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China Pushes Real Name System For Online Games 115

Posted by timothy
from the blizzard-was-avant-garde dept.
oxide7 writes "Starting from August 1, Chinese Internet users will have to register using their real names for playing online games, China Daily reported on Saturday. The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Culture on June 22, is said to be part of a nationwide campaign to improve management of the virtual gaming industry and protect minors from unwholesome content. It applies to all multiplayer role-playing and social networking games."
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China Pushes Real Name System For Online Games

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Oh, and South Korea already does this. But "we" only care about this because this is CHINA and CHINA IS BAD!! Mmmm'kay?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by John Saffran (1763678)
      There's a larger picture at play here rather than some sort of supposed victimisation of china.

      In South Korea the real-name rule was instituted to stop people using their anonymity to harm others through defamataion. The worst case scenario is that the aggrieved party, ie. the defamees, can bring legal suits against malicious rumour mongering. In other words it serves to empower victims, and no more than that.

      To contrast, what's the worst thing that can happen to someone in China? Unfortunately china
  • USB Key fob with all your bio data will be required. Of course, we're all for it, right? Only terrorists and pedophiles want privacy...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nog_lorp (896553)

      Yes, because political activists are going to be kept down and freedom of speech will be DOOOMED if I can't grief in L4D and get away with it!

      • It is simply the logical thing to do. Efficiency is the goal. And it will meet as much resistance as your random airport searches. So docile people have become that anyone who opposes the authorities is now looked down upon as a malcontent and a loon, or worse, an enemy collaborator. The mission has indeed been accomplished. Hearts and minds have been won over. The spirit has been dispatched. And complacency, the desire for convenience has become the routine.

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by AlamedaStone (114462)

          It is simply the logical thing to do. Efficiency is the goal. And it will meet as much resistance as your random airport searches. So docile people have become that anyone who opposes the authorities is now looked down upon as a malcontent and a loon, or worse, an enemy collaborator. The mission has indeed been accomplished. Hearts and minds have been won over. The spirit has been dispatched. And complacency, the desire for convenience has become the routine.

          tl; dr

  • by mangu (126918) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @07:57PM (#33098462)

    Such as democracy and human rights?

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      oh shut up. Freedom is for the wealthy elite, and slavery is for the rest.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by causality (777677)

        oh shut up. Freedom is for the wealthy elite, and slavery is for the rest.

        What the wealthy elite have is not freedom, but license. What they own also owns them, and with that comes the fear of loss and the obsessive desire to possess and control more and more. They are as far from free as one can get. If you see them as they truly are then you cannot possibly envy them.

        Real freedom is not political freedom. It's an inner freedom that does not depend on circumstances and events, only on how one faces them. It is not something that others could grant or take away.

        Did you

        • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @11:05PM (#33099138)
          When you take a trip down from your fantasy fairy land into reality you'll realize that a person with financial security and general liberty to pursue their interests (which may come from money or from political influence or usually both) actually IS more free and more happy than a hungry beggar digging through trash or a political prisoner who is tortured daily. Inner freedom my ass.
          • by causality (777677) on Sunday August 01, 2010 @12:16AM (#33099392)

            When you take a trip down from your fantasy fairy land into reality you'll realize that a person with financial security and general liberty to pursue their interests (which may come from money or from political influence or usually both) actually IS more free and more happy than a hungry beggar digging through trash or a political prisoner who is tortured daily.

            And in America any degree of that we have enjoyed came about because of men who had so much inner freedom that they had the guts to put their lives on the line and start a revolutionary war in order to build a society around any kind of mundane freedom you have enumerated. They were willing to be considered something like terrorists or treasonous, to fight in war, and also to defy the apathy of 1/3 of their population and the opposition of another 1/3 of their population at that time.

