Sat, Apr 27, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Taipei VR/AR gaming venues found noncompliant with codes, regulations

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with CNA

A gamer holds a gun controller at a virtual reality gaming venue in Taipei on Oct. 24 last year.

Photo: Chen Yu-hsun, Taipei Times

The Taipei Department of Legal Affairs yesterday said that all six virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) gaming venues that it inspected did not comply with building codes or entertainment regulations.

As VR and AR entertainment is a growing industry in the city, the bureau from March 13 to April 14 inspected venues with the goal of protecting customer rights, consumer protection officer Ho Hsiu-lan (何修蘭) told a news conference.

Three of the inspected venues — Syntrend’s Viviland in Zhongzheng District (中正), Living Mall’s Fun VR in Songshan District (松山) and Taipei Children’s Amusement Park’s Hado Planet in Shilin District (士林) — failed to label game ratings, she said.

“Until legislation is passed to regulate VR and AR games, the Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act (兒童及少年福利與權益保障法) governs them,” she said.

The bureau has notified the venues that they have breached regulations and would be fined NT$50,000 to NT$250,000 should they fail to mark the game ratings, she said.

If they do not comply, the bureau would request law enforcement to file charges, she added.

Consumers should be mindful when taking children to play such games, she said, calling on businesses to regulate themselves.

VAR Live has been operating its flagship establishment in Wanhua District (萬華) from a building that does not possess the proper public safety certificates, but inspectors found that the facility met air quality, fire safety and tobacco-use prevention standards, she said.

The bureau has ordered VAR Live to apply for the appropriate certification before May 17, she said.

The bureau also found that two unnamed venues have been giving out presale coupons that are not backed by a valid contract, but have since discontinued their use in compliance with the bureau’s orders, she added.

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