China Reveals Censorship Critera for Console Games

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China Reveals Censorship Critera for Console Games

The Chinese government has released a list of censorship worthy offenses that pretty much gives it the power to ban any console game it wants.

Back in January the Chinese government lifted a 14-year old ban on the sale of foreign game consoles that would open the country's market to the likes of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo for the first time in years. That being the case, people looking on the ban's end as a positive step forward may want to curb their optimism in the light of recently revealed restrictions Chinese state censors intend to place on console games entering the country.

According to a translated government release, video games entering the country will be subject to a long list of standards that they'll have to meet to be sold inside Chinese borders. The list of censor-worthy offenses includes the following:

  • Gambling Gambling-related content or game features.
  • Anything that violates China's constitution.
  • Anything that threatens China's national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.
  • Anything that harms the nation's reputation, security, or interests.
  • Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
  • Anything that violates China's policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
  • Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
  • Anything that harms public ethics or China's culture and traditions.
  • Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
  • Other content that violates the law.

In other words the Chinese government will have the ability to censor pretty much every popular game currently on the market. Granted, it might not actually hold every game strictly up to these standards. That said, the broad and vague nature of the state's criteria makes it very clear that it wants to have the power and ability to ban whatever it wants whenever it feels like it.

Source: Games in Asia

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  • Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.

Oh, China? I think your censorships laws are in violation of your censorship laws. XD

In other words, EVERYTHING.
Well actually, I think puzzle games may have a 1/50 chance of making it through.

Wait no, "the game hates me" is a superstition.

Seems like effective law making to me. Make it broad and vague enough as to be manipulated in favor of any whim or plan.

Well...
World of Tanks is in
Lesson:
Have Chinese tanks! HAIL 121!

After "Anything that harms the nation's [...] interests." you really don't need anything else.
Because if you are in the goverment you can always yell: this runs against our interests!!! and no one can really say anything against that...

Second captcha that really works super well with my comment within 3 minutes!
"Ultimate power"

MCerberus:
In other words, EVERYTHING.
Well actually, I think puzzle games may have a 1/50 chance of making it through.

Wait no, "the game hates me" is a superstition.

It's religion, really:
http://diablo.incgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/RNG-283x220.jpg

XD

Kenjitsuka:

MCerberus:
In other words, EVERYTHING.
Well actually, I think puzzle games may have a 1/50 chance of making it through.

Wait no, "the game hates me" is a superstition.

It's religion, really:
http://diablo.incgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/RNG-283x220.jpg

XD

Praise be RNGesus

So they lifted a ban on foreign games being sold. To only replace with the ability to censor pretty much anything they see fit.

Yea I doubt many, if any, game companies will even try to sell in China.

Well, small steps I guess...

Basically Nintendo's entire library of First-Party games are good to go, no questions asked.

Orks da best:
Yea I doubt many, if any, game companies will even try to sell in China.

can only assume this is some kind of joke i don't get...

possibly on account of knowing how big gaming is in China and just how large and potentially profitable a market of 1.34 billion people is...and also how greedy "games companies" are...

y'know if you go watch "Free To Play" on Steam (which is a free documentary about a 1 million dollars prize DOTA 2 tournament and "pro gaming" as whole) you'll get a glimpse of "gaming in China" and maybe not be inclined to say such silly things again...even if they do quite obviously do an "Ivan Drago" with the Chinese teams...

Brian Tams:
Basically Nintendo's entire library of First-Party games are good to go, no questions asked.

pretty much.

Welp, with this they can censor ANYTHING. Seriously. I'm talking thomas was alone being bannable levels of shit.

It makes U.S. obscenity laws look lawful and wholesome, and those are some really unethical laws.

I mean think about it, if you really want to, checkers and chess could be censored due to number 5.

