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China Bans Games That "Glorify Gangsters' Lives" 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-buy-jack-thompson-a-plane-ticket dept.
As we discussed in June, China has been working on plans to impose further restrictions on the games that can be sold or publicized within its borders. The Chinese government has now begun implementing those plans, starting with games that involve gangs, saying, "These games encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify gangsters' lives. It has a bad influence on youngsters." According to a Xinhua news agency, "The ministry ordered its law enforcement bodies to step up oversight and harshly punish those sites that continue to run such games."
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China Bans Games That "Glorify Gangsters' Lives"

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  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Alarindris (1253418)
    I've never understood why people think being 'gangsta' is cool. Being 'gangsta' is being willfully ignorant and talking like you're retarded.

    Get off of my fucking lawn.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 4D6963 (933028) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @04:45AM (#28863535)

      Nice way to be completely off-topic. You're criticizing hip-hop, not criminals. Gangsters aren't limited to inner city black youths who wear stockings on their head under a baseball cap, it's any criminal who's in the gang. Some of them even wear suits.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) *

        Gangsters aren't limited to inner city black youths who wear stockings on their head under a baseball cap, it's any criminal who's in the gang. Some of them even wear suits.

        Some of them even carry badges.

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      Do you hold that view about movies, books, music, and TV Shows that portray gangesters and other such characters in any way, as well?

      It's people like you who not only are unable to determine the difference between reality and fiction, but assume that others are similarly impaired and must be 'protected', that are truly the most monsterous threats to real human freedoms.

      You disgust me.

      • Do you hold that view about movies, books, music, and TV Shows that portray gangesters and other such characters in any way, as well?

        No.

        It's people like you who not only are unable to determine the difference between reality and fiction, but assume that others are similarly impaired and must be 'protected', that are truly the most monsterous threats to real human freedoms.

        Wat?

        You disgust me.

        Sry D:

    • I've never understood why people think being 'gangsta' is cool. Being 'gangsta' is being willfully ignorant and talking like you're retarded.

      Because that's what most teenagers aspire to. It takes guts to admit that the pretty world view you were raised with just doesn't cut it in the real world, and that you're completely lost. So instead, most teenagers get angry, act like they know everything, lash out, break stuff, smoke chemicals and pretend they think it's a good thing, etc.

      Eventually, if they're luc

      • by Nursie (632944)

        Erm, what about us adults who are angry about the state of the world, act like they know everything, smoke chemicals and think it's good thing etc?

        I mean, just because I can make it in the world doesn't mean I have to like the reality I see and the dumb apes that inhabit it, does it?

        • See the part about maturing and opening your heart. That means you should start to feel some compassion for the dumb apes ;)

          • by Nursie (632944)

            Only pity and exasperation so far I'm afraid. I'd feel compassion if they were less determined to screw themselves and everyone else over.

  • Apparently WoW will not reopen in China any time soon...
  • Small Potatoes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @04:47AM (#28863551)

    I'm pretty sure this will be downmodded by Chinese nationalist trolls, but what the heck -- I'd complain about the injustice of this, but given that China is run by an unelected, authoritarian government, I'd say they have bigger problems there. I realize how China's history of fragmentation and turmoil makes many Chinese believe that authoritarian rule is best for China, but the fact remains that other parts of this planet managed to escape turmoil *and* develop without authoritarianism. I can only hope that some day the Chinese people will see the light.

    • They do have elections in China. Yes they effectively only have one party, but at the lower levels there can be multiple candidates that citizens can vote to be their representatives.

      See: http://www.chinaelections.net/about-us.asp [chinaelections.net]
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China [wikipedia.org]

      I doubt most of the Chinese people really care that there's only one Party.

      Maybe after a while the Chinese voters would be voting for two different factions in the One Party, and most American voters who bother

  • Real vs Fake (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrMista_B (891430) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @04:51AM (#28863567)

    So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

    I never knew the Chinese thought so very little of themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BikeHelmet (1437881)

      I never knew the Chinese thought so very little of themselves.

      And you drew this conclusion about well over a billion people, based on the actions of how many?

