Written by Tom Hunter And Mom Kunthear
Thursday, 09 April 2009
Police targeting violent video games
POLICE are attempting to quash an emerging cyber subculture in Phnom Penh, claiming that violent video games threaten to unravel the delicate social fabric of the city, even though there is no legal ban.
"Violent games are not good for people and the society, because when youths play them, they beat each other and become violent when they lose," Touch Naruth, Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief, told the Post Wednesday.
"We have to shut down all kinds of violent games in our country," he said, adding that gaming centres near schools have already been targeted and that others would be dealt with "step-by-step".
Phnom Penh's gaming community emerged in 2006, following the release of Justice X War 2 by CDIC Information Technology's subsidiary gaming company, Sabay.
Since the game's introduction, more than 100,000 players have registered accounts to play online at the Enter Cyber Cafe, said Chan Borith, Sabay's marketing manager.
Online gaming is relatively new in Cambodia. However, as internet speeds become faster, the country's youth are being sucked into a pastime also criticised by Western researchers for its addictive qualities.
"Violent computer games really affect students' education, because when they become addicted to the game they forget their studies," Touch Naruth said. Cambodian law forbids internet video gaming outlets from opening within 200 metres of schools, a law that Chan Borith says he has always abided by when opening new outlets.