China bans 'gangster' games

Ministry of Culture shuts down online "godfather" and "mafia" games because they promote "violent culture."

Though China has been all too happy to embrace elements of free-market capitalism, it is a long way off from a free society. Today, the official government news agency, Xinhua, announced that the Chinese Ministry of Culture has outlawed online games with "gangster" themes or featuring "mafia-like gangs."

Dang, it feels good not to be a gangsta...

"These games encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify gangster life. They are a bad influence on youngsters," read a statement issued by the Ministry. The statement went on to say that games embracing "mafia" and "godfather" culture are forbidden because they "advocate obscenity, gambling, or violence" and "undermine morality and Chinese traditional culture." A column condemning the "violent culture" of such games also ran in Tuesday's issue of the Procuratorial Daily, one of many Chinese government-controlled newspapers.

Though Electronic Arts' Godfather games, 2K's Mafia series, and Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto franchise might seem like obvious targets, so far, only Chinese-language massively multiplayer games have been shut down. These include (with official Ministry of Culture translations): www.kaixin.com's Godfather, www.mop.com's Jianghu ("gangster community"), and www.xiaonei.com's Guhuozai ("young and dangerous guys"). Further violators face undefined "severe punishment" from the government.

Xinhua quoted the outrage amongst several users of the game. "I just stole 3 million yuan in the game when the Web site suddenly went blank," complained one reported player only identified by his Internet ID number. Another unnamed gamer was quoted as saying, "I really felt like our gang was disbanded."

Today's move comes less than a month after China nearly required all new computers sold in the country to come with special net-screening software preinstalled. Though that mandate has since been delayed, the Beijing government still requires the software, the heavily criticized Green Dam application, be installed in all PCs used in schools and Internet cafes. Internet access inside China is also monitored and strictly controlled by the government, which blocks sites referring to such events as the 1989 Tiananmen massacre or last year's unrest in Tibet.

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310 comments
clqtte
clqtte

They ban gangster activity in game.But it's OK in a real life.Don't believe.Come to China and see...

INRI777
INRI777

so icey 05 is proud that the australian government disarmed it's citizens? boy that's intelligent. now that you have been disarmed, your government can do whatever they want to you. and that makes you happy? einstein you're not. if the american government tries to take away our guns, there will be hell to pay. better dead than red.

Alex_09
Alex_09

Ministry of Culture? Why do countries even have these? My God governments make up any excuse to milk us. I remember the only worthy thing the one in my province in Canada ever did was ask at a convention once, "why do we make such ****** movies?". For the record other than trailer park boys Canadian T.V. is unwatchable.

Nintenddo
Nintenddo

lol CHINA DOESNT HAS GTA CHINATOWN WARS!!!!

king_loei
king_loei

@TwistLock I haven't laughed that hard for at LEAST a couple days. Kudos :D

Rx_Nightmare
Rx_Nightmare

In communist China shooting is saved for people who speak out against great leader! Not wasted on silly electronic light machines.

hobobobo00
hobobobo00

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DarkDante_sw
DarkDante_sw

I'm afraid anyone 10+ that may mistake things like GTA for reality is either mentaly disturbed, or didn't have a mommy or daddy to teach them the difference between reality and fiction.

icey05
icey05

@KillerWabbit23 Australia only tried to ban those games because we don't have a rating above MA15+ those games had things in them, that werent suitable for 15 year olds. thats fair enough. we wouldnt have stuff like that happen if we had an R18 rating. at least australia doesnt openly give guns to just about anyone who wants them. when we have high school shootings on a yearly basis, you can call us idiots.

Darth_Ultima
Darth_Ultima

umph. Everyone knows that the Chinese government has a monopoly on corruption over there and they just don't like competition. If you want to talk about violence then lets talk about Chinese political prisoners, who's only crime was disagreeing with the government, being executed so their organs can be sold on the black market.

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

If what China thinks is true, then the U.S. would be populated by millions of violent children, wielding AK-47s and murdering pedestrians. But it's not. Let's see Australia do something even more boneheaded than this, however, I don't think that it's possible to top banning L4D2 or Fallout 3. Idiots.

Dreamerdude26
Dreamerdude26

This is one of the reasons I'm glad I live in the US. I don't know what I would do if stuff like this started happening over here.

Shadowflame291
Shadowflame291

S*** man, it's like 1984 in real life in China...

steve22_3
steve22_3

oh yeah sure.. ban games depicting gangs and killing n looting games.. but it's perfectly ok to make more of them Romance of three kingdoms games.. I mean ya killing for the fun of it is bad but killing cuz your leader orders you to is ok

TwistLock
TwistLock

I can see where their government is coming from, but this has been an antiquated fear ever since its conception. Violent gaming is violent gaming, nothing more. The fact that a game may portray structured criminal activity is just part of the setting for its story. In the end, it's just another means of entertaining oneself. On the plus side, this allows us to more easily draw parallels between politicians lobbying to ban violent games and Chairman Mao when we feel like being mean to them. That's right. Jack Thompson is a communist now. Someone tell Fox News.

cityslicker202
cityslicker202

Thats insane! You would think their government would be smarter then that.. If your playing gta or another gang related game then your commiting crimes in a game, not in real life. Which kinda is the point right? stop crime? ive watched rated 4 movies since i was 4 and my parents always let me play M rated games. And i turned out perfectly fine, Im 19 years old and well was about to say never been to join but it wasnt for a violent crime. ive never been in a fight.

jarofdirt882
jarofdirt882

So China, what about films like the Godfather and Scarface? Do they or do they not depict the same kind of things?

St0Ne4Ge
St0Ne4Ge

They need to realize that the gangs, drugs and violence was there before games were, the games are just a form of media showing these elements of society, just like films and books do. The games arent the cause of these problems they merely highlight them and we all know sweeping things under the rug never makes them go away. Games dont kill people, People kill people.

