As if the PlayStation censorship policies aren’t enough, Sony wants to add to the turmoil and distress of its already strained and sullen audience by introducing “countermeasures” to gaming addiction in response to the World Health Organization set to label video game addiction as an international disease.
According to Mainichi, they quoted Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida, who told the press on May 22nd, 2019…
“We need to take it seriously and adopt countermeasures,” […]
“We’ve already implemented a ratings system (to restrict players by age) and have been taking measures based on our own standards”
What Yoshida is referring to with Sony’s “own standards” is the censorship policies they’ve been using to punish developers into censoring their games and removing content to fit the ideological standards Sony has setup beyond what’s required by the regional ratings boards.
This has crippled some developers to the point where Kenichiro Takaki ended up departing from Marvelous due to the policies.
What’s worse, though, is that we have no idea what these “countermeasures” are supposed to be. Yoshida makes no effort to explain them, according to Mainichi.
Most people don’t even think that the World Health Organization adding video game addiction to the international index of diseases is warranted. The addition of gaming as an addiction was reportedly spurred on by South Korea and China.
Various scholars have written open letters rejecting the notion that gaming addiction needed to be added to the updated ICD-11 database, but WHO decided to move forward with it anyway.
We don’t know exactly what Yoshida has planned for the PlayStation ecosystem, but countermeasures to prevent addiction are already a thing in South Korea and China in the form of militarized rehabilitation camps to help break teens and young adults from gaming and the internet, as reported by The Next Web and Mother Jones.
Other less extreme measures have also been employed recently in both countries as well. South Korea has gaming curfews for those under a certain age, as reported by the CGI Clinic. China is adopting more… technologically savvy methods for dealing with limited time spent gaming, with Tencent making use of the facial recognition scanners used by the social credit system to log and limit the amount of time users are able to play certain games.
Sony already has a parental control system in place, so I’m not sure how much further these “countermeasures” will go in curbing what Yoshida believes to be gaming addiction. But in connection with the already draconian censorship policies, there’s absolutely nothing good coming out of more censorship and restrictions.
(Thanks for the news tip P (All Lolis are Queens) and Animatic)