Games centres face violence, sex video ban

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 June, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 June, 1993, 12:00am

VIDEO games featuring sex, excessive violence or gambling will be banned from amusement centres under a proposed law change.

The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) disclosed the proposal at yesterday's Amusement Game Centres Bill committee meeting in which legislators agreed to use age 16 as the dividing line between centres for adults and children.

TELA said games with graphic scenes of violence, nudity or where ''seductive'' gestures were used should not be allowed.

Also prohibited would be card games such as blackjack or poker or games of pure chance with little or no skill.

TELA commissioner, Lau Ng Wai-lan, said mahjong would be allowed because it was widely accepted as a social activity.

Games posing potential safety hazards to players such as Arm Champs II and Sonic Blastman would also be banned, she said.

Amusement centre operators were against the proposal to tighten standards on games and to use age 16 as the dividing line.

Secretary of the Licensed Amusement Game Centres Trade Association, Lam Ho Mei-chun, said: ''Using 16 as the dividing line would deprive people over the age of 18, who are allowed to watch category III films, of a wider choice of games.'' The association suggested 18 be the dividing line.

But, the Government said the dividing line had been decided following feedback from the public who felt strongly that those under 16 should be protected from violent and indecent games, and harassment by older youths.

It said 16 was also the normal school leaving age and was appropriate for physical, psychological, educational and social considerations.

Legislator Zachary Wong Wai-yin said he had received more complaints from parents of people under 16 than of those over 16 concerning the type of games and harassment in game centres.