China to block "hostile" video games

Country's Ministry of Culture now drafting new rules for the sale of console games following lifting of 14-year ban.

by

China has begun drafting new rules for the sale of video game consoles and games in the country, following the nation's announcement last week that its 14-year ban had been lifted.

Cai Wu, head of China's Ministry of Culture, said that the rules are being written as quickly as possible, though no specific timeline for their publication was provided.

Image credit: AP

"Things that are hostile to China, or not in conformity with the outlook of China's government, won't be allowed" under the rules of the free-trade zone, Cai said. "We want to open the window a crack to get some fresh air, but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes."

One game that is likely to be blocked is Battlefield 4, which China labeled a threat to national security late last month.

China originally banned game consoles in 2000 , following concerns about potential harm to the physical and mental development of children. Nintendo and Ubisoft shares surged following China's announcement that it would lift the ban, but any long-term prosperity remains to be seen.

Representatives for the Sony and Nintendo told Bloomberg that they are examining their opportunities for how best to take advantage of the new market. Meanwhile, Microsoft and Shanghai-based BestTV announced a multi-million dollar partnership in September to leverage the new rules.

Discussion

244 comments
dpclark
dpclark

I agree with China.  They should also block GameSpot comments.  Oh wait, GameSpot already selectively does that.

duylinhs
duylinhs

China government block console games.

Meanwhile those who can afford to play console travel to neighbors / order online to get what they want.

Nothing is done, zero sum game :|

arcangelgold
arcangelgold

LOLOL. Could they be more communist! I'm sorry but their people are government slaves. It's no wonder they all want to run away or commit suicide. These people are afraid of everything. Oh someone might criticize the Chinese. Well since the shoe CLEARLY fits, wear it!

Takeno456
Takeno456

Unsurprising. Its China, media control has been a government goal since its revolution. Bringing in video games into the country will not change this. I just hope the gaming companies will not start changing games to meet with the demands of the Chinese government. 

orbit991
orbit991

Ahh, nice to see freedom reign.


On a more serious note, considering the population of the country, I'd hate to see products compromised just to make sales there.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

*game publishers*  QUICK!  Nobody make a game where we talk about China!

*game dev*            Well in ours we mentioned them when talking about Asian people at one point.

*game publishers*      Great now we can't sell your game there!  Change it!

*game dev*                   but it was just a passing reference, I mean it should be fine...

*game publishers*      NO!  You fix it!  In fact make a new China level!!!1!  Everyone goes to China and it's amazing!  No one has a bad time and everyone loves it!

*Game dev*                  But our game is about the brutalities of man and how everything is pointless, why would we make a happy part of this game?

*game publishers*     Just do it or else we're gonna buy you out and go Activision on you for the next 10 years!!!!  **game publisher leaves*

*game dev*                   Fine.  PSST.  Hey, yeah just make one of the mountains a giant ass or something. 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

The topic being discussed is not really appropriate here. A soverign group of people is free to live how they want, regardless of what other soverign groups of people think. If someone doesn't like it, they can always launch a Crusade or Jihad or their modern equivalent. Talking about it is... tiresome.

The real problem with China, as with the Soviet Union, is that the second most powerful nation in the world is ruled by a government that doesn't even pretend it's elected by a majority of its citizens. Then we see news like this, of that government's making policies to restrict the lives of those very citizens. To be fair, most powerful empires or soverigns or whatever in history were non-democratic, but I feel like we live in a more... emancipated age. Even so, such a discussion is suitable to political forums rather than a gamer site.

There is merit to the debates on whether any game is anti-China, or anti-something, and whether those games should be given a chance, but this discussion has digressed.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I wouldn't be surprised if their definition of hostile is completely different to what I imagine it means for them, but I can see a whole lot of games not being allowed through "the window".

dirtywizard73
dirtywizard73

It's interesting to see all the criticism leveled at China especially in respect to comparisons with the United States and other so called "western" nations. Some of it is justified. However, I live in Canada and as someone who is only vaguely familiar with 19th and 20th century history can say with relative certainty that western governments have more than their fair share of repressing democratic freedoms globally when it is in their plutocratic interests. The thing is, they tend to use force for repression in other countries, not in their own, and to prop up and support puppet dictators. The US backed Somoza dynasty (1927–1979) (which massacred its own citizens in Nicaragua, as well as leading a plethora of terrorist attracts against El Salvador through Contras (see the 1986 US Iran-Contra affair)) or the British-American covert overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh, who was the democratically elected prime minister of Iran in 1953 because he nationalized his own country's oil industry, much to the dismay of British Petroleum. The conflict this caused made a mess of the country and led to the 1979 revolution that deposed the western installed absolute monarchy of the Shah Mohammad-Rez with the authoritarian theocracy of Ayatollah Khamenei. China itself was invaded and occupied by western powers at the turn of the 19th century, long before it ever was communist with British, French, German, and American forces largely looting the country for resources. Earlier Britain had invaded China in the Opium Wars (1839-1842, 1856-1860) because China refused to allow Britain to massively import opium which was becoming a huge social problem in the country. Regardless, this in no way excuses human rights abuses in China, but it's worth nothing that those of us in western countries are living in glass houses as our governments have installed and supported human rights abuses when it has been in their interests, a recent example being Egypt's recently deposed western installed and backed dictator Hoasni Mubarak.  

