After the death of two teenagers because of heated Defense of the Ancients (DotA) games, barangay officers of Salawag, Dasmariñas City in Cavite province approved a resolution restricting all internet cafés from including the hugely popular online game in their services.
If implemented, it would mean that none of the 75 computer shops in the barangay will offer DotA games to any of their habitues and new customers.
Barangay Salawag Chairman Enrico Paredes told The Manila Times that the village council has to use its law-making power to regulate all internet cafés within its jurisdiction and require them to take down the DotA program from their servers.
The game, which is very popular among high school and college students, is a multi-player online battle from the video game Warcraft. The objective of the game is for each team to conquer the base of the opposing team on the other side of the map.
It has gained popularity among the young because of its vivid graphics and stage challenges. Local, national and international tournaments were also held for this game. DotA is also associated with thrash talking among players.
Paredes explained that they have to ban DotA from their locality as parents and teachers continue to file complaints against the game, which they described as violent or causing violent be-havior among children.
As proof he cited the death of a 14-year-old boy in 2011 and that of a 17-year-old boy last year. Both killings, he added, were related to the game.
“The computer game DotA is a game that causes violent behavior among its players. In fact, this has caused the deaths of players who also gamble their money while playing or watching the game. As a result, we find it necessary to ban DotA and similar computer games that depict violence in Barangay Salawag,” he said.
He added that Salawag has a population of 80,000 with 30 percent (or about 24,000) comprising the youth sector.
Paredes said there are 75 computer shops registered in the barangay. Some of these cafes, he added, are in strategic areas near the school, which are supposedly prohibited under the law.
He added that a public hearing was conducted in the barangay before the resolution was drafted and approved by the barangay council.
Attendees to the hearing argued that the violent computer games not only influence and affect the behavior of children but also encourages them to skip classes. Others claimed that a number of youths have resorted to petty thievery in schools just so they could play DotA.
Paredes claimed that some youth are reported to be spending between P500 to P1,000 a day.
He said that he has instructed barangay law enforcers to crackdown on internet cafés that either offer or promote violent computer games in their shops. Violators will be slapped with a month-long suspension of operations for the first offense and a revocation of permit and closure of establishment on the se-cond offense.