      This just in: Politicians suck, everywhere!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by omarch (1599035)

      So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

      It's not Real vs Fake. It is about cultural values. All those games and movies tell you that the best thing in a world is to make a quick buck and spend it on chicks, alcohol and cool car. And this has bad influence on youngsters

      • by ClaraBow (212734)
        Good point. I work with inner-city middle school kids, and many of them are "wanna-be-gangsters". They really think it is cool to be in gangs because it has been glorified in movies and games. Tony Montana has become a hero for many of these kids. Having said this, I don't thinks these movies and games should be banned, but they do influence our youth, especially inner-city kids, who often lead turbulent lives.
      • by Knutsi (959723)
        I suspect some small percentage people ARE affected by games, but I think allowing these games is much less dangerous to society than allowing authorities to limit your access to media and entertainment (to the extent it is done in authoritarian regimes, where the authorities are the real gangsters - but they don't allow movies about that either, do they? Hmmm...).
      • by MrMista_B (891430)

        Movies also tell you that Superman is real.

        I find your lack of abilitiy to discern the difference between real and fake to be troubling. Do you also believe that everything on the internet is real?

        Myself, I trust the youngster over someone like you, every single time, no matter what fictional media they view for entertainment.

    • Re:Real vs Fake (Score:5, Insightful)

      by twostix (1277166) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @05:51AM (#28863859)

      Ok did you miss the last 40 years of Chinese history??

      Dear white middle class westerners,

      China is not an Asian version of America, the UK or Australia. It is run by a ruthless totalitarian government and said government is not all benevolent smiles, hugs and teddy bears like western governments are. Yes it's hard to believe if you listen to moral relativists in western countries as they bash on their own governments (which *is* a great deal of fun I admit) but there's a reason one doesn't hear the Chinese in China railing against the Chinese government in any meaningful way (and it's not because they're are doing such a bang up job).

      Please keep that in mind when reading any Chinese related news.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        It is run by a ruthless totalitarian government and said government is not all benevolent smiles, hugs and teddy bears like western governments are.

        The Chinese are working on a different model, but East and West both deny citizens essential rights in the name of control. The difference is that the West hasn't taken up mass state-sponsored organlegging... yet.

      • by Improv (2467)

        You don't have it quite right. China is often said to operate under an arrangement with its citizens where the state leaves them alone provided they don't push into politics and don't threaten society.

        It's bad if you want western political liberties. It's not so bad if you keep out of politics.

        • by twostix (1277166)

          So if a Chinese citizen decides to get hold of one of these banned games the government won't care? I beg to differ.

          Not having your government owned housing bulldozed and being forcefully relocated to the other side of the country if you wish to keep a roof over your head at the corrupt whim of some autocrat is a pretty basic freedom to have I'd think.

          Being forced at gunpoint to work in factories producing western goods for 10 years because you said or committed a minor infraction that personally upset some

          • by Improv (2467)

            Your idea of modern China is a mix of things that never happened and things that don't happen anymore.

            China's government is rather corrupt, and it is full of nepotism (just like China's private industry). The other things you describe are not accurate.

      • there's a reason one doesn't hear the Chinese in China railing against the Chinese government

        Because it's hard to talk from underneath a tank tread? Did I win?

      • by TheLink (130905)
        > China is not an Asian version of America

        You are right.

        The Chinese people tend to have a different view of authoritarian governments, just like they have a different view of strict authoritarian fathers and rulers.

        As long as things don't start getting really crappier, "Big Daddy" can watch over them and tell them what to do and what not to do.

        Perhaps someone should go do proper anonymous surveys to see how satisfied/dissatisfied the Chinese people are with their Government, and also do the same in other
    • So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

      I never knew the Chinese thought so very little of themselves.

      You know, I agree with your conclusion but I disagree with your reasoning. You've employed the all too often cited strawman [wikipedia.org].

      I don't think that the Chinese government has implicated distrust in the discernment of its people. The common person is adequately capable of drawing distinctions between reality and fantasy. However, the Chinese government understands all too well the depravity of humanity. Their reasoning goes along the lines that what you perceive through the senses effects the nature of your psych

    • by jandersen (462034)

      So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

      Repeating the same, stupid fallacy over and over may be enough to convince you, but it doesn't make it more true.

      Another possible interpretation could be that the majority of the Chinese people want it this way and that the government simply follows their wishes. It is not impossible - even the most oppressiv

      • by HungWeiLo (250320)

        Exactly correct. Chinese culture, whether in not-free mainland or free Hong Kong or Taiwan, do not look highly on gangster culture (which is often glorified in its movies) and are in fact terrified of negative influences on their youth. Think of the groups of think-of-the-children helicopter parents in the U.S. - it's simply magnified tenfold in Chinese (or generally East Asian) communities.

