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Updated: Censorship games...

Indonesia blocks website access to Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and more

Link Here7th August 2022
Full story: Internet Censorship in Indonesia...Indonesia passes internet porn bill
The Indonesian government has blocked website access to a range of online services, including Steam, Epic Games, PayPal, and Yahoo after the companies failed to comply with a new censorship requirement.

Recent censorship laws require that companies deemed Private Electronic System Providers must register with the government's database to operate in the country, or otherwise face a nationwide ban. Indonesia gave companies until July 27th to comply and has since banned those that haven't. The requirement is part of a law called MR5

The laws give the Indonesian government the ability to obtain data about specific users, as well as coerce companies into removing content that disturbs public order or is considered illegal. Platforms have four hours to take action on urgent removal requests, or 24 hours in the case of any other content.

The ban has left users in Indonesia stuck without the ability to process payments or even play certain games. Some other popular games and services affected by the ban include Origin, DOTA 2 , and Counter-Strike.

Meanwhile, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, TikTok, Twitter, Netflix, and Spotify registered for a license last week , and all remain available.


Update: Blocks partially lifted

6th August 2022. See article

Indonesia has lifted its ban on Steam and Yahoo now that both companies complied with the country's restrictive laws that regulate online activity (via @ZhugeEX). The Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) announced the news in a translated update on Twitter, noting that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 are back online as well.

Although PayPal has yet to comply, Indonesia unblocked access to the service for five days starting July 31st to give users a chance to withdraw money and make payments. According to the Indonesian news outlet Antara News, PayPal reportedly plans on registering with the country's database soon.

Epic Games and the EA-owned Origin still remain banned in the country, which makes games like Fortnite and FIFA unplayable.



Massage Freaks (aka Beat Refle)...

Video game banned from a Nintendo release, cut for PC

Link Here5th August 2022
An upcoming and controversial Nintendo Switch game has been officially postponed and delayed indefinitely.

The game Massage Freaks was reported by 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:

The 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 :

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.



UK games industry draws lucky from government loot boxes...

The government decides against introducing laws to ban loot boxes in video games

Link Here 19th July 2022
Full story: Loot boxes in video games...Worldwide action against monetisation of video games
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

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.

While the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) stopped short of proposing legislation, Dorries said:

Children and young people should not be able to purchase loot boxes without parental approval.



Playing unrealistic games...

South Africa's game censors demand that young children are always accompanied when playing video games

Link Here6th July 2022
No child under 10 should ever play any video game without adult supervision, according to updated rules for South Africa's censors due to come into effect in August.

The Film and Publication Board  issued an overhauled version of its 40-page set of its censorship rules for the classification committees that have the power to ban movies and games in South Africa.

Those rules were last updated in 2019, when blasphemy was dropped in deciding how content should be classified. Many of the detailed changes are specific to games, such as new ways in which competitive intensity should be considered in the context of games that reward violence. The rule changes that has caught the eye is that there is no 'All ages' age rating for games. The new guidelines read:

Children are not allowed to play a game classified 'PG' [the lowest level of classification available] unless and only when supervised by an adult, because even such games may have elements disturbing or harmful for children.

For the next level up, the same rule holds: Children from the ages of 7 to 9 years are not allowed to play a game classified '7-9PG' unless supervised by an adult.

Only at age 10 does the prohibition of solo play fall away.

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