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Ah .. One chopstick man go hungry..

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

Oh my... China China China... Every time I read an article about you, I wish more and more your country didn't exist and you slophouse monkey fuckers would just fall off the edge of the earth never to be heard from again...  I feel bad for the people though, under the tyrannical thumb of this blowhard country.  The BF 4 thing made me laugh and facepalm so hard, that I think people on the otherside of the globe felt it...  Honestly I'm starting to really hate this country, and for me hate is a strong word cause I really don't hate anyone or anything.  Dislike sure but hate is absolute.  But this country... THIS COUNTRY.  This country and any islamic country are the only 2 entities in this world that I can't stand more than anything.  From throwing rocks at women for being raped, to blocking an ENTIRE COUNTRY's INTERNET for reasons I still don't even understand or know of, I can't think of any more garbage that is worthy of such hatred.


Note to china, GET THE FUCK OVER IT, video games are a prominent part of life now and they are NOT going away anytime soon. To deprive someone of something thats entertaining and all that, you are forcing people to pirate, steal and go behind your back to get what they want.  And believe me when theres a will there IS a way.


I have to add something here though.  My grandma told me a story recently that I find rather amusing, yet sad.  Someone my grandma knows met a women in China.  They hit it off so well he paid several THOUSAND dollars to get her and her daughter out of that country.  And it took monthes upon monthes and hell upon hell to get the ok for this, as China doesn't like any of it's citizens leaving their grasp and tyrannical thumb.  Now I have to say this is pretty sad.  While I get some freedoms are necessary and yes the US has alot of freedoms, but letsnot forget they are being taken away one by one, and don't get me started on THAT bullshit, I still can't even imagine being locked into something like, hell anything IN China.

93ChevyNut
93ChevyNut

All part of Nintendo's plan.  The Wii outsold the 360/PS3 because they targeted a market that normally doesn't buy consoles.  Now they will target a market that can only buy non-violent games.  **cash register noises**

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

Arma III devs arrested for taking sensitive pictures of Military base and no one bats an eye, China bans a video game where you shoot Chinese people and everyone goes ape s***. Regardless of all this they do have a point, children will probably grow healthier without playing games like Battlefield 4 anyway.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Lack of liberty and content censorship in China? color me surprised!

MonstaTruk
MonstaTruk

On the subject of censorship, did you know that you can't say "baby daddy" on American TV, anymore? But they can now say "d*ck" and "p*ssy"...lol. Propaganda, I tell ya. The world we live in...*smGDh*

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

Well, thank fucking god for China! I wonder what kind of black market exists for all those banned consoles and games. Of course, online play is likely impossible.

Zombrex
Zombrex

Next news headline: Nintendo moves millions of units in China, surpasses both X1 and PS4.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

Best graphic ever... I wasn't sure what China looked like on a map. You do realize that you don't HAVE to put in useless pictures into every article right? Shoot, it doesn't even label it "China." Image credit: Every middle school history book ever. Sad thing is, there are probably more than a few people who didn't know what that was...




"but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes."  - Why? Jackie Chan eats those? 2 birds, 1 stone. You get games, Jackie Chan gets protein!


Good for China, they finally realized that they could make a ton of money instead of "protecting the children" from consoles they already had! Sadly, " not in conformity with the outlook of China's government, won't be allowed" means all the good stuff though....

nomadski69
nomadski69

1. Was a big map of China really necessary? Im pretty sure its location is both irrelevant to the story, and unnecessary as surely anyone knows where China is? Right?

2. It's great that China are opening a tiny window to at least let SOME games in. One can only hope Australia soon follows suit. 

Badum..

arcangelgold
arcangelgold

@Takeno456 I wouldn't be surprised if they did. Hollywood changed all the enemies in movies to zombies or random ambiguous American type people for a reason.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

@Takeno456 If they do change anything, it won't be until after the standard game is launched in most other regions. China is unlike any other country in terms of its media control, so changing a game for everyone based on one country probably wouldn't be anyone's plan.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@Unfallen_Satan Nope. Sorry, but the same goes for any country. It all comes down to the governments choosing to censor or oppress whatever they want. I am so tired of all the labels given to countries political ties. It always comes to one thing, control. Even if said government leads the people to believe they have a say, they really don't. When the people vote for something who has the control in the end?