            You understand that dead men don't have any of the political or monetary freedoms you mention? So why would some folks who were already rather well-to-do value something more than their own lives? That's simple. They had inner freedom and it determined how they faced the events and circumstances of the world around them. You cannot subjugate a truly free people. You can only subjugate cowards who fear the threat of force more than they fear a meaningless existence because such people have no inner freedom. That's why they are so compatible with a meaningless existence (like climbing the corporate ladder as a major focus of life) even though many of them sense that there is something wrong with it.

            Admittedly the Founding Fathers are a cliche, mundane, yet concrete illustration of people who understood what I am talking about. Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Ghandi are more examples, for both were imprisoned yet neither was afraid of prison or deterred by it from doing what they knew to be right. Someone concerned about political freedom exclusively would most certainly want to avoid state-imposed incarceration.

            I am having to resort to this sort of explanation only because you failed to see one thing: I am not arguing against political freedom. I said only that it wasn't what I was referring to. You didn't bother, but had you asked me about political freedom I would say that its only stable form would have to come from a society that values real inner freedom. In other words, political freedom should follow and have its roots in real freedom. If it doesn't, then you get its roller-coaster form where governments start out smaller and freer and eventually become huge and authoritarian until collapsing and being replaced by something else, ad infinitum. That's why a high degree of political freedom has been so fleeting throughout history. At any rate, they are not opposed. They are related.

            Inner freedom my ass.

            I knew when I wrote the previous post that some people would scoff at it. Without a doubt, it can be a hard notion to seriously consider. On that I think we can find some agreement. Where we differ is on the question of whether my writing was truly faulty, or whether the inability to really understand it is a fault in the reader.

            • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              you'll realize that a person with financial security and general liberty to pursue their interests (which may come from money or from political influence or usually both) actually IS more free

              And in America any degree of that we have enjoyed came about because of men who had so much inner freedom that they had the guts to put their lives on the line and start a revolutionary war

              Any WHY were the founding fathers able to accomplish this task? Because they were rather well to do and had a good amount of political influence. Inner freedom is one thing but if you want to have an effect on the world outside your head usually more than that is required.

            • Don't waste your time. Rather than preaching to the choir, you're preaching to the fossilized-brained who will never get your point.

              I'm not saying you should stop talking. Only that you should stop trying to convert most of this crowd, most of whom wouldn't recognize a real principle even AFTER someone shot at them over it.
              • by causality (777677)

                Don't waste your time. Rather than preaching to the choir, you're preaching to the fossilized-brained who will never get your point. I'm not saying you should stop talking. Only that you should stop trying to convert most of this crowd, most of whom wouldn't recognize a real principle even AFTER someone shot at them over it.

                If I needed to convert anyone, requires his agreement or disagreement, or needed any other result, that would be an unhealthy attachment to outcome. Then whether I enjoy having written my posts depends on what the other guy says and does. This amounts to a ceding of control over my inner life to random strangers. It would be living for externals and not out of an inner understanding. Indeed, after talking of real inner freedom, such an unhealthy attachment would make me a hypocrite.

                Unfortunately such

                • yes, fine response, but it'd be nice if you could better define inner freedom. if inner freedom does not depend on circumstance or events, where does it come from? this is most certainly an idealist orientation of which there are many critics. Marx argues that inner self is derived from material reality, so experience should be structured to provide freedom in order to produce free individuals--thus political freedom is paramount to build this social structure. conversely, Hegel would say that inner free
            • Are you not equally chained to these principles as a greedy man is chained to his money? If you can't stand down from a fight you know you'll lose to stay alive or stay out of prison, then maybe you're not free. The OP had a point; you're more likely to be happy if you've got money than if you've got none and you dig through trash to eat, or if you've been thrown into some King's cell to rot. The person he was responding to had a very narrow view of what's possible with money and what "rich" people are like

              • I didn't miss those points. But IMHO, GP was referring more to what it means to be free, rather than what it means to be rich.

                And I don't idolize Thoreau, though I do at least give him points for putting his money and himself where his mouth was: "Why aren't YOU in here with me?"

