China, one of the most ancient civilizations in the world, has remained primitive on its belief. Besides from bullying neighboring nation and claiming lands thousands of miles away from their Mainland, internet censorship which the United Nation announced as a basic human rights, the government has yet another brilliant idea to implement; censorship for console games.
Statistics shows that China has already surpassed other countries based on the number of increasing gamers ever since they lifted that 14 year ban against console games. And just like social networking sites, they deemed it as a way that can inflict harm on their government’s reputation. Not long after the ban has been lifted, the government released a set of rules need to be followed before they approve the game. All games will be inspected by the culture department of Shanghai and will release an approval within 20 days or less.
The government would not allow games with the following features:
- Gambling-related content or game features
- Anything that violates China’s constitution
- Anything that threatens China’s national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.
- Anything that harms the nation’s reputation, security, or interests.
- Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
- Anything that violates China’s policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
- Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
- Anything that harms public ethics or China’s culture and traditions.
- Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
- Other content that violates the law
Those that are denied shall be returned together with their reasons of rejecting the game. The developer has now the time to rethink and alter some of the features that were marked with explicit content and resubmit them. The statement does not include a list of games that they won’t allow but we can only imagine a few that would pass on the above requirements. Not to mention that the last rule is a bit vague and ambiguous. Furthermore, the gaming company should include a specific Chinese location i.e. Hong Kong.
China imposed a ban on console games in the year 2000, they believed it could corrupt the mind of the children and harm their development. The lifting of the ban is a welcome news for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. But I could only imagine how they felt upon seeing the set of rules, even Mario 1 would not be able to pass on their requirements. Good luck on playing Tetris.
The rules was met with negative feedbacks from netizens around the world. Some says that the government should only pose an age restriction on the game. Other’s felt hopeless after seeing the rules. The government did not escape the backlash of the gaming community, someone went as far as saying that violence, drugs and corruption are Chinese tradition so GTA should pass the requirements.
Dear Chinese Government,