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Censorship Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Latest World of Warcraft Expansion Blocked In China 165

Posted by Soulskill
from the mourn-the-farmers dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog reports that World of Warcraft's most recent expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, is not being allowed into the Chinese market. The Escapist brings further details, saying, "According to an insider, two specific shortcomings included the presence of skeleton characters and a 'city raid.' Nor did the submitted version contain the starting area for the game's new Death Knight class." The Chinese version of World of Warcraft has been modified in the past to remove skeletons and zombies.
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Latest World of Warcraft Expansion Blocked In China

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  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:07AM (#27163775) Journal

    WTF? So what did they replace the whole plaguelands, undercity, Tirisfal, and Silverpine with? Evil Tibetans? ;)

    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:21AM (#27163841) Homepage Journal
      My wife is Malaysian Chinese. The Chinese are a bit weird about death. They avoid the number 4 (sounds like death in Mandarin). They avoid cemeteries. For them, death is kind of a shameful thing. Not to be discussed in public.
      • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:25AM (#27163857)

        If we combine chinese and US censorship, will there be anything left?

      • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Funny)

        by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:26AM (#27164167) Journal
        So you mean that gothic kids are taken seriously there ?
      • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by kinnell (607819) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:33AM (#27164211)
        I can imagine a similar response by many western governments if naked characters were actually naked, with visible genitalia
        • by AxemRed (755470)
          I don't think the reaction would be quite the same. Many people would complain, and the game would get a M or, more likely, an AO rating. Nothing would directly prevent its sale though.
          • by mweather (1089505)
            An M or an AO ensures Walmart won't sell the game, which ensures no publisher will touch it. That would pretty much prevent it's sale. Sure, it may not be illegal to sell, but that's little consolation.
            • Last, and coincidentally every time I checked since the ESRB rating started, Walmart has carried and sold M rated games. Never an AO though.

              M = Halo GTA RE Gears Bioshock Resistance, etc, etc.
      • On the other hand, they have movies like Mr Vampire. That movie is crazy. I'm trying to think though, and of the Chinese movies involving ghosts and spirits and stuff I don't recall an skeletons. Chinese Ghost Story had some seriously anorexic claymation zombies if I remember right, I bet they were censored.
        • Re:On the other hand (Score:4, Interesting)

          by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:03AM (#27164383) Homepage Journal
          All the Chinese movies with ghosts in my experience present the ghost a bit like in the Sixth Sense. As an intact body but not with the same behaviour as a living person. Of course the special effects are cheaper that way ;)
          • by MBGMorden (803437)

            Cheaper, but I'd argue that they're more scary that way too. Depending on just how "different" they can make them look though. Still, that woman in the kitchen on Sixth Sense was certainly more scary than some walking skeleton a la "Jason and the Argonauts".

      • > The Chinese are a bit weird about death.

        Denial doesn't make it go away.

        --
        How can you even understand Life if you don't even understand what happens after Death?

      • by batquux (323697)

        Wait, so you can't die in the chinese version of the game?

        • by wireloose (759042)
          Sure you can. When you resurrect, instead of leaving a skeleton on the ground where you died, it's now a police chalk outline.
      • Erm... of all the things I could think of to associate death with, "shameful" seems... illogical to the extreme.

        "Shame" implies some sort of breaking some morals, and it makes no sense to have morals against something inevitable. You can have morals against, say, streaking, because that's something you can avoid doing. You can't have morals against something that will happen sooner or later to everyone, and has happened to a bunch of everyone's relatives anyway.

        Basically contrast:

        A) "We're ashamed of cousin

        • The latter makes no sense to me.

          A lot of it doesn't. My wife told me about a female relative in Malaysia who died. Her husband left their child with her relatives, disappeared and never returned. And that is expected behavior.

        • by SkunkPussy (85271)

          just speculating but maybe someone dying in your family reflects badly on your family, e.g. you must have done something wrong to receive a punishment, or perhaps you didnt look after the person, or even perhaps you are a bad luck family.

          if any of those were true then shame would be a logical response

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by FreakWent (627155)

        interesting contrast to the south American 'death festivals' isn't it?

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      WTF? So what did they replace the whole plaguelands, undercity, Tirisfal, and Silverpine with? Evil Tibetans? ;)

      Riiiiight. So "Chinese Ghost Story" is okay, ergo people getting "biblical" with ghosts and lots of "long time" moments, but a game where you can run about as a smash-guitar-rockband skeleton is off limits?

