The Madras High Court has taken suo moto cognisance of the issue of the accessibility of violent online games to young children. The matter caught the Court’s attention after a reported missing girl was found to be addicted to playing online mobile games, namely “Free Fire.”
The Court was concerned about the “chat” feature of the game, which could be used by strangers to approach players with inappropriate language or as potential sexual predators or data thieves. The Court was worried that since the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India cannot regulate this feature, hackers may steal personal information to blackmail young children.
Considering the mental and physical well-being of the school and college-going students, the Court urged the state governments to take cognisance of the matter for the larger public interest. The registrar was directed to register a public interest writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to implead the necessary parties.
Further, it gave directions to regulate the usage of Virtual Private Networks. These YouTube channels publish unethical practices of using pirated applications and implement awareness programmes in all schools and colleges regarding the impact of violent online games.