Wednesday, July 29, 2009

China bans games about gangs

Tony Soprano definitely didn't see this one coming.

China's Ministry of Culture has officially banned any websites that offer online games featuring mafia-like gangs, reports The New York Times.
China Bans Gang Games

A post on the Ministry's website claims that such games "embody antisocial behavior like killing, beating, looting and raping" and "undermine morality and Chinese traditional culture." The ban covers any websites that publish, distribute or even link out to mafia-themed titles. Law-enforcement officials have been ordered to crack down on offenders, promising "severe punishment" for those who violate the ban.

Raking in over $2.5 billion in 2008 alone, online gaming is a major pastime in China. But as part of the country's efforts to control access to "vulgar" content, the government has grown increasingly wary of the games industry. Most recently, censors locked out mega-hit World of Warcraft after an operator switch prompted a re-screening of the game's content.

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