      I think it's all about the raiding of cities personally. We can't give the plebs these fanciful ideas that if enough tards get together, they can go zerg a nearby town they don't like. Oh no, we can't give them that idea.

  • Anonymous Coward (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:10AM (#27163779)

    Read the article...
    "Chinese players of World of Warcraft, a hugely popular online role-playing game, have expressed outrage after their 'undead skeleton' characters were suddenly clad in new flesh, apparently in order to comply with a secret government ban on bare bones."

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:14AM (#27163805) Homepage

    The one liberty that they shouldn't have messed with.
    There will be a real life city raid (bloody revolution in Beijing), and China will be a democracy by May.

    • want their citizens driving tanks which is something you can do in WOW now. Let alone tanks in a square running over other people.

      That is to be reserved for the Loyal People's Soldier and Responsible Government Employees.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:38AM (#27164247) Homepage Journal

      There will be a real life city raid (bloody revolution in Beijing), and China will be a democracy by May.

      Never happen. Gold farmers can't go into the sunlight, they'll burst into flames.

    • by Jurily (900488)

      There will be a real life city raid (bloody revolution in Beijing)

      Everyone knows you won't have a succesful raid without tanks [wikipedia.org].

    • by Fluffeh (1273756)

      The one liberty that they shouldn't have messed with. There will be a real life city raid (bloody revolution in Beijing), and China will be a democracy by May.

      George Dubbya, is that you? Have we found oil deposits in China?

  • by microbee (682094) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:16AM (#27163817)

    I am a Chinese. When I was young (~1988), at one time they banned a very popular TV series from Hongkong because, rumor had it, there were skeletons in it.

    The funny thing was it wasn't even the first time it was aired on TV. It had been broadcasted nationwide many years ago already.

    Anyway, there are always a lot of stupid people in the government. Not news anymore.

    • What exactly is the problem with skeletons?
      I'm guessing it's something to do with superstition of ancestor worship.

      Fear not! Skeletons would make lousy human rights campaigners. Their lack of skeletal muscle...or actually any muscle renders their opposable thumbs useless.

      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:33AM (#27163895) Homepage Journal

        What exactly is the problem with skeletons?

        It is a problem with death generally. Its a bit like in western culture there are things people prefer not to discuss in polite company like what you do in the toilet but in other cultures people are more open.

        • by LizardKing (5245)

          there are things people prefer not to discuss in polite company like what you do in the toilet

          Things you do in the toilet? Like read the paper while having a crafty cigarette? What's so offensive about that?

        • by vertinox (846076)

          It is a problem with death generally. Its a bit like in western culture there are things people prefer not to discuss in polite company like what you do in the toilet but in other cultures people are more open.

          I dunno about Europe and Canada, but in US culture we do talk about what we do in the toilet in polite company.

          But seriously.... Is there a goth scene in China? And I really understand why the Japanese freak the Chinese out since the majority of the modern and historical culture is based around spirit

          • by _Ludwig (86077)
            I dunno about Europe and Canada, but in US culture we do talk about what we do in the toilet in polite company.

            See, this is why you never get invited to dinner parties.
        • by kalirion (728907)

          Now is this a social thing or a government policy thing? Cause, you know, thinking about death and what happens afterward leads some people to religion.

        • by Fluffeh (1273756)

          What exactly is the problem with skeletons?

          It is a problem with death generally. Its a bit like in western culture there are things people prefer not to discuss in polite company like what you do in the toilet but in other cultures people are more open.

          What exactly do you mean by "do in the toilet"? We are pretty open about taking a piss, hanging a shit or choking the chicken. Is there something I am missing?

  • Great! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Talla (95956) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:33AM (#27163893)

    Now my gold will be much more valuable in the future.

  • by jack2000 (1178961) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @04:33AM (#27163897)
    Cartoony skeletons with poorly chosen color palettes? Really china? THIS is what you're going to worry about?
    • by xtracto (837672) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:29AM (#27164551) Journal

      A small nipple? a small female nipple that was seen in 4 video frames and which those you are "protecting" have been touching and sucking daily ?

      THIS is what you are going to worry about?

      • The wardrobe malfunction thing was completely ridiculous, but if you are really trying to equate government control of speech in Western countries (especially the US) with government control of speech in China (and Saudi Arabia etc.) you are generalizing the concept to the point of meaninglessness.
      • by Dread_ed (260158) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:06PM (#27174089) Homepage

        As someone who has, in the interests of science only I might add, studied those 4 frames you mention quite intensely for hours and hours and hours on end, I can officially state that was not a "small nipple."

