Video Games Seen Becoming a New Frontier in Digital Rights

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Critical digital rights battles over privateness, free speech and anonymity are more and more being fought in video games, a rising market that’s turning into a “new political enviornment,” consultants and insiders mentioned on Thursday.

With the business set to greater than double annual revenues to $300 billion (roughly Rs. 22.44 lakh crores) by 2025, questions on how online game operators, designers and governments deal with delicate points tackle added urgency, mentioned individuals at RightsCon, a digital digital rights convention.

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In current months, a Hong Kong activist staged a protest in opposition to Beijing’s rule inside a well-liked social simulator game known as Animal Crossing, and a member of the US Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, campaigned within the game as properly.

The game Minecraft, in the meantime, has been used to avoid censorship, with teams utilizing it to create digital libraries and smuggle banned texts into repressive nations.

“Video games have become this new political arena,” said Micaela Mantegna, founder of GeekyLegal, an Argentinian group that focuses on tech policy.

Also, game designers have been tackling sensitive topics by creating games that involve issues such as refugees or mental illness.

“Video games are a powerful way to start talking about topics that are hard to engage in real life,” mentioned Stephanie Zucarelli, a board member of Women in Games Argentina, a non-profit group.

User rights will be in danger, nonetheless, of being violated, mentioned Kurt Opsah, an lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group.

Law enforcement can ask game firms their customers’ individual information, working firms can censor game customers and governments can stress game operators and makers to take away content, he mentioned.

He cited an instance of the US army deleting vital feedback that had been posted on recruitment channels it hosted on Twitch, a well-liked streaming platform.

“They did not need people to have an anti-military view on their recruiting channel,” he mentioned.

Governments can apply stress on online game firms, he mentioned, such because the case of Activision Blizzard Entertainment that last 12 months suspended a player from a online game competition for making political feedback about Hong Kong in an interview.

Blizzard is partly owned by Chinese gaming large Tencent Holdings.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

[Attribution Gadgets 360]

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