Sleekit:
-snip-

I would agree more, but China's focus, the government, not the people, has been on information suppression and public subjugation. I get the feeling that a majority of games will not get through, just because of the way China operates. They wouldn't want anything related to human rights and such getting in there.

y'know if you go the most shocking thing is actually how much it is like America.

if you think all the government cares about is "subjugation" i suggest you go read the famous speech delivered Zhao Ziyang (the then general secretary of the Chinese communist party) in person to the students in Tiananmen Square...which btw, although a great tragedy...is not a great tragedy for the reasons people generally think they know, was not about what people generally think it was about nor did what people think happened even actually happen.

the Chinese government makes rules and for the most part the Chinese just get on with things.

it's a big country and with that comes a certain amount of scare and strong arm tactics in its law making/policing/government...most really big counties exhibit this...even the US to a certain extent...quite a large extent nowadays...whereas the most liberal counties are also among the smallest...were people are far closer to their government and visa versa...

anyway point being be very careful not to dehumanise "the Chinese"...you made a governmental differentiation and at least that's something...but government officials are people too...just go read Zhaos speech and you'll see what i mean...

The problem with censorship in this case is the same problem with alcohol consumption. They will have made many games taboo, as they currently are, and people will pirate all the banned, and censored versions like moonshine across the US.

These are too broad, and will be too liberally implemented.

"Gambling Gambling-related content or game features.
Anything that violates China's constitution.
Anything that threatens China's national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.
Anything that harms the nation's reputation, security, or interests.
Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
Anything that violates China's policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
Anything that harms public ethics or China's culture and traditions.
Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
Other content that violates the law"

So I guess playing Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires with the intent of taking over China as a custom made Japanese faction would be gigantic no-no?

"Anything that harms public ethics or China's culture and traditions."
"Anything that harms the nation's reputation, security, or interests."

Joy. I guess in that case I'll also make sure to execute every single officer I can in the game too. Well, you know, except for the ones I like.

'y'know if you go the most shocking thing is actually how much it is like America.'

Well, if we're being technical I can totally shoot Americans in basically any first person shooter that has multiplayer. And if we're talking about people that aren't half as polite as I am, we can also throw in teabagging, shooting up their dead corpse with bullets, and then calling them a ton of colorful names

Brian Tams:
Basically Nintendo's entire library of First-Party games are good to go, no questions asked.

Oh, really?

  • Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
  • So much for Mario using super mushrooms and stomping enemies. Or Pokemon battles. Or using Samus Aran's powersuit. Or swinging Link's sword...

  • Anything that violates China's policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
  • ...or the rest of the Legend of **censored**

    I never played Animal Crossing, so that might be okay, I dunno.

    So everything besides games specifically made to be communist propaganda?

    lSHaDoW-FoXl:
    Well, if we're being technical I can totally shoot Americans in basically any first person shooter that has multiplayer. And if we're talking about people that aren't half as polite as I am, we can also throw in teabagging, shooting up their dead corpse with bullets, and then calling them a ton of colorful names

    do you think these games (and such gameplay) doesn't already exist in China for some reason ?

    FPSs are not indigenous to consoles y'know.

    Counter-Strike Online (just to pick one) was made specifically for the Chinese and Asian markets.

    however i will concede your very unlikely to see many games involving Japanese mowing down Chinese...in China...

    something are just a bit too close to the historical mark...

    Sleekit:

    do you think these games (and such gameplay) doesn't already exist in China for some reason ?

    FPSs are not indigenous to consoles y'know.

    however i will concede your very unlikely to see many games involving Japanese mowing down Chinese.

    something are just a bit too close to the historical mark...

    No, but I'm sure China would greenlight any game involving the player committing genocide against the Japanese, like they do with movies.

    Hell, they'd probably publicly endorse the game.

    see when a battle is commonly referred to as a "rape"...and it's not, actually, a euphemism...bad feelings are kind of bound to hang around for a very looong time...

    no one is very happy with the idea of Gran being raped...

    perhaps least of all people who practice "ancestor worship".

    on a more positive note China and Japan the top two-way trading partners in the entire world...and, in time, that, and a few more generations, will solve that particular problem.

    We nuked them and fire bombed half their cities; in which we purposefully targeted civilians, and Japan doesn't hate us or childishly talks about how evil we are all the time.

    They probably should hate us, but their government doesn't ferment that hate at every opportunity, like the PRC does.

    And it was generations ago, most everyone involved in WW2 is dead.

    If "promoting" violence is bad, pretty much 90% of all games are blacklist candidates.

    I mean how else wopuld you describe...let's say this:

    Gary Thompson:
    We nuked them and fire bombed half their cities; in which we purposefully targeted civilians, and Japan doesn't hate us or childishly talks about how evil we are all the time.