Amauris96
Amauris96

This is totaly bull crap give the people some freedom you chince people...after all it is just a game. ; )

cash_chabuk
cash_chabuk

The chinese government fears from its people..

Exit_293
Exit_293

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Exit_293

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Exit_293

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Exit_293

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Exit_293

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Exit_293

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Frostbite345
Frostbite345

I hate when Ministry's and the like ban games because they think that all the violence,drug use, crime e.tc is coming from said games. It's not, it's coming from the players. If there are people out there who play a game, watch a film or even read a book with criminal elements to it and decide to emulate what they've just seen,read or played then that shows a fault in the PERSON not the game.

play_thegame
play_thegame

agree in theory, this is one thing a democratic western country could never do. but they shouldnt just shut it down, they should do it for a month or two see if crime levels etc drop then continue if the effects are positive. and yeah people teenagers are highly influenced by media, ive seen mates in hospital because they tried to do jackass style stunts (even though they are all mid thirties) maybe they should try and lower its use instead? start charging for it or introduce a time limit.

william2330
william2330

I think they should research to see if they have less crime if they dont have less then they should unban it

zintarr
zintarr

China fears Gay Tony!

Trogeton
Trogeton

Ok I'm not a violent person, but aren't the violent games one of the most funnest ? I love violent games

TXMostWanted
TXMostWanted

It's sad when your not surprised by what China does these days...but still, Shanghai was awesome! :-D

8smokes
8smokes

*Sigh* The world these days...

Xx_Hopless_xX
Xx_Hopless_xX

@Godak: So your saying if you get a President or leader of a country who supports Socialism its not a form of government?...It's really up to the head of a country...sorry if i was careless with my choice of words, as for our current President, he hasn't done much for our economy or anything as promised but this really isn't a topic about politics so i wont get into that..

Godak
Godak

@Xx_Hopless_xX You know very little about Communism and Socialism. They are economic policies, not forms of government. The Soviet Union made promises to its people...promises that were broken. They were excited, and fell pray to lies. As things are now, straight Socialism or Capitalism does not work. We need a mixture. The problem with the US's current system is that there is far too little regulation. Insurance companies lied about their customer's incomes and they were not punished for it. Hopefully with this new president in office we can approach an acceptible level of regulation.

real-guitarhero
real-guitarhero

yea theyre quite addicting tho... germanys also violent-game-proof now. america will never be, cuz we just celebrate violence rofl

real-guitarhero
real-guitarhero

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shadyelf
shadyelf

As long as they don't do that here I couldn't care less.

peetowser
peetowser

I guess the Triads want exclusivity on Chinese territory, whether it's on real grounds or virtual ones too :P Funny that a video game glorifies that life while the hundreds of chinese movies on the same subject are juuuust fine...

jstowers
jstowers

Well - you lot are looking far too deep into all of this, what it really boils down to is: Sux to live in China (apart from the odd weekend in Shanghai...i've partied there and.. phew!, it can rock...) & Sweet for us (aka the rest of the world), we should just be thankful we don't live in - and I mean no disrespect by this - a s*****e country that has plenty of useful history, but it's the present - smell the sweet smell of rosey democracy and quit moaning - we live in the free and fun world of sandbox mayhem!

Xx_Hopless_xX
Xx_Hopless_xX

Ok, to begin..the Usa is not inferior to any country, though our system is messed up in certain areas, but this isn't about that so lets continue... China has many issues as well, so whoever is belittling the United States government and saying China has a better one needs a reality check. @Kavadias1981: The Europeans weren't all bad, though some imposed their will and stuff, they also contributed many things. Back to the topic... I agree with "thetravman" I'm really sick of the gangster trend, as well as little kids trying to act cool by singing rap etc...I don't understand the logic behind banning "Gangster MMORPGs" besides the fact that maybe the Chinese government is attempting to stop kids from playing until they die, which is pathetic in and of itself. Screening of the media is all Communism and Socialism, it hasn't worked for China it's not gonna work here. @Aghatio: Dude, your not even literate, there are riots in every country over sports Etc..and you say we shouldn't criticize a country without knowing it origin...then why may i ask, are you criticizing the Usa..?

GhostGnosis
GhostGnosis

Jack Thompson should just move to China, he'd love it.

airman1027
airman1027

China doesnt want to promote theiving gangsters?? LOL what about their government. The Chinese Government's M.O.: Take the people's money, force them to live like you want and kill those that will not comply after trying strongarm tactics to intimidate them. Force them to buy products you approve, force them to pledge allegiance and fealty to a few "strongmen". I mean give me a break... Give me a break...

thetravman
thetravman

I'm getting sick of this gangsta trend anyway.

Evasiege
Evasiege

"lol a minister of culture?" Yes, as some have already mentioned China has nearly 5,000 years of history and culture it wants to protect. Many things have changed over the years, but to see its culture be completely altered or erased by western influence would be a shame to them. As to why there is a ministry that sees to that. "America has pretty much been a role model for the world for a while." In many aspects, yes. In all aspects, no. The democracy of Athens is not the same as the democracy of the U.S. currently. Yes, there are different forms of democracy. North American democracy does not have the experience of dealing with billions of people. "I think the decisions of what games to play should be in the hands of the parents not the government." I agree. However, how do you educate hundreds of millions of parents on what their kids should or shouldn't be playing. They already put something in place where kids under a certain age can only play MMO's 3 hours at a time before their exp slows. One thing about authoritarian regimes is that decisions, good or bad, can be made quickly. "If the Minister of Culture played gta for a year i really doubt he would mistake reality for game" Maybe, but the minister of culture is middle aged, not 12.