IGF 2018 WS #306 Game Over IPv4: The need of IPv6 for the future of games

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Subtheme: 

Organizer 1: Eduardo Barasal Morales, NIC.br
Organizer 2: Tiago Jun Nakamura Nakamura, NIC.br
Organizer 3: Antonio Marcos Moreiras, Brazilian Network Information Center - NIC.br
Organizer 4: Hartmut Glaser, Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br)
Organizer 5: Nathalia Patrício, NIC.br

Speaker 1: Lee Howard, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Klaus Nieminen , Government, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: Antonio Marcos Moreiras, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Alvaro Retana, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Additional Speakers: 

Darrin Veit (Microsoft - Xbox)

Short Biography: I'm an engineer on the Xbox platform focused on multiplayer gaming and networking. Part of my role is working with network operators and network equipment manufacturers to help ensure that our collective customers have a great gaming experience.

Bárbara Prado Simão (IDEC)

Short Biography: Digital rights researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Consumers Defense (Idec). She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of São Paulo (2017). She was a participant in the 4th Internet Governance School (2017), promoted by the Internet Steering Committee in Brazil (CGI.br). In 2015-2016, she was an exchange student at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, in France. 

Relevance: 

This proposal is relevant because it seeks to analyze from an unique point of view the​ IPv4 addresses exhaustion, focusing on the interactions between transition techniques such as CGNAT, IPv6 deployment and Online Games. Games are a topic that often generates significant consumer passion. With this perspective, this proposal will bring to the table not only technical aspects of the situation, but also the social, governmental and economic impact of how important is to deploy and support IPv6. The lack of IPv6 support in Online Games represents one particular case of study​ in this field. The issues discussed and lessons learned here can also be useful in other situations. In most countries, a network needing more IPv4 public addresses can only buy them, which may be prohibitively expensive. So, in this situation, they don’t have any other choice but using IPv6 (maybe with translation techniques such as NAT64 or MAP), or IPv4 address sharing (CGNAT), or a combination of some of these techniques. A problem occurs when one customer from that network is trying to reach a service that doesn’t have IPv6, and must open ports (accept incoming connections) to function. Another kind of problem can present itself when there is a need to identify the user through the public IPv4 address, what is a frequent need in game platforms. Many connections with the same source address may even be treated as an attempt of attack, and placed on a blacklist. Since the IPv4 address is shared among many users, if just one IPv4 is blocked, it implies that many users will be denied access to that service. Let’s analyze this case from different perspectives: From a technical perspective, a connection with all these requirements is impossible to be established since one side doesn’t have IPv6 and the other doesn’t permit the use of IPv4 public address or specific ports by a customer. This problem is aggravated by the lack of knowledge of those involved. It is not uncommon to find discussion forums, particularly online games forums, explaining how to disable IPv6 to get better connection. From a social perspective, it is easy to observe that the Internet connection the customers are receiving from their ISP is not complete. They don’t have access to all the services available in the Internet, which prevents them to choose according to their will. Their vision of Internet is limited and will not be complete due to technical issues. In other words, this problem is infringing one of basic Internet Governance principles. From an economic perspective, this situation entails a financial loss from both parts. The content provider (in this case an Online Game company) and Internet service provider will both lose clients in regions where there are no more available public IPv4 address. A customer will not pay to receive just one part of the Internet and he will not pay to a service/game that he will not be able to use. From a governmental perspective, the problem happens when a content provider and Internet service provider belongs to different countries. This situation may negatively impact the commercial relationship between the two countries, since a service can not be used by any customer in the other country due to a technical difficulty. Within a country, competition may be harmed if one network fails to deploy IPv6. Therefore, it is fundamental to bring together different actors involved in IPv6 and online gaming to discuss the issue in a multistakeholder, interdisciplinary and international context in order to advance comprehension of this problem and identifying possible solutions in order to satisfy different perspectives. The discussion in the proposed session will be facilitated around four policy questions posed for the participants in the round-table as well as the audience in general: (1) what are overall impacts of the IPv6 transition on the future of Online Games and gamers? (2) What issues we might face if IPv6 is not deployed or if this transition takes too long to happen? (3) What are the overall challenges of IPv6 deployment on ISPs and Gaming Companies? (4) What opportunities for collaboration and solutions exist? Tag 1: IPv6 Tag 2: Online Game Tag 3: End of IPv4

Session Content: 

