A report by China's state-run news organization has linked online gaming to drug use, teenage pregnancy, and murder - claiming that as many as 80% of violent criminals turned to crime thanks to their videogames.
Between imposing "socialist" restrictions on content, nixing the world's most popular MMORPG, shutting down foreign games, and beating kids to death at internet addiction camps, you might almost be forgiven for wondering if the Chinese government has something against online gaming.
The answer, of course, would be yes - even as regulators crack down on some of the country's most popular online games, the official state-run news channel has aired a program accusing the games of being the root of... pretty much all of society's ills, reports Yahoo! News. A China Central Television (CCTV) program titled "Confession of a Murderer -- Focus on Pornography and Violence in Online Games (Part Two)" that aired last Thursday focused on the confessions of a prisoner at a Beijing juvenile detention facility who says that the murders he committed were out of a desire to obtain phat lewtz in an online game.
"He himself killed five people, and the reason he took the path to crime was addiction to violent online games," claimed the program, further going on to report the dubious-sounding statistic that "up to 80 percent of the violent criminals in the prison turned to crime because of online games." The key phrase there, of course, is "in the prison." Because certainly there's no way that talking about the statistics of one particular prison could ever result in skewed information.
Other CCTV reports have blamed games for a variety of social ills, echoing fears from Chinese parents that the games and social networking sites are interfering with their children's schoolwork - which, to be fair, may be the case. But it's a bit harder to believe some of the other claims, like blaming online dancing game Audition for influencing a 14-year-old girl to start having sex with people she met online.
Then again, considering the slightly-infamous WoW epic mount prostitution, maybe that one's true, too.