        Based on my extensive measurements, it is soundly in the upper 84th percentile of the "humongous" category. Sadly, it doesn't quite reach the rarafied heights of "gargantuan" (except possibly on my 60" TV), but she isn't hungarian either so that wasn't to be expected.

        In the future please leave the classification of nipple sizes to qualified experts. It is already hard enough for the average layman to get back the results he wants from Google when searching between "large," "big," "huge," "giant," "GIANT," "humongous," and the aforementioned "gargantuan" without you hacks muddying these oft-motorboated waters with your slipshod appraisals.

        If you are so inclined, I do have quite a few reference documents (867 gigs) that will help you with your future attempts at nipple classification. Alas, the accompanying certification classes have been cancelled due to lack of attendance. For some reason no one shows up after the first day when we distribute the resource materials.

  • by mynickslongerthanurs (1322243) on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:00AM (#27164023)
    Actually censorship does not contribute as much as lobbying from competition in this case.

    WOW has dominated the Chinese MMORPG market for years and currently all the OTHER MMORPG companies are spending big fortunes on lobbying (aka bribing) the "department of (anti-)culture" to delay WLK as much as they can. They know that WOW will eat their lunch with the new expansion pack and one more day delay of WLK's debut means gain in millions for them.

    So as any corrupt agency will do, the DOC is busy inventing ridiculous reasons to deny clearance for the game. "Oh noes! References like the Massacre of Stratholme are so harmful for the helpless minds of our young people! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!1!".

    I don't think Nineth City (agent for WOW mainland) has much chance in this "9C vs Everyone Else" war. By the way, almost all my WOWer friends have quit playing and those who are really into that game (shame on them) have switched to servers in Taiwan anyway.

    Oh yeah I am Chinese. No penis jokes please.
  • I'M CHINESE (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 12, 2009 @05:07AM (#27164061)

    i'm chinese

    son of a bitch skeleton

    skeleton is pig

    do you want rotten flesh?

    do you want no eyeballs?

    skeleton is pig disgusting

    zombie is an evil

    FUCKING SKELETON!

  • So the problem is that the government won't allow the sales of the original game expansion?
    Like on the original disc? Running the risk of sounding like a jerk but when was the last time that bothered anyone in China? Don't you just have to install WLK from "somewhere" and you can play? This move is only bad for Acti-Blizzard not really for Chinese WoW players I'd guess.
  • confused (Score:5, Funny)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <erauqssemitelcric>> on Thursday March 12, 2009 @06:36AM (#27164595) Homepage Journal

    i saw chinese ghost story [imdb.com] recently and there was a scene where clearly rotting corpses were trying to drag the main character into the cellar

    there was even a transvestite tree spirit pimp of dead ghost whores

    so no skeletons... but transvestite tree spirit pimp of dead ghost whores is ok?

    • What, you've never seen Tootsie?

    • by Chibi (232518)

      You probably need someone with more awareness of Chinese history and Asian cinema than I have to be able to accurately explain this, but I'll give it a shot. That movie, according to IMDB, was made in 1987. Hong Kong reverted back to China in 1997. So, it's possible that Hong Kong, when not under the control of China, was a bit more open regarding censorship.

      This is purely anecdotal, but I seem to remember reading articles about people in the Hong Kong movie industry wondering what would happen after t

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Desiderius (1474541)
      Nerf transvestite tree spirit pimps of dead ghost whores.
    • by dbIII (701233)

      so no skeletons... but transvestite tree spirit pimp of dead ghost whores is ok?

      Don't know about you, but he/she would terrify me a lot more than a walking pile of bones if I saw that wooden tongue coming my way. It's dark - you might get buggered and then eaten by a grue.

  • Magic: The Gathering cards often have had to have modified artwork for the Chinese versions to remove skeletons. See http://www.redkemp.com/?p=344 [redkemp.com] and http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.aspx?x=mtgcom/arcana/948 [wizards.com] which discusses this for some cards with the original version and the Chinese version both shown. Note that clearly dead beings such as zombies are apparently ok. The issue is purely if the being is skeletal And for a skeleton to be made acceptable it just needs a tiny bit of flesh added o
  • Someone should e-mail in to Steve Wright In The Afternoon [wikipedia.org] to tell him about this 'factoid'. See if he'll call them "Skelingtons".

  • The game delayed
    The Chinese silenced
    The Blood Elves bowed
    The Gnomes didn't mine
    The Mainland was still
    And the government hath said
    The game shall be delayed
    The Night Elves wept
    And the world once again
    Fell to it's knees.

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