Thailand: Parents 'to monitor' children at game shops

Boys in a Bangkok video game shop

Parents in Thailand have a new ally in their quest to keep track of what their children are watching, as the government plans to set up an internet network monitoring games shops.

The system will connect CCTV cameras in video games shops with Google Maps, the Bangkok Post reports. Parents can click on an icon on an official website to see inside the shops where their children are playing games. The network was apparently dreamt up by the Thai Cultural Promotion Department, whose remit is to preserve and promote Thai culture. The director-general, Chai Nakhonchai, says people should help the authorities by reporting games shops which are breaking the law, and monitor their children at the same time.

To keep track of all the children, each one will need to register with a 13-digit identification card to be able to use a computer in a shop. A pilot scheme is starting in Bangkok - where there are more than 6,000 game shops - before rolling out across the country.

After a military coup in May, Thailand has been run by a junta which has censored media content and spoken out against external cultural influences. Last month, it banned people from using the three-finger salute, said to be influenced by the book and film series Hunger Games. Also, a man was recently arrested for reading the George Orwell novel 1984 in public.

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