arcangelgold
arcangelgold

@Unfallen_Satan Sorry but I'm gonna have to disagree with you on this. First we are free people and we can talk about anything and anyone we want to. Which is why not being communist China is great. Number two, being oppressed government slaves is NOT a cultural choice by the Chinese, it's called oppression and it's getting to the point where these people need help from other countries to get freedom. Number three everything in culture is important in how a culture views it's self and how it sends messages and shares art. NOT allowing video games that the Chinese monarchy doesn't like is a serious issue not any different than banning books, speech, paintings, film etc. So I think it's a great forum to be discussing it.

dirtywizard73
dirtywizard73

Edit: China itself was invaded and occupied by western powers at the turn of the 20th* century (not 19th)

arcangelgold
arcangelgold

@xeoneex66 God I loved this post! No one really tells the truth anymore about how they feel because they are too scared to violate the invisible political correctness rules. I agree 100%. China is a cesspool of litter, garbage, toxic waste, air pollution, slave wages, suicide nets, let's not forget the crazed child-like emperor who runs it. They can call it a "republic" all they want but lol, come on already everyone knows it's a monarchy. 

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

So much love.. you should visit North Korea or Burma.. relax bro.. dont get ur panties in a bunch.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Bit of a screw loose there man..

arcangelgold
arcangelgold

@Tao_and_Zen I'm sure it is. China wouldn't want them friending anyone from a free country and begin to question their slavery.

MonstaTruk
MonstaTruk

What was the Jackie Chan reference to? In English, without propaganda, please...

MonstaTruk
MonstaTruk

I forgot about the Kinect! lol. There is NO WAY IN HELL that thing is being allowed in China...lol

Hemmaroids
Hemmaroids

@Takeno456 You forgot North Korea. North Korea is more stringent about stuff that comes into their country.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@tightwad34 I am not sure with what specifically from my comment you disagree. Do you feel that the US, for example, is also oppressive and therefore my original second paragraph is invalid? If so, do you deny that there is no mechanism with which Chinese citizen can state clearly whether they approve their current leaders? If not, then I would appreciate clarification on other objections you have.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@arcangelgold

I don't want to get into a discussion on your Point 2. Even if there were unequivocal evidence that a sizable population in China who desires to change their leaders, your notion that "good" (I guess better is more appropriate) people need to go liberate them offends me. Do you have evidence which you think compels some other parts of the world to liberate the Chinese people from oppression?

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@arcangelgold

I certainly agree with your Point 1. In my defense, I didn't forbid any discussions. I felt Gamespot is not the right place to discuss political policy of another country, and that hasn't changed. Let's take the example of your third point. Let's say China does ban certain artworks, which I believe it does, why do you suppose GS is the place to discuss it? I think because the majority of GS users are neither Chinese or a student of Chinese studies, indeed not even a student of world history or politics, most are not qualified to discuss the subject in a meaningful way. Many come off as childish; some are just plain hateful. Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld once said free people are free to make mistakes. I support that, and I don't believe in restricting free speech, but I still have to speak up against what I see as poor behavior.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@SIDEFX1 I dont know either.  I only go by what I hear and read about, and so far china, and those fucks in the islamic countries is all I really hear about.  Korea makes some piss poor MMO's though now that I think about it...  on top of the fact they brought the p2w model....

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

@arcangelgold@mav_destroyer I know what you mean. Maybe they can't affect health directly but they can still affect a person emotionally. Games can relieve stress or cause frustration or even depression if you play a disturbing game.

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

@arcangelgold Little does China realize that to prevent its people from questioning their slavery is best achieved by becoming a free country. ;-)

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

@Warlord_Irochi  Really?! What and how the hell are they playing if everything's been banned? And why is this article news then?

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@tightwad34 And it sounds like we are not really in disagreement. I must have come off sounding the opposite of what I intended. My fault.

If I were a Dragonborn, I'd argue through shouts. :) We speak and listen better when civil.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@Unfallen_Satan I don't deny there is a mechanism the Chinese can use to state their disapproval of their govt. But unlike the US, there are unjust punishments when they do get caught. In the US you have to threaten someone or come off as a terrorist. Maybe there is a bit of oppression here, but compared to a lot of other places it's really minute. Oh, and thanks for being civil. I appreciate non angry people, especially on the internet.

RobDev
RobDev

@xeoneex66 @SIDEFX1 How many foreign citizens have the Chinese killed in drone strikes? Americans can;t look down their nose at anyone these days.

Tao_and_Zen
Tao_and_Zen

@Warlord_Irochi  I did read it, I just didn't think about it too carefully. I don't play browser games at all -- never have -- so it didn't occur to me. I also assumed that China's internet on/off switch was so powerful that there was no way to play online. I don't mind being ignorant, but it is nicer to know stuff. Thanks for the info.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Tao_and_Zen

They play because there is online play in PC you know... specially browser games. This is news because consoles will be sold on China after a ban of 14 years (It is within the first 4 lines in the article, did you actually stop to read it?)