Providers must migrate their networks to IPv6. IPv4 has a limit of 4 billion total addresses. This quantity is not enough to supply the growth of the Internet. So IPv6 was developed to replace IPv4 and to become the new protocol to connect all devices all over the world. With worldwide IPv6 deployment projected to exceed 50% in less than two years, the problem of the difference in connectivity is current. Networks using techniques that extend the life of IPv4, such as CGNAT, provide a different kind of connectivity that those providing native IPv6. This workshop aims at discussing one part of these problems, focusing in Games and IPv6. First of all, it is important to remember the importance of online gaming. It is estimated that 2.3 billion gamers across the globe will spend $137.9 billion on games in 2018 (data from Newzoo, in its Global Games Market Report 2018). Besides its economic relevance, games are a very important kind of entertainment and an integral part of the life of billions of individuals worldwide. It is well-known in the technical community that NAT (IPv4 address sharing) and online games don't work well together. NAT adds latency in a communication, does not allow incoming connections and makes it impossible to identify the user or connection through the source IPv4 address (since all customers use the same public address). There are reports that gamers using IPv6 have an unfair advantage over those using IPv4, because of the lower latency. These technical restrictions are extremely relevant for online games. IPv6 rises as the perfect solution. However for this solution work, ISPs and Game companies must both deploy IPv6 in their infrastructure. In the last years, many Internet service providers have begun to suffer from the lack of IPv4 address and started a migration to IPv6. On the other side, most of Game companies have not started to plan an IPv6 migration program. Looking at the official discussion forum of some companies it is easy to realize that this subject is not treated as relevant even when multiple customers/players are asking about it. In this context, the proposed agenda for this workshop includes a discussion with the different stakeholders on the following issues: a) the end of IPv4, and IPv6 transition; b) the impact on online games of most used techniques to extend the life of IPv4, such as CGNAT, including possible workarounds to the problems; c) what are the difficulties to deploy IPv6 in the ISPs perspective; d) what are the difficulties in deploying IPv6 in the Game companies perspective; e) a player perspective of the current situation and future of Internet connectivity; f) the possible economic/business impact of the current situation in the perspective of a government. Panelists will be invited to discuss the Games and IPv6 problem in a round-table. There will be an initial presentation to set the scene that will be followed by an open discussion. In order to stimulate the debate, representatives from government, technical community, civil society, lawyers and Internet applications will be invited to join the discussion.

Interventions: 

The session is structured around three 30-minute segments. The first will count on a general introduction about the topic under discussion by one of the moderators. He will summarize his briefing by posing a policy question to the participants. The question will be related to IPv6 deployment and the end of IPv4 observed in different regions and companies. A 20-minute segment will follow in which participants in the round-table will be able to make 2 or 3 minute interventions, one at a time. In the second 30-minute segment, the moderator will present some conceptual and practical challenges related to the problem of connecting a customer in a Internet service provider that is suffering with IPv4 exhaustion to an online game that has not deployed IPv6 and has the necessity of open ports to function. He/she will provoke participants to look into the future with a policy question related to how this problem can affect the usability of the Internet and impact on trade relations between countries. Another 20-minute segment will follow in which participants in the round-table will be able to make 2 or 3 minute interventions at a time. The last part of the session will comprise a 30-minute open mic session that will be based on a policy question that delves into “the role of the multistakeholder community to help solve this problem." The five last minutes of the third segment will be used by the moderators to summarize discussions. The workshop speakers are: Mr. Klaus Nieminen (Ficora, Government, Finland) Mr. Lee Howard (Retevia, Private Sector, United States of America) Mr. Antonio Marcos Moreiras (NIC.br, Technical Community, Brazil) Mr. Alvaro Retana (Huawei, Private Sector, Costa Rica) Ms. Anissa Bhar (Higher Institute of Technologies in Charguia, Technical Community, Tunisia) - TBC Mr. Mauricio Luis Wecker (Riot Games, Private Sector, United States of America) - TBC Sony Playstation/PSN Representative (Private Sector) - TBC Gaming Community Player Representative (Civil Society) - TBC Microsoft Xbox/Live Representative (Private Sector) - TBC

Diversity: 

The perspective defined to approach the complexity of IPv6 and online games requires a broad diversity of participants to accomplish the workshop objectives. The selected cases of connectivity issues on online games are from different countries, involve actors from different sectors of society and also demands a multidisciplinary approach considering the broad impact of its implementation. In addition, game consoles and gaming software are developed in countries and regions around the world. As Internet delays to deploy IPv6, it may affect specific groups in different manners, gender diversity is also fundamental to understand and measure the problem. Most of the organizers of this workshops are newcomers in IGF.

