations for the online gaming industry, with the I&B Ministry serving as the industry's nodal ministry
The I&B ministry's experience and vision can help the inter-ministerial panel fulfil its purpose by proposing systematic policies that oversee content-driven online games
With an optimal regulatory framework in place, the sky is the limit for the online gaming industry in terms of a sustainable, safe, and transparent gaming environment
The government has established an inter-ministerial panel to develop regulations for the online gaming industry, with the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry serving as the industry’s nodal ministry. The panel’s goal is to investigate best practices and recommend a regulatory framework for the nascent industry.
According to research estimates, the fast-growing online gaming industry will soon overtake the combined business size of music, movies, and television. The inter-ministerial panel will draw on the I&B Ministry’s vast experience to develop an industry-friendly regulatory framework from which all key stakeholders will benefit.
Creation Of A Regulatory Body
In order to maintain the best possible regulation of the media and entertainment industry in the nation, the I&B ministry has developed a broad vision. This includes fostering a climate conducive to the industry’s sustainable growth, facilitating value-based wholesome entertainment, and effectively disseminating information about government initiatives, programs, and accomplishments. This vision is consistent with the principles of the online gaming sector.
The online gaming industry has also had the added benefit of helping players improve their cognitive abilities. According to a study conducted by Brown University, skill-based games not only sharpen the visual processing skills of frequent players, but also improve the brain’s ability to learn new skills.
Video games, according to Dartmouth professor William Cheng, can be useful analytical tools for philosophical problems. According to research conducted by various prestigious institutions, online gaming improves cognitive skills such as perception, attentional control, and decision-making. According to a study conducted by MIT and Columbia professors, playing on fantasy sports platforms requires more skill than mutual fund management.
Every industry has its pros and cons, and online gaming is no exception to this. Due to the evolving regulatory environment, participants have experienced unintended consequences as a result of reckless gaming behaviour that could have been easily guided by the right regulations.
There is currently no nodal union ministry that can govern and regulate this industry. At this point, a comprehensive regulatory framework has the potential to distinguish the good from the bad and the ugly.
The foundation of the ministry is built on a well-defined list of missions. Adopting a structured and time-bound approach to developing a sound and accurate ‘rating’ system for the broadcasting sector, which has a significant impact on content creation in the space, is one of these. To protect the interests of players, the guidelines for this (or a similar) rating system could be applied to online gaming content.
Furthermore, the ministry’s experience working with self-regulatory organisations (SROs) can help guide the panel in developing a light-touch regulatory mechanism with SROs at the forefront of a three-tier regulatory framework for platform governance and administration.
This framework can focus on various aspects of user behaviour and business acumens, such as user data privacy for protecting user data, user funds, platform financial integrity, and soliciting self-regulated advertising communication for responsible gaming and fair play.
The Way Forward
The I&B ministry’s experience and vision can help the inter-ministerial panel fulfil its purpose by proposing systematic policies that oversee content-driven online games. With an optimal regulatory framework in place, the sky is the limit for the online gaming industry in terms of a sustainable, safe, and transparent gaming environment.
The online gaming industry is an integral part of the larger Indian Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics (AVCG) sector, and the central government has taken significant steps to strengthen it further by establishing a dedicated inter-ministerial panel. All of this can help the online gaming industry grow and create a favourable environment for it to thrive.