China Imposes New Restrictions on Online Games

China Imposes New Restrictions on Online Games

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China is imposing even stricter controls on online gaming in the country, demanding among other things that operators hire "specialists" to ensure that games "enhance socialist values."

China has never been the friendliest place in the world for online game companies to do business. Just ask Blizzard, whose World of Warcraft was shut down for months after it tried to change Chinese operators from The9 to NetEase. In fact, after finally getting back online in September, it was reported earlier this month that the game may yet again be in jeopardy.

But it looks like things are about to get even worse for online game operators in the country. The government announced yesterday that restrictions would be tightened even further; aside from the usual insistence that operators ensure their games don't contain any "obscene or violent content" or anything "lowbrow," a wonderfully vague concept that governments can use to justify law enforcement on a discretionary, some might say arbitrary, basis, game operators must also now hire "specialists" (a euphemism for political officers, I'm assuming) to monitor content and ensure the games "enhance socialist values."

Chinese game companies will have no choice but to comply with the new regulations but publishers from outside the country will be faced with a unique, potentially frustrating challenge. The Chinese market is huge, lucrative and growing rapidly, and Western operators naturally want a piece of that pie; but how is it going to be possible to modify popular existing MMOGs to suit "socialist values" without alienating existing audiences in the process?

Source: Crispy Gamer

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Wow, WTF? Also, China, you aren't socialist. You're a dictatorship. Stop making socialism look bad.

game companys should just give up on china
then due to lack of stuff because of stupid laws, they will need to open there gaming borders

HG131:
Wow, WTF? Also, China, you aren't socialist. You're a dictatorship. Stop making socialism look bad.

Exactly. By 'socialist values', do they mean committing government-sponsored genocide? Or just, y'know, quelling the occasional rebellion with excessive military force?

I know! They want RTS games where you strive for supreme dictatorship! Leech the masses for their money, amass resources, sell shitty products to your rivals, and then you can have this wonderful little role-playing mini-game where you master doublethink to help further your totalitarian regime. Edit: And don't forget, all who don't contribute to The Party on a regular basis shall become citizen second-class proletarians who work in the factories, run by friends of party-leaders.

People will line up for that one.

I just cant help but feel bad for country's like China and Australia.
whenever someone goes into a rant about how bad gamers and game companies have it in America, i can just point to places like China and Australia and they tend to stop talking.

Well, I guess they could emphasize the tribal nature of certain horde races...

WoW will now only have one guild and you must be a member.

In a few years, all of the cranky, old Chinese officials that are trying to keep China from fully supporting capitalism will die, and then everything is going to be insane since there's going to be a bunch of companies trying to get into the Chinese maret while regulations are loose and this is a really long sentence. Commas!

There's tumultuous times ahead.

Pay attention other countries, because what happens here will happen to us. So pay attention to how it gets away with it. Also China isn't socialist, they are communism. Meaning it is similar to a caste system where all goes to one person, and said one person determines how to share it all. I agree it suck, so learn how to get around it, because it will happen to us.

meh. They'll just stop running MMOs on Chinese servers. Chinese players will sneakily play through Taiwan servers. Happyness had by all

Nova5:

EXACTLY. By 'socialist values', do they mean committing government-sponsored genocide? Or just, y'know, quelling the occasional rebellion with excessive military force?

I know! They want RTS games where you strive for supreme dictatorship! Leech the masses for their money, amass resources, sell shitty products to your rivals, and then you can have this wonderful little role-playing mini-game where you master doublethink to help further your totalitarian regime.

Sweet.

This. China may have lots of money, but theres little point if you have to keep changing the ball-game every few years just to suit the desires of one power-mad old despot.

Wow... It must be fun living in China.

What the hell, why can't games by politically neutral China? I thought you were on our way to being a nice place to live. Still better than some thrid world nations though. Damn are we western gamers ever lucky.

mykalwane:
Pay attention other countries, because what happens here will happen to us. So pay attention to how it gets away with it. Also China isn't socialist, they are communism. Meaning it is similar to a caste system where all goes to one person, and said one person determines how to share it all. I agree it suck, so learn how to get around it, because it will happen to us.

Socialism is an economic system. Communism is really a type of government. They are not mutually exclusive, i.e. it is not a one or the other type of situation. Typically they go together.

This is probably why Americans tend to hate socialism, and I don't blame them. This is the complete OPPOSITE of what the type of government stands for, as socialism works for the people and protects their rights from those in power like the government or capitalists. How are you protecting your citizens if you deny them freedom of expression?

Whatever China might say about themselves, they're still bloody communists of the worst calibre. For Shiggy's sake they even did this during Obama's talk about internet freedom in Shangai; I mean, we wouldn't want our citizens to speak freely about our living conditions would we?

I hope this will impact the gold farmers.

Nova5:

HG131:
Wow, WTF? Also, China, you aren't socialist. You're a dictatorship. Stop making socialism look bad.

Exactly. By 'socialist values', do they mean committing government-sponsored genocide? Or just, y'know, quelling the occasional rebellion with excessive military force?