Online Participation: 

Online participation and interaction will rely on the WebEx platform. Those joining the session using WebEx (either invited members of the round-table or the general audience) will be granted the floor in the open debate segment of the workshop. People in charge of the moderation will strive to entertain onsite and remote participation indiscriminately. Social media (Facebook, but not Twitter or Reddit, since they do not support IPv6) will also be employed by the online moderators who will be in charge of browsing social media using hashtags.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The discussion in the proposed session will be facilitated around four policy questions posed for the participants in the round-table as well as the audience in general: (1) what are overall impacts of the IPv6 transition on the future of Online Games and gamers? (2) What issues we might face if IPv6 is not deployed or if this transition takes too long to happen? (3) What are the overall challenges of IPv6 deployment on ISPs and Gaming Companies? (4) What opportunities for collaboration and solutions exist? The discussion will be facilitated by the on site moderators who will guide the debate in each of the proposed segments for the workshop as well as during the Q&A and comments session in the end. Having two moderators will facilitate the control of time, which will be very important for the proper functioning of the workshop. The online moderator will make sure the remote participants are represented in the debate.

Onsite Moderator: 

Eduardo Barasal Morales - Technical Community - NIC.br

Online Moderator: 

Tiago Jun Nakamura - Technical Community - NIC.br

Rapporteur: 

Nathalia Sautchuk Patricio - Technical Community - NIC.br

Agenda: 

The session is structured in three segments.

 

First segment

10 minutes - General introduction about the topic under discussion

 

Second segment

25 minutes (up to 5 minutes each panelist) - Round table - self introduction and their points of view about the problem 

15 minutes - open mic session, to engage the audience and the remote participants to discuss the problem.

 

Third segment

25 minutes (up to 5 minutes each panelist) - Round table - to discuss solutions and possibilities for collaboration

15 minutes - open mic session, to engage the audience and the remote participants to discuss  policy question that delves into “the role of the multistakeholder community to help solve this problem.

Report: 

Long Report
 

- Session Type:

Round Table - 90 Min

 

- Title:

Game Over IPv4: The need of IPv6 for the future of games

 

- Date & Time:

Tuesday, 13 November, 2018 - 15:00 to 16:30

 

- Organizer(s):

Organizer 1: Eduardo Barasal Morales, NIC.br

Organizer 2: Tiago Jun Nakamura Nakamura, NIC.br

Organizer 3: Antonio Marcos Moreiras, Brazilian Network Information Center - NIC.br

Organizer 4: Hartmut Glaser, Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br)

Organizer 5: Nathalia Patrício, NIC.br

 

- Chair/Moderator:

On site Moderator: Mr Eduardo Barasal Morales, NIC.br

Online moderator: Mr Tiago Jun Nakamura Nakamura, NIC.br

 

- Rapporteur/Notetaker:

Rapporteur: Mr Eduardo Barasal Morales, NIC.br

Rapporteur: Ms Nathalia Patrício, NIC.br

 

- List of speakers and their institutional affiliations:

Speaker 1: Mr Lee Howard, male, CEO, Retevia (Private Sector)

Speaker 2: Mr Klaus Nieminen, male, Development Manager, Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (Government)

Speaker 3: Mr Antonio Marcos Moreiras, male, Projects and development manager, NIC.br (Technical Community)

Speaker 4: Mr Darrin Veit, male, Principal Software Engineer, Microsoft - XBOX (Private Sector)

Speaker 5: Ms Bárbara Prado Simão, female, Digital rights researcher, IDEC (Civil Society)

 

- Theme:

Technical & Operational Topics

 

- Subtheme :

INTERNET PROTOCOLS

 

- Please state no more than three (3) key messages of the discussion.

This workshop discussed the problems caused by not deploying IPv6, focusing on the interactions between Internet Services Providers (ISPs) and Online Games companies. When online users don’t use IPv6 to connect to the Internet, they have to use the legacy protocol known as IPv4. However, all of the Internet is suffering from IPv4 public address exhaustion and  soon there will be no more addresses available to connect users on the Internet. Because of this, many ISPs are using techniques to extend the life of IPv4, such as carrier grade network address translator (CGNAT) and other transition techniques, instead of using IPv6. This causes many connectivity problems for all Internet users, especially for  game players, who need good connectivity for a more satisfying gaming experience. 

