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It must be tough to be a Chinese gamer.  After having every game with a gangster in it getting banned back in July, their terrific communist government strikes again: on October 1, the Chinese government launched a campaign to eliminate illegally operated games featuring content they deem “unhealthy.”

So far, over 200 games have been investigated, and forty-five have been straight-up banned.  Many more were given a time limit in which to clean up their acts.  Apparently, they were operating from outside China without prior approval.  And that, in the eyes of the Chinese government, is a no-no.

The banned games “encouraged players to engage in illegal activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution” according to the Beijing News.  So, that knocks out Grand Theft Auto, Saint’s Row, and pretty much all the other fun, M-rated sandbox games.  (As well as Drug Wars on my trusty old TI-83 graphing calculator!)

This ban is particular to online games, however.  With 338 million Internet users in the country (the most of any in the world, and more than the ENTIRE population of the United States), there’s bound to be somebody playing a naughty game on the Internet.  But China doesn’t like that.

The Chinese government has had plenty of censorship issues in the past, especially in regards to content that is critical of its government, or content that even might breed dissension amongst its people.  According to Yahoo!: “Last month, authorities announced that all songs posted on music websites must receive prior approval and foreign lyrics must be translated into Chinese.”  Seems a little excessive, doesn’t it?

But wait, there’s more!  Just announced yesterday, another decree: foreign investors are now banned from “operating online games ‘in any form’ in the country.”  No wholly owned enterprises, no joint ventures, and no cooperatives.  Nothing.

Also, domestic Chinese online game operators are no longer allowed to keep online game sites running without a pre-approval from the Chinese government.  Having fun in China appears to have just gotten a lot more difficult.

And that’s assuming it was an easy thing to do before.

The crackdown on online gaming launched on October 1, 2009, the 60th anniversary of the founding of communist China by Mao Zedong back in 1949.

Two questions: what’s next for China?  And how can we make sure these oppressive measures never get applied in America “for the good of the government?”  For now, we can just keep an eye on this story’s developments…

Source: Yahoo!, Reuters, and CRIEnglish

  1. Well, my advice would to say forget games and any kind of entertaining media if it’s all going to be banned, and go out and play. But then again, the country is heavily polluted, and there’s probably not much room to do anything with a population of over a billion. Wow, my heart goes out to the Chinese.

  2. I am not surprised. This is the country after all that took kids out of school during the Olympics, just to make sure the stadium’s looked nice and ‘full’.

  3. avatar ddak88

    Atleast they have fried rice.

  4. avatar Foreigner in China

    They didn’t take kids out of school during the Olympics, their school year doesn’t start until September.
    Also, the air is mostly only polluted in the cities, but even so, the Chinese spend far more time outside playing than Americans.
    With the amount of proxy servers/vpns and illegal fake copies of games, these measures aren’t going to stop the hardcore gamers.

  5. avatar Ortiz

    Yes, poor China. So backward and repressive. No one has any fun. Could it be that the evil commies would like to develop a domestic games industry not dominated by foreign IPs?

  6. avatar dd

    BAN THEM EVERYWHERE!

  7. avatar Chinese

    How did you know that games are banned in China? We still play games. LOL…. Also, who said that chinese students were taken out from schools? I can’t understand why you guys think all the things like that. We still live a beautiful and happy life in China, maybe a better life than in US.

  8. avatar usa

    better know where we got the trillions of dollars from. lol…the chinese have us in their pocketbooks

  9. avatar Dont Under estimate China ... China's economy is far more better than US..

    Mike

  10. avatar Mike

    Dont Under estimate China … China’s economy is far more better than US..

  11. avatar anthuvanpeter

    Chinese are very hard working people..

  12. avatar Douae

    Although Chinese food would be fine, I doubt the better reurtsaants would be open.I’d suggest spending Christmas snuggling with your husband, maybe getting a spiral-sliced ham that you heat up for the day, and just doing whatever makes you and your husband happy;P.S.: I love you.

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