        The Chinese government is simply enacting a populist policy. It's hard for Westerners to understand that a good number

    • by hey! (33014)

      The Chinese take virtue ethics very seriously.

      Personally, I think that plot in most games is window dressing; it doesn't really seem to matter much. Story plots seem to be a lot more potent than game plots. A story's plot can change the world, be it *Uncle Tom's Cabin*, *Mein Kampf*, or the latest political conspiracy theory of your choice. I doubt we'll ever see a computer game that will have that kind of propaganda power.

      I'm not entirely sure why there is a disparity between games and stories, but I t

    • Yes! The Chinese government has, stupid as they are, chosen to conservatively follow the lead of social psychology textbooks (e.g. David Myers "Social Psychology") about how we get influenced by video games, rather than random posters on Slashdot.

      Now, it may be that the textbook in question is wrong (it's a major one in the field, but the only one I've read that cover this particular topic) - but if you're experimenting with a billion people, it is a relatively sane choice to say "We'll remove the freedom

    • Well, I knew that when China banned Death Note.

      Although in that case, I think it might have been government bureacrats having a hard time distinguishing fantasy from reality!

  • Good (2) (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Meneth (872868) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @04:53AM (#28863575)
    Maybe, if the government bans enough stuff, the Chinese people will get fed up and construct a proper democracy. A long shot, I know, but one can hope.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gmhowell (26755)

      Yeah, cause it worked so well the last time a few Chinese peasants tried to revolt by gumming up the army's tanks' treads with their corpses.

      • Yeah, cause it worked so well the last time a few Chinese peasants tried to revolt by gumming up the army's tanks' treads with their corpses.

        Sort of brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Chinks in the armor" doesn't it?
        .
        .
        .
        .
        Disclaimer: The word "chink" is in the summary tags - nobody complained/mentioned it yet. If you find it racist then feel free to type some vitriol or mod this down. Thank you.

      • It wasn't peasants who were massacred at Tiananmen Square, it was students. Many from affluent backgrounds.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This law possibly shows that while China isn't a representative democracy, it is being overly influenced by the will of the older generation as a result of the one-child policy. In all societies, those in power (whether that's economical, political and/or other) makes the rules. And these particular laws are possibly meant to appease the older generation, less familiar with computer games (or adversely affected by these laws).

    But not only does the older generation have the status/power/money in China (as i

    • In particular, it'd be interesting to see the societal effects of the one-child policy both now and as it ends and compare it with the rise of the baby boomer generation post-WII.

      Technically, the result of decades of one-child policy is that as long as this policy remains in effect, there will not be a baby-boom generation, unlike the united states and europe where older people of the WW2 generation suddenly found themselves overrun with teenagers who didn't care for Bing Crosby and wanted to see those hippies from Liverpool and the satanic hip gyrations of Elvis Presley. Until the older generation leaves through attrition, the new generation will find themselves hopelessly overnumb

  • by lordharsha (1101875) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @05:25AM (#28863743)

    *sigh* Gorram governments.

    When I was a kid, politics was this big boring thing that all the grown ups with moustaches and beards went on and on about.

    Now that I'm older, it's a hell of a lot more like a pissing contest, with each country trying to introduce more asinine laws and control each and every moment of their citizens lives. Hell, it's almost like a black comedy.

    I'd laugh at the whole thing, but some of the shit that the governments of the world do in our name really scare me. Eventually enough people are going to come to their senses and fight back.

    That's it for my rant. Mod me up, mod me down, ignore me, but I felt I had to get my 2c in.

    • by twostix (1277166)

      Do you really believe that the Chinese government, the government of a country about 10 years away from becoming a superpower really gives a shit what anyone else thinks about it?

      They don't play inane western "pissing match" games. They just get on with owning half of the worlds factories, governments and natural resources while stepping on the throat of anybody in their population that doesn't like them.

      Hell, the US secretary of state has already bowed down to China desperate for China to continue buying

  • When you can have the government think for you? Oh, wait, you don't want me to type that in? You don't want me to type this in either? Then what should I type in?

