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China's New Laws Restrict Games Based on Controversial Content

China lifts its ban on foreign video games only to regulate which games will be allowed based on content.

Contrary to the United States' freedom of choice, it seems that China has lifted a ban just to put another in place. 

In January 2014, China lifted its rules against foreign video game consoles. However, it seems like this gaming freedom didn't last very long now that the Chinese government is placing restrictions on the game themselves. 

According to a translation by Games in Asia,  any games that threaten "China's national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity" or "instigates racial/ethnic hatred" will be banned from distribution. 

"Games also may not promote "obscenity, drug use, violence or gambling," as well as cults and superstitions. Approved games cannot violate China's constitution, nor can they harm its culture, traditions and public ethics." -Joystiq.com

Each game that has the potential to enter the country will have to go through an approval process by the Shanghai's culture department lasting no longer than 20 days. 

Consoles such as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 must also be produced within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and a simplified Chinese version of each game will be vital. This way the publishers will be unable to re-sell "Hong Kong and Taiwan versions of their games."

Do you think games are even worth playing if the best parts are being banned?

Published Apr. 24th 2014
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    So they get to play Wii Sports HD and the title screen for every other game on the market?
  • Danielle Marie
    Featured Columnist
    LOL, basically!
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    I am really curious to know whats left. I can't think of many games that don't have at least a little piece of one of those traits. Sounds like China would be a pretty boring place to live now.

    If I understand correctly two of the most played games in China are WoW and LoL. Both of those are maybe not literally violent, but completely centered around the idea of violence. As in kill everyone. Are they going to be banned in China?? That would be a huge problem.
  • Danielle Marie
    Featured Columnist
    I was thinking the same thing. I'm pretty sure the concept of killing the other team is essentially violence. I'm curious to see how everything plays out.

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