Last August, the Vietnamese government began implementing an online gaming curfew in a purported effort to mitigate student distractions and discourage gaming addiction. Now, it looks as if the government has taken their campaign against online gaming a step further. As the Vietnam News Agency reports, the “Ministry of Information and Communications has asked internet service providers to block access to on-line games each day from 10 pm to 8 am by March 3.”
While the Vietnamese government has been actively monitoring citizens’ internet usage for some time now, it’s interesting to note the timing of this second request. The Middle East is currently in the midst of a revolution spurred on through the internet, and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton just announced that the US would begin taking formal measures towards promoting greater internet freedom. Of course, while there appears to be a timing correlation, we can’t assume causation. It could all be a grand coincidence.
What are your views? Does this internet limitation call for a re-evaluation of what online gaming constitutes? Are the government’s concern founded in real issues? Eastward, the South Korean government too once proposed limiting gonline gaming, and a South Korean man recently passed away following a 12-hour gaming session. (Here also, though, we can’t assume causation.)
Can the Vietnamese government manage, as it claims, to meet the demand for information while reducing online addiction? Will this ban be largely ignored like previous bans?