    They probably should hate us, but their government doesn't ferment that hate at every opportunity, like the PRC does.

    if you think the Japanese are all happy joy joy peaceful people you haven't been playing close enough attention.

    Japan "respects" the US partly because they were beaten by them.

    the Chinese they viewed and treated as "sub human".

    i might also add that the only part of the US that ever saw war was that harbour in Hawaii.

    i suspect you might feel very different if they had invaded as far as say...the Rocky Mountain Line...and systematically subjugated your own people under force of arms...and penises...

    also if the government truly "ferment that hate at every opportunity" they wouldn't be the two biggest two way trading partners in the world.

    Chinese people covet and buy Japanese goods. so do Koreans. the people don't hate.

    doesn't change the fact that yes, Japan were bastards during the war and for the most part have no shame about it.

    Sleekit:
    if you think the Japanese are all happy joy joy peaceful people you haven't been playing close enough attention.

    Japan "respects" the US partly because they were beaten by them.

    the Chinese they viewed and treated as "sub human".

    i might also add that the only part of the US that ever saw war was that harbour in Hawaii.

    i suspect you might feel very different if they had invaded as far as say...the Rocky Mountain Line...and subjugated your own people under force of arms.

    Uh, that's just not true, our capital was burnt down by the British in the War of 1812 and we had a civil war, not to mention the countless Indian wars.
    US soil has seen its fair share of war.

    Also, I wouldn't hold much of a grudge, because it was generations ago.
    Hardly anyone in WW2 is alive anymore.

    You think the Polish hate the Germans that much? Or the Greeks the Italians?
    No, because their governments aren't wacko communist dictatorships that need to focus the people's hate on some foreign other so they wont view the government that's killed tens of millions of it's own citizens as their enemy.

    The whole trade thing is irrelevant because the CCP is full of hypocrisy and contradictions, it only makes sense that they'd talk about how much they hate their trading partners.

    neither are are the Chinese.

    this sentence: "their governments aren't wacko communist dictatorships that need to focus the people's hate on some foreign other so they wont view the government that's killed tens of millions of it's own citizens as their enemy." is near completely at odds with reality on a whole host of different levels.

    i have good family friends who live in China by choice.

    they aren't "killing tens of millions of their own citizens".

    and they aren't communists except in name.

    they don't need to focus their peoples attention (even if they had that power which they don't) because for the most part Chinese consider "it's a great time to be Chinese" which btw is exactly how you'd feel about your nation if you nation had been seeing double digit economic growth for decades (economic growth that's been entirely deliberately managed for the benefit of the country and it's people btw) and for another they don't have to convince people to vote for them...

    if anything the bigger noise is actually being made by nationalist Japanese politicians atm...

    and if you think WW2 isn't relevant to current European politics...again not paying enough attention.

    atm its playing a major part in what's going on in both Ukraine and Britain.

    and mentioning the Greeks is just plain funny.

    image

    people don't forget history.

    that's why it's called "history".

    because something happened that wasn't, actually, easily forgettable.

    unlike the content of most of our lives...

    Gary Thompson:

    Uh, that's just not true, our capital was burnt down by the British in the War of 1812 and we had a civil war, not to mention the countless Indian wars.
    US soil has seen its fair share of war.

    The Second Sino-Japanese War was a conflict that began in mid 1937 and lasted for 8 years. The total casualties, most of which civilian, were greater than those suffered in the First World War. So yeah, there is a difference in scale here.

    Gary Thompson:

    Also, I wouldn't hold much of a grudge, because it was generations ago.
    Hardly anyone in WW2 is alive anymore.

    You think the Polish hate the Germans that much? Or the Greeks the Italians?

    Not a fair comparison. Both Italian and German post-war governments have apologized numerous times for any atrocities committed by their previous ruling parties. The Japanese government has never done so, in fact they more or less act as if nothing has ever happened and this is not a good policy to keep if you want friendly relationships with a neighbouring state.

    StewShearer:

    In other words the Chinese government will have the ability to censor pretty much every popular game currently on the market. Granted, it might not actually hold every game strictly up to these standards. That said, the broad and vague nature of the state's criteria makes it very clear that it wants to have the power and ability to ban whatever it wants whenever it feels like it.