On the other hand, game companies are far behind in the IPv6 deployment. Many games still don’t use IPv6 and some game companies haven’t even started to plan the migration. This situation forces the player to use IPv4 to connect to the game. However, many players are ISP customers, and those providers are running out of IPv4 addresses. Because of this, many players are having difficulties in playing and some can’t even access the game online. In other words, this technical problem is infringing one of basic Internet Governance principles by not allowing online users to have the right to access the entire Internet.

This workshop aimed to publicize this problem between ISPs, online games companies and IPv6 for all of the Internet community. Although this problem is very specific, it deserves to be studied because the solution can be expanded to other areas. In order to solve this issue, a roundtable was organized in a multi stakeholder approach, involving the private sector, governments, the technical community and the civil society to discuss different points of view. It was a very important landmark because the solution can only be achieved if all stakeholders share information and collaborate with each other.
 

- Please elaborate on the discussion held, specifically on areas of agreement and divergence.

The idea behind this session was to establish a collaboration rather than debate. In this way, it is pointless to talk about agreement or disagreement. Still, there was broad support for the view that we need to improve IPv6 deployment especially by game companies. 
Initially, the audience didn’t seem to understand the complexity of the issue. However, as the panelist discussed some graphs and case studies that showed that the world is suffering from IPv4 address exhaustion, the audience seem to change its perception of the problem. It became clear to the participants that IPv6 is faster than IPv4 and that the total potential of the Internet can not be achieved if the IPv6 is not implemented in the near future. This presentation also heightened public awareness of possible unfair advantage among the players thus contributing to the increased the relevance of the topic discussed. 

Besides, the panelists and the audience agreed that the migration to IPv6 should be encouraged rather than imposed by regulatory agencies. One panelist even stated that the countries that had regulated around IPv6 tended to be the countries with the lowest IPv6 deployment. Therefore, a consensus was reached that an important first step in this process was to gather different stakeholders in a roundtable meeting to discuss the best ways to deploy IPv6 and solve the connectivity problems with IPv4 and CGNAT. 

This roundtable was important because it served the purpose of broadening the participants’ points of view, thus educating everyone in the discussion.
 

- Please describe any policy recommendations or suggestions regarding the way forward/potential next steps.

As the panelists presented in the session, it is crucial that the Internet migrates to IPv6. However, in some areas, such as in the online games’ area, this migration is taking longer than expected. Due to discussion of this delay, workshop participants reached a consensus that it is very important to encourage the IPv6 deployment in order to accelerate this transition, especially in a multistakeholder approach. One way to do this is to do more discussion like this IGF workshop to build an environment for sharing information and solving the problem of non-use of IPv6 in a collaborative way.

When the session was over, the organizers also received suggestions to continue this work with the aim of improving the IPv6 deployment and to present their studies in other forums, such as LACNOG (Latin American and the Caribbean Network Operators Group).

 

- What ideas surfaced in the discussion with respect to how the IGF ecosystem might make progress on this issue?

It was a consensus during the session that the topic of the workshop is a problem that can only be solved with a multistakeholder approach. Each panelist represented a different perspective involved in the problem. Each of them presented their distinct point of views and this helped the participants to understand the current scenario and how this situation can infringe some of the basic Internet Governance principles. Because of this, the IGF was fundamental to progress on this IPv6 issue. The overall idea that consolidates all the work  done at this workshop is the necessity of having more discussions like this in other to achieve a collaborative solution to accelerate IPv6 deployment.
 

- Please estimate the total number of participants.

In the session there were 85 participants in situ and 7 remote participants through webex.

 

- Please estimate the total number of women and gender-variant individuals present.

We estimate that at least 30 women were present in the audience. The presence of any gender-variant was not identified.

 

- To what extent did the session discuss gender issues, and if to any extent, what was the discussion?
 

The gender diversity both among the panelist and in the audience demonstrates that this theme is relevant to all genders. The session didn’t specifically discuss gender issues because the roundtable focused on a technical discussion of Internet protocols.

 

- Session outputs and other relevant links (URLs):

These links represent all the work that has been done on this topic in Brazil

Portuguese links:

Survey we did in IPv6.br Project
http://ipv6.br/post/IPv6Games/

Article in the RTI Magazine
http://www.arandanet.com.br/assets/revistas/rti/2018/novembro/index.php
Presentation in the “10 anos de IPv6.br” conference

https://10anos.ipv6.br/

https://youtu.be/MbC1ZWTuMfI?t=398

Session Time: 
Tuesday, 13 November, 2018 - 15:00 to 16:30
Room: 
Salle II

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678