                But I disagree on what I believe to be one essential point. I think if you're not willing to stand up and take at least some kind of action, then you are as much a sheep as anyone else, no matter how you justify it to yourself
                • Wait. I was responding to Causality, not you, but you're replying to me as if you are the one who wrote the post I responded to.

                  Are you suggesting, perhaps by forgetting to change user handles, that you actually troll Slashdot with several different identities, and then have long-winded conversations with yourself?

                  You are about ten kinds of crazy and I'm not even about to get sucked into some time-wasting moral debate with you.

        • What the wealthy elite have is not freedom, but license.

          no, they have major components to freedom that the rest of us don't

          they have time, resources, education and status.
          All of those things give opportunity that those of us that have had to scrap and grew up in the gutter will never be able to compete with. It means that we don't get the same opportunities to succeed or reach our potentials or live in the end as fulfilling of a life. What you are saying in your statement is the kind of thing the fat ugly kid hears from his mom- "they are just making fun of you

        • If you are looking for the truly free take a look at some of the homeless
        • I would disagree, but only to the extent that I have met many wealthy people who are quite content with their wealth and who also agree that all others should have an equal opportunity to become wealthy - and who also agree that making some artificially advantaged is the equivalent of suppressing others.

          The unfortunate fact, akin to the saying that "One bad apple spoils the bunch.", is that at this moment in American history, a tiny minority of truly greedy and truly malicious individuals controls Americ
      • by afabbro (33948)

        oh shut up. Freedom is for the wealthy elite, and slavery is for the rest.

        If only! As as American and hence part of the wealthy elite, that would so rock.

    • by nog_lorp (896553)

      The right to privacy in video games?

      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        Dude, that so nearly made it into the Bill of Rights. Then Jefferson had to spend all night trolling Madison with his alt in Worlde of Warcrafte and we ended up with that "well regulated militia" bullshit instead.
    • There is always people very quick to jump on the anti Chinese government bandwagon and perhaps with good reason, but that doesn't mean human rights or big-brother are reason behind every move. I've worked for an online games company and witnessed first hand some of the truly chilling things paedophiles say and try to get kids to do, some of it really chills your blood as you read it and such grooming attacks were uncommon but still far too frequent as getting prosecutions is very unlikely
      There are no doub
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by icebraining (1313345)

        About the pedos in online games, Toontown (a MMO for kids) has a nice system: you can't write anything you want, you can just use a very large set of predefined phrases. Unless you know someone IRL, then you can get a code and tell them over phone or IM, and after introducing the code, chat is free between the two.
        In theory, it fixes the problem, although it's probably less fun not to be able to talk freely.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      I'd like to download some human rights in my country, could you provide me with a url ? kthxbye
  • The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Culture on June 22, is said to be part of a nationwide campaign to improve management of the virtual gaming industry and protect the minor from unwholesome content. It applies to all multiplayer role-playing and social networking games.

    How does knowing a players name determine if they are a minor or not? It's not like they get something suffixed to their name once they turn 18/21 (select where applicable).

    • Most Asian countries already requires your citizen/license ID number to register for any MMORPG. This is nothing new.
      • by tepples (727027)
        Do they take green card numbers from resident aliens? Or do players have to be citizens?
  • by TheBlackMan (1458563) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @07:58PM (#33098476)
    This is definately not about "privacy" or "security". We all know what is the reason for such law, so it should be tagged appropriately.
    • This is definately not about "privacy" or "security". We all know what is the reason for such law, so it should be tagged appropriately.

      It's about finally finding out who the campers in counter-strike are in real life and where they live.

  • Excellent news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maugle (1369813) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @08:01PM (#33098486)
    Now no politician in the US can even consider supporting it!

    "Ladies and gentleman, my opponent has come out in support of policies implemented in polluting, human rights abusing, communist, totalitarian, job-stealing China! Are you going to let him bring that to our shores?"
    • Re:Excellent news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Man On Pink Corner (1089867) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @08:21PM (#33098574)

      That's what the Australians thought.

