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Games Government Entertainment Politics

China Clamps Down on Online Gaming 76

The BBC reports on new restrictions on online gaming. Specifically, they'll be monitoring some virtual worlds more closely, after some were found to be carrying 'anti-government' messages. Examples include religious and political material, although there are very few details on either the content or what exactly they'll be doing to monitor it. From the article: "Distributors must now obtain approval before releasing new games, reported Xinhua news agency. Companies must also submit monthly monitoring reports, confirming developers have not added forbidden content. The latest round of enforcement was prompted by 'a rash of problems with imported online games, some of which contain sensitive religious material or refer to territorial disputes', Xinhua said. " Relatedly, in Gamasutra's regular 'China Angle' column, they look at gaming-related TV ads, why those are dicey, and requirements that players not cross-dress in MMOGs.
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China Clamps Down on Online Gaming

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  • Re:Big Sebastion? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @12:44PM (#17224388)
    China's government has every reason to be paranoid.

    They have a massive, restless, and incredibly impoverished rural population that could crush the Chinese Communist Party if it ever decided that enough is enough, and revolution is at hand. The geography we currently call China has had a very long, and very bloody history of conflict. Sun-Tzu and all the rest of the famous Chinese military theorists were born out of that period in Chinese history. If you've ever played Romance of the Three Kingdoms, or the Dynasty Warriors games, that period is what those games are set in. The analogies are legion to represent the kind of balancing act the Communists have to undergo to keep China looking like what we think China really is. Even in the video games that you get out of China that are about Chinese history, that period is presented like a civil conflict, not wars between sovereign states. My guess being that while the powers that be can't erase the powerful legendary figures and the hold they have on the dreams of the Chinese people, they certainly can work to make sure that what they think those legends and stories should teach is what gets taught.
  • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:20PM (#17224914)
    How is this much different than in the US, other than it being de jure there and de facto here?

    Try refusing to submit your film/game/cd for a rating, see how far it gets.
  • by 1ntegral ( 792901 ) <unpleasantville@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:21PM (#17224930)
    Also, just an afterthought, it may be my insular American perspective talking, but I am continuously surprised that there is still a world superpower in existence under tight-fisted communist rule. I mean, I know that the general populous of China probably doesn't have access to most, if not all of the distopian books and films that illustrate the ridiculousness and certainty of failure of that particular governmental structure, nor would they have read the theory that makes their system a ticking time bomb. Despite this knowledge, however, it's hard for me to wrap my mind around so many people living in poverty and misery, especially considering that their numbers most likely greatly outweigh those of the ruling elite.

    It's a situation which also makes the US' claims of wanting to liberate the oppressed seem that much more hypocritical. I understand that they have a huge-ass army and that we don't want to piss them off, but what with all of the awful human rights abuses taking place in that country, one would think that it would be a higher priority of the most powerful nation in the world to try to, at least diplomatically, intervene on their behalf, not even mentioning the manifest destiny-esque "spread of democracy" so much in vogue right now. I suppose that there'd be nothing in it for us, though, and so the motivation to address the Chinese situation has never been present.
  • by paladinwannabe2 ( 889776 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:31PM (#17225074)
    Actually old-school chess had 'Councilors' instead of queens, that could only move diagonally 1 space foward and back. Since pawns could only turn into Councilors, the game was saying 'if you start out as a pawn, you can't get very far'. Nothing controversial about that.
  • I Want My CTV! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Wednesday December 13, 2006 @01:34PM (#17225100) Homepage Journal
    I wonder which demands will drive more political change in China's mafia government: basic human rights, or more entertainment? If the entertainment is interactive communication among regular Chinese citizens, there probably isn't a difference, or at least it's a reinforcing cycle.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.