  • by Leptok (1096623) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @06:12AM (#28863943)
    Hmmm, I wonder why a repressive government would have a problem with glorifying organized groups of troublemakers?
    • They've had no problems oppressing organized groups of exercisers, organized groups of students, organized groups of monks, even organized groups of athletes.

      I think it's the "organized group" part they have the problem with.

  • This is terrible news for the upcoming Gangsta Skeleton: Democracy City MMORPG.

  • by thisissilly (676875) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @07:50AM (#28864379)
    Ever heard of the Hays Code [wikipedia.org]? It applied to movies, but they didn't have video games back then.

    The Production Code enumerated three "General Principles" as follows:

    1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
    2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
    3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.
  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @08:08AM (#28864487) Homepage Journal

    if they consume entertainment that glorifies gansters, e.g. this quote from the 1949 Jimmy Cagney Movie White Heat:

    It's always "somebody tipped them." Never "the cops are smart."

  • It's to my credit then that I choose not to partake of videogames that glorify criminality. I'm glad I live in a country that has no such wholesale banning of such material, and would hope that people would--of their own free will--avoid such influences on their own. It is a weak mind that has to depend on brutality for entertainment, but I'd rather that the weak minds have that option than to have it mandated otherwise. In a way by banning it, the people themselves never get to build the character to avoid
    • It's to my credit then that I choose not to partake of Guns that glorify criminality. I'm glad I live in a country that has no such wholesale banning of such material, and would hope that people would--of their own free will--avoid such influences on their own. It is a weak mind that has to depend on brutality for entertainment, but I'd rather that the weak minds have that option than to have it mandated otherwise. In a way by banning it, the people themselves never get to build the character to avoid such

  • Tommorrow's headline: "Gangsters Ban Games That Glorify Oppressive Totalitarian Regimes."
  • I guess China is afraid of the competition.
  • The real problem is that nobody can make an offer to China that they can't refuse...they'll just steal your offer and sell the knockoffs for half price.

  • I mentally compared the character Claude from GTA 3, with Carl Johnson from San Andreas.

    To me, Carl wasn't fundamentally a bad guy, but was someone in a number of very bad situations, and was also a product of his environment. He doesn't do anywhere near as many cold-blooded or anonymous assassination missions, and when he is sent on a few, it begins to push him towards a nervous breakdown, because he has a conscience. He is also depicted as one of the only characters in the game who is strongly anti-drug

  • by petrus4 (213815) on Wednesday July 29, 2009 @11:17AM (#28866859) Homepage Journal

    Stop slamming the Chinese government as thugs and criminals, you hypocrites, when in other articles you turn around and rabidly support Richard Stallman on the other.

    You can't have it both ways; Communism either is a bad thing, or it isn't.

    • Wow, you've just typified exactly the kind of thinking that's gotten us into this mess.
      .
      Communism, socialism, capitalism. These aren't booleans. Most western democracies (including us) have mixed systems of capitalist and government sponsored organizations (e.g. the public library, your grandma's social security, food and drug regulatory agencies, rural electrification, the highway system, the military, the monetary system, and so on.)
      .
      Neither capitalism nor socialism are magic fairies that solve all proble

  • Gangsters are dangerous, whether they belong to the crips, bloods, hell's angels, goldman sachs, the white house or a lobbying group.
    .
    Of course, in the USA, we have the right of free association and free speech. I'm honestly conflicted on this one. I favor these rights at a gut level.

    But these rights are killing us too. Slowly. What to do?

  • Maybe the Chinese government should have a game created for the children that shows how the Chinese government helps the children [cnn.com]? And also that by ignoring help from evil capitalists [slashdot.org] that china can truly prosper? Now THAT would be a hell of a game!
  • I love seeing people getting worked up over stuff like this. Comments about totalitarian governments and censorship get tossed around and righteous anger runs hot. Well, someone please explain to me how this is any different from the shitstorm in the US over Janet Jackson's tit being shown at the Superbowl. In both cases we the government stepping in and doing something to "protect the children." The FCC came down hard and renewed their fight against "indecency." So while the banning of ganster games se

  • http://www.acmuller.net/con-dao/analects.html [acmuller.net]

    [2:19] The Duke of Ai asked: "How can I make the people follow me?" Confucius replied: "Advance the upright and set aside the crooked, and the people will follow you. Advance the crooked and set aside the upright, and the people will not follow you."

Prototype designs always work. -- Don Vonada

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