    As the expression goes; there are no 'laws' in China, only 'policies'. That is to say, the law is never used (road rules for example) unless it suits the interests of the CCP. And this is pretty much the same with other media policies.
    Laws in China are always very vague specifically so they can be manipulated to allow or prevent a desired result from the CCP.

    I am not surprised by this at all. Recent developments have been to allow Chinese console developments and prevent [legitimate] foreign sales in the country.

    Sleekit:
    neither are are the Chinese.
    they don't need to focus their peoples attention (even if they had that power which they don't) because for the most part Chinese consider "it's a great time to be Chinese" which btw is exactly how you'd feel about your nation if you nation had been seeing double digit economic growth for decades (economic growth that's been entirely deliberately managed for the benefit of the country and it's people btw) and for another they don't have to convince people to vote for them...

    I agree with everything else you said except this, there is blatant manipulation of the media in China (which is totally government regulated). But I will limit myself to news.
    There are three sections to the news in China;
    1 - Good things happening in China (bad reports aren't mentioned unless they are severe or caused by non-Chinese)
    2 - Bad things happening in the rest of the world
    3 - Weather report

    There ARE riots and protests daily in China of course (big country) and these are quickly suppressed and never reported on at any level. An example I have seen was a group of children at a school were poisoned because the school bought poor quality rice from military surplus. Parents got (understandably) upset and had a peaceful protest in the city square. Police surrounded them and they were forced to disperse.
    Nationalism is how the govt uses the media to control the population. By creating a larger outside threat (usually Japan or the US) it directs the 'negative energy' away from more local issues (like govt corruption).

    - Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
    - Anything that harms public ethics or China's culture and traditions.

    The Chinese government is already the worst offender in regards to both of these points. The government has spent decades attempting to suppress traditional Han culture and the amount of hatred of the Japanese that the Chinese government ingrains into the people is almost unbelievable.

    This will have no effect on console gamers here as everyone can buy Hong Kong versions in shops, technically an import, very easily. Plus, China's version of ebay, called Taobao, is full of retailers selling video games officially released in SE Asia, Japan and the North America. Really, this changes nothing, except to show the CCP are a bunch of control freaks, which we already know.

    So China doesn't want any game at all then? Oh well, that's their loss. You're just gonna get more piracy that way.

    Sleekit:

    Gary Thompson:
    We nuked them and fire bombed half their cities; in which we purposefully targeted civilians, and Japan doesn't hate us or childishly talks about how evil we are all the time.

    They probably should hate us, but their government doesn't ferment that hate at every opportunity, like the PRC does.

    if you think the Japanese are all happy joy joy peaceful people you haven't been playing close enough attention.

    Japan "respects" the US partly because they were beaten by them.

    the Chinese they viewed and treated as "sub human".

    i might also add that the only part of the US that ever saw war was that harbour in Hawaii.

    i suspect you might feel very different if they had invaded as far as say...the Rocky Mountain Line...and systematically subjugated your own people under force of arms...and penises...

    also if the government truly "ferment that hate at every opportunity" they wouldn't be the two biggest two way trading partners in the world.

    Chinese people covet and buy Japanese goods. so do Koreans. the people don't hate.

    doesn't change the fact that yes, Japan were bastards during the war and for the most part have no shame about it.

    It was clever espionage and incompetent foes that prevented an invasion from the Mexican border before it could even begin. Sure part of the US advantage has to do with not being close to the enemy (who was just as far away from us), but to some extent you can't rag on how someone doesn't know how much losing hurts when they had the skill to not get hurt.

    You guys don't get it........those laws are set to give the government power, which means they can greenlight and ban any games they want just like everything else. It have nothing to do with "chinese", the general wants of the citizens and wants of the government hardly ever coincide, so don't think for a second this is what "chinese" want.

    What this really means is whoever want to publish a game they will have to first bribe the right people.

    It's all about bribery, the only real red lights in china is bad mouthing the government and something involve taiwan......that's it! everything else can be interpret in your favor depending on the bribes you pay.

    Even captain america showed in chinese cinemas, all two of them, so did cloud atlas with the whole revolution part intact. China is a hypocritic country but it's also greedy, therefore what they lack in integrity they made up for in greed. I should know, I'm there now.

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