I know! They want RTS games where you strive for supreme dictatorship! Leech the masses for their money, amass resources, sell shitty products to your rivals, and then you can have this wonderful little role-playing mini-game where you master doublethink to help further your totalitarian regime. Edit: And don't forget, all who don't contribute to The Party on a regular basis shall become citizen second-class proletarians who work in the factories, run by friends of party-leaders.

People will line up for that one.

well to be fair they wouldn't have a choice

True, but the blanket statement was referred to the country not it's economic system is all. Still stand by my statement what is happening to the internet there will happen everywhere. Governments want to control all mediums, and the internet is one. So they will try to control it in one way or another with the eventuality of it working. Many people want a one world government, and it is going to happen. So pay attention to what they do on this, because it will happen to you. Maybe not with a game, but in the whole internet.

Georgeman:
Wow... It must be fun living in China.

A restrained worker is a happy worker.

DI DI MAU! DI DI MAU! Oh, wait, that's Vietnam. Well, getting closer.

I just wanna give them... hugs.
Adorable.

Hmm, most MMOs seem to have intrinsically capitalistic gameplay mechanics. You go kill monsters, you get stuff and you trade it in for cash with which you buy better equipment. So how would you make that 'socialistic'? It seems to me that the only way it could be socialistic is if take all the stuff you pillage to the big boss and then if you exceed your quota of monsters they promote you to a slightly higher ranked killing officer at the bureau of monster and monster-related activities (with slightly better standard issue equipment). It seems to me that the very concept of an adventurer is an anathema to socialist ideas.

Nova5:

HG131:
Wow, WTF? Also, China, you aren't socialist. You're a dictatorship. Stop making socialism look bad.

Exactly. By 'socialist values', do they mean committing government-sponsored genocide? Or just, y'know, quelling the occasional rebellion with excessive military force?

I know! They want RTS games where you strive for supreme dictatorship! Leech the masses for their money, amass resources, sell shitty products to your rivals, and then you can have this wonderful little role-playing mini-game where you master doublethink to help further your totalitarian regime. Edit: And don't forget, all who don't contribute to The Party on a regular basis shall become citizen second-class proletarians who work in the factories, run by friends of party-leaders.

People will line up for that one.

I would ! I love genocide !

Espically in real life.... Ha ha ha ha ha...

They want a game that "enhances" socialist values? they should make their own instead of getting pissed off at capitalists for not doing it.

Ah, World of Soviet Warcraft, with everyone wearing hats with stars and old stalin-era propaganda songs playing as BGM.

mykalwane:
Pay attention other countries, because what happens here will happen to us. So pay attention to how it gets away with it. Also China isn't socialist, they are communism. Meaning it is similar to a caste system where all goes to one person, and said one person determines how to share it all. I agree it suck, so learn how to get around it, because it will happen to us.

Communism: Everyone is equal. Just some are more equal than others

"Enhance socialist values" is a convoluted way of saying "falls in line with China's policies on restricted speech," in this political science major's/gamer's opinion. It has little to do with economic socialism as much as exerting state control over the content of the games.

The kind of government control described in this article is what we in the USA have to look forward to if we don't stop the headlong plunge we are in towards becoming a communist country. Think of some of your favorite games. Now imagine what would happen to them if they had to be vetted by suits who know nothing about what makes video games great and who only care about pleasing the communist party bosses. Most of the games we love would be ruined. It's bad enough that the ESRB labels content in games as 'mature' that would not get a movie a rating any more strict than PG 13. Now imagine that the ESRB was replaced by even more left leaning communists like the folk who control China. Yikes!

They should either make "WoW China Edition with the letters written in red and Arthas saluting Mao Ce Tung! -Ooooooooooor forget about the Chinese market.

VitusPrime:
game companys should just give up on china
then due to lack of stuff because of stupid laws, they will need to open there gaming borders

I thought the same, but chances are you would see an explosion of "knock-off" MMO's from other local developers.

I think they have a TF2 knockoff.

jerrrry:

mykalwane:
Pay attention other countries, because what happens here will happen to us. So pay attention to how it gets away with it. Also China isn't socialist, they are communism. Meaning it is similar to a caste system where all goes to one person, and said one person determines how to share it all. I agree it suck, so learn how to get around it, because it will happen to us.

Socialism is an economic system. Communism is really a type of government. They are not mutually exclusive, i.e. it is not a one or the other type of situation. Typically they go together.

Except that neither of the systems in use, economically or politically by China, are socialist or communist under their original definitions. They're just being called that because China can't go about saying "we're a self-serving dictatorship".

HG131:
Wow, WTF? Also, China, you aren't socialist. You're a dictatorship. Stop making socialism look bad.

And people think we hate socialism because we have been brainwahsed by the aristocratic elite. Not really. Hitler, Stalin...pretty much all of Communist China's leaders. The worlds most notable socialists are Socialism's own worst enemy. I think we live in an aristocracy and the rich get away with far too much...and even I am cautious of socialism.

 

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