      • Re:Excellent news (Score:5, Informative)

        by Kell Bengal (711123) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @09:20PM (#33098836)
        And you know, it's been met with public outcry and made certain politicians quite unpopular. The internet filtering thing was only ever a token appeasement move to get certain conservative elements onboard - now that they've run their course, it's being quietly set aside. Realpolitik rules the day.
        • And in about a week we'll see another iteration of the same Slashdot story: "Australia: Ruling Party '100% Committed' to Net Filter."

          Eventually it will happen, or not happen... but the real problem is that, because of the indifference of Australian voters, it's possible at all.

    • Are you going to let him bring that to our shores?

      Waddaya mean "going to"? We already have.. decades ago

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Because the US government never does anything the Chinese government does.
    • by Snufu (1049644)
      I applaud this action and strongly advocate that similar mandates be implemented in our fair country. I'm disgusted by internet cowards hiding behind obvious and ridiculous pseudonyms.

      Sincerely,
      Harold Poindexter Ness, The Third.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      China has an internet "kill switch". Senator Lieberman has made this exact case, America needs this because China has it.
      http://www.google.ca/search?q="right+now+china"+internet+kill+switch

  • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @08:05PM (#33098500)

    "Aren't there about a billion John Lee's in China?"
    ~Mira Sorvino, Replacement Killers

  • Overblown, maybe? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sykopomp (1133507)
    How is this different from the current state of things in the US, where you so often have to register with your own credit card? That seems like it'll cover virtually all cases. Not that it doesn't really suck that players can mostly be tracked down to their real identities or anything, but that's a different story, I think.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can buy anonymous game time cards, or anonymous prepaid credit cards (although the government really doesn't like when you do the latter, so they have been killing those programs).

      • What makes you think they've been killing them? They're more available than ever. A few years ago, the easiest way to get them was to go to a local mall to buy them. Now, I can go to the grocery store and get pre-paid Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, and I think Discover, not to mention gift cards for dozens of stores, and some of those gift cards allow me to purchase pre-paid Visa cards. It's a horrible return on investment, but it makes it harder to follow the trail.

        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          Where are you that you can do these things? And is your geographic location governed by the same Government [informationweek.com] the parent poster noted?

          • Sykopomp's post referenced the US, suggesting that tracking users via credit cards is already done. The AC posted that anonymous cards can be purchased in a manner strongly suggestive that he was countering the identification in the US. My reply was based on that.

            With that, I am in the US (California to be more specific), and the cards are all over.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Most American online games already have your name or can track the players because they pay with credit cards and use the Internet from home.

    In China they use prepaid card which virtually anyone can buy and then play the games at an Internet cafe. I don't agree with the proposal but they are doing the same thing that most counties do by requiring credit card payments.

    • by mpe (36238)
      Most American online games already have your name or can track the players because they pay with credit cards and use the Internet from home.

      But the name on the card need not be a person's "real name". The whole issue of names is far from trivial. Especially when it comes to putting them into computer systems.
    • Where did you get the idea most American games require credit cards? Very few games actually REQUIRE credit card payments. Customers just tend to use them out of convenience. You can pay for X-Box Live accounts in-store, which more or less throws the "Most American online games" out the window on its own considering how large the X-Box Live userbase is. You can pay with cash in the store. Valve games such as Counter-Strike: Source, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead (2) all can be bought in-store without a credit

  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Saturday July 31, 2010 @10:18PM (#33098998)

    If you steal my loot in a raid I'll know your real name, and with a bit more googling everything there is to know about you:

    Many of the vast unwashed masses on the net as spectacularly naive about their privacy. Take Gabrielle Romney, ex-lover of a right-wing political party figure in Australia. She wrote a letter to "The Age" bawling that they published her photo: "I am dismayed by the prominent publication of my photograph accompanying the article. To be targeted by a stalker is invasive, intimidating, and terrifying. As a private individual, one of the most debilitating aspects is the constant and unwelcome intrusion into one's life. Publishing my photograph has been a further violation of my privacy and dignity."

