Games have become the most common target of violent extremism and violence in India, a top government official said on Tuesday, with the country facing an escalating spate of threats targeting video game players.
A new report released by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology said the number of violent attacks on gaming devices was on the rise, with at least 5,500 reported incidents last year, according to a report on Tuesday by India Today, a news website.
Violent attacks have also been reported on the country’s youth, with about 1.5 million youths aged between 13 and 17 being threatened with death or serious injury in 2017, according the report.
The number of those reported cases was almost triple the number in 2016.
Violence against video game developers has become an increasingly common tactic against players in India since the government began clamping down on online gambling and pornography in 2014.
The rise in violent threats against game developers was particularly concerning given that video game publishers have faced a barrage of legal challenges over their business models and are seeking to defend their rights under the Digital Economy Act, the government said.
“The government is aware that the threat to the integrity of game developers and the gaming community is rising in the country,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
“The Government has been monitoring the situation closely and has decided to take proactive measures to protect the gaming industry and to protect our youth and youth development.”