Education Minister says no to violent video game ban, wants parents to use ratings instead

Last week’s news that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was ready to ban 15 games deemed “too dangerous for children” by the Ministry of Education and Culture upset plenty of people, especially Indonesian gamers. At least one hacker was apparently so pissed off by the news that he defaced the website of the Child Protection Commission (KPAI) for supporting the video game ban plan.

However it looks  like those gamers don’t have to worry. The IT Ministry was waiting for the go ahead from the Ministry of Education and Culture to implement the ban. But yesterday, Education Minister Anies Baswedan said he did not think it was necessary.

“No, no, no (to the ban). We want [parents to use] the ratings,” Anies said yesterday as quoted by Detik

The ratings that Anies was of course referring to are the ones created by the the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory organization that assigns age and content ratings to commercially sold video games. ESRB ratings are clearly displayed on the cover of almost all video game titles and indicated the age appropriateness of the title.

And that is the real reason why gamers were upset by the previously discussed ban plan – because there was already a clear rating system in place for responsible parents to easily see whether or not they should buy a game for their children. It was yet another example of the Indonesian government trying to act like parents to the entire country instead of trusting citizens to be responsible for themselves.

Fortunately Minister Anies has common sense and pulled the plug on this controversy before it leveled up into something much more embarrassing for his ministry. 

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