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We take online services like Steam for granted. During the pandemic, Internet shops were our only means of obtaining new (or old) games to distract ourselves from the uncertainty outside. Even now, they're the only means of buying certain indie releases.
Imagine, then, that a ministry within your government blocks a huge chunk of your online services and resources. Well, the people of Indonesia don't have to imagine such a nightmare.
Check out the introduction to "verified releases" on the Steam Deck, the handheld gaming computer released by Valve.
The Indonesian government announced a new set of rules back in November 2020, with regards to these services disclosing user information to the government. Earlier this month, the government said they would be cracking down on companies who hadn't yet complied with these rules - giving them the deadline of July 20th. A good few companies agreed: Amazon, Facebook, and Google, for example.
However, a large chunk of gaming companies weren't so compliant. Companies that have now been blocked by the Indonesian government include the following: Steam, Epic Games, Battle Net, Ubisoft, Origin, Nintendo, Yahoo, and PayPal - all of which were blocked. PayPal, however, was reinstated so users could withdraw their money, but this will only be for five days, after which it will be blocked again.
The ban, from a government ministry known as Kominfo, is being mocked on social media by Indonesian users. There are already plenty of memes doing the rounds.
User Enrico_Pom shared the trending hashtag #BlokirKominfo, said "Wow Kominfo...... you're so great at making stupid decision", before sharing four memes. Two of these appear to mock Indonesia's lax rules on gambling, while they hammer down on videogames.
We're unsure what will happen in the future, but of course many are upset about the draconian crackdown. Not only gamers, but business owners who rely on PayPal to put food on the table. We hope the issue is resolved soon.
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