Video game ruling expected soon
By CLIFFORD LO
HI-TECH video games will appear on the local market if legislation designed to tighten control over them comes into effect later this year.
The Licensed Amusement Game Centres Trade Association chairman, Lam Kwok-tung, said the group would consider bringing video games - such as ones involving ''Virtual Reality'' - from other countries to give customers more choice.
A Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) spokesman said new laws on video games would come into force on December 1.
Under the proposed legislation, games featuring graphic violence, nudity, or in which ''seductive'' gestures were used, would not be allowed. Also prohibited would be card games such as blackjack and poker.
Mr Lam said the legislation would turn away customers and make it difficult for them to operate.
''It's a highly competitive market here. If one wants to carry on with his business, he has to keep introducing new games,'' he said.
Mr Lam said ''Virtual Reality'' would be one of the new games considered for the local market.
The three-dimensional game uses a two-kilogram headset which places game screens close to a player's eyes, and headphones for sound. It can take a player inside the game and immerse him in a three-dimensional environment.
The Virtual Reality Club in Tsim Sha Tsui installed eight of the games in February - the first of their kind in the territory.
While a recent Edinburgh University study said certain types of headset could damage user's eyesight, Virtual Reality Club general manager Donald Ngan said the study was conducted on a different type of headset.
Mr Ngan said the club had contacted the British manufacturer and had found no problems with the product.
''The study was conducted using an American-made headset but our one was produced in Britain. So they are two different types of headsets,'' Mr Ngan said.