A group of game makers have set out to give gamers the chance to take the recreational drugs that are legal in their states today.
In the wake of the legalization of cannabis, game makers and game developers across India have decided to make their games more socially acceptable and fun.
The move comes after the Indian government decided to legalise cannabis and legalise marijuana by 2019, and in March 2018, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced the launch of the national Cannabis Control Commission, which will work with game developers to implement the new rules.
According to a joint statement by the three game makers, the new guidelines will help gamers to play in a safe, non-aggressive and responsible manner.
“This is a watershed moment for Indian gamers, especially those who want to explore the world of games with their friends and family, and to play with people who have never played before,” said Kishore Bhattacharya, the CEO of the game makers’ organisation, N.K. Bhattahari Games.
“It is not only about playing, but also sharing, and the new game regulations also mean that we can share and have fun in a non-violent way,” he added.
The guidelines will come into effect from October 20, 2018, and will apply to all games, whether they are board, card, card game or video game, but the biggest change for the board game industry is the removal of all negative aspects and negative connotations that people might associate with cannabis.
The new guidelines have also introduced new rules for players to avoid being detected.
The games will now be presented to players by a “drug counsellor”, and will only be played with other people who are also “safe” and who have been diagnosed with cannabis dependence.
The move comes just days after India’s cabinet passed a bill that legalised the recreational use of cannabis and decriminalised possession of small amounts of cannabis.
In a statement, the government said that it had taken “unanimity on the importance of treating the cannabis use as a health issue”.
“In line with this, the ministry has taken an initiative to amend the Narcotic Control Act and the Prevention of Narcotic Drugs Act to provide more stringent penalties for those caught with small amounts,” the statement said.
It also said that the ministry had been in contact with gaming companies, and that it would look at other ways of making games more social, while also creating an environment that encourages “positive interaction”.
According to Bhattagharya, it’s crucial that the games companies follow the new policy.
“In a world where we have been given a plethora of options, from alcohol to smoking, it is important that the gaming industry can continue to focus on the things that matter, including positive interaction,” he said.
“Games need to be fun, and these are the things we are trying to instill in our games, which we hope will be fun for our players.”