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/man-sent-more-than-100-sometimes-offensive-messages-to-exlover-20100726-10slv.html [theage.com.au]

    Fair enough, but type her name into "Google" and you'll find yourself staring at her mug in facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/people/Gabrielle-Romney/528810959 [facebook.com]

    Let me repeat what she said: "As a private individual, one of the most debilitating aspects is the constant and unwelcome intrusion into one's life."

    If you're on Facebook, you're not a private individual.

    • by Fumus (1258966)

      If you steal my loot in a raid I'll know your real name, and with a bit more googling everything there is to know about you:

      This is actually a good thing in some cases. Now being a dick on the Internet will carry consequences with it. The "Stab someone with a fork over the Internet" device is one step closer.

      On the other hand, voicing your true opinions can also be dangerous so I'm not sure if the gain outweighs the drawbacks.

      • by Vaphell (1489021)

        recently Blizzard tried to push their RealId feature to the official forums which was your real name attached to your battle.net account. Uproad was so huge they had to cave in - big numbers of WoW players were cancelling their subsriptions not to mention Starcraft 2 and Cataclysm preorders and this fiasco was picked up by the mainstream media. To control damage to their bottom line in the light of upcoming releases they put the idea on the backburner.
        Thread with posts of outraged customers grew 1 post ever

  • Runs out and goes register "Chen": sorry, this name is already taken.
  • Public vs Private (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MDillenbeck (1739920)

    We are talking about registering for an online game. I see this as a debate of public vs private space, and unfortunately I see many people trying to impose their rights to privacy in public arenas.

    For example, if you are walking down the street and a photographer snaps your photo, do you really have a right to expect privacy? When you walk into a store to buy your gimp outfit, do you really expect the cashier to not see your goods as you buy it or your name when you pass them the credit card?

    Why are they

  • FYI (Score:2, Interesting)

    by euyis (1521257)
    One can easily find many resident IDs with the associated names on the Internet & in real life. Copy it, validate it, use it, voila.
    And some service providers don't really care about all this real name shit - they just ask for a resident ID in valid format and don't bother to check whether it is associated with the name you provided. There are tools readily available [ip138.com] for creation of fake IDs.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Things like this pop up all the time in China...there are multiple gov't groups that vie for "attention" and thus "power". One side says "we are going to protect the children from ______". Then the other group goes "No no no you do not have the power to do that - that is our job"...and nothing ever happens. The last version of this was "ID Card Numbers" which is effectively the same thing...It never came to pass either, before that it was "Time limits on MMO games"....never happened...the list goes on and o

  • by Tom (822)

    I have the same rule for my own online game (no link or I'd be accused of slashvertisement). It's "my home", so to speak, I don't charge for it, but I expect my guests to follow some basic rules of courtesy and one of them is that you give me your actual, real, full name as I give you mine (on the site).

    Nothing forces you to, you can play somewhere else if you don't like the rules in my "home". Which is where the chinese approach of making it mandatory for everything becomes a bit difficult. What if I would

    • Just a guess, but I suspect your name is neither female nor visibly "ethnic".
      • by Tom (822)

        I should have been more clear, my mistake.

        I require players to give their real name to me. It remains their choice if they want it published in the player list or not. Privacy is still an important consideration.

  • Realistically with 1 billion people plus extremely commonly repeated, simplistic first and last names in their language, China is going to have sooooo many first and last name repeats that they still won't be able to pin this down to one unique person based on just a name in most cases. Not even close actually. Just because of how things are there compared to here, it could easily be possibly that for any given person in China, it's 100,000 times (or more) more likely that there's at least one other perso
  • If they outlaw the /spit emote and t-bagging, then we will know the chairman got powned and camped for sure.

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