Apparently, China has once again shown its fangs on video games with new political censorship that aims to ban international online gaming for Chinese residents who wants to play or communicate with people outside of their country.
A week ago, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) banned Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons following several users are using the game to protest against the government. The games functionality and customization were played to advocate for the “Free Hong Kong” movement.
Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, was one of the first to post an image regarding political protests on April 2. This eventually led to the game being banned on April 10. But now, China is stepping it up and are now trying to impose the an even bigger ban on games.
According to multiple news sources, including the Taiwanese publication Liberty Times, the ban will include games that incorporate words like zombies, death, doomsday, kill, ghost, and evil in almost any form.
Any game with character customization, open chats, or guild systems will be overseen by the Chinese government to ensure that they don’t promote “ideals that would promote the split of the motherland.”
“The idea of ’promoting the split of the motherland’ confirmed in disguise that there are players gathering in Animal Crossing and satirizing the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping, which is indeed the reason why this game was removed. The draft of the ban has already appeared in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and other municipalities, and it is expected that it will be extended to all of China in the near future.”Liberty Times reporter Huang Jingchun
Other than the ban, all players participating in online games will now be forced to use their real names. No more usernames or other alternate titles for your character. The CCP is also going to ban worldwide servers in most titles to keep players from interacting with other players in foreign countries.
This means companies will have to remove “Global Service” feature for their games. The CPP is demanding that all games that has such a feature to go offline and delete the said function.
China has always been known for its strict gaming policies. They are limiting the amount of time minors can spend playing games of any kind. They are only allowed up to 90 minutes of game time on normal days and three hours max on legalized holidays.
You can read more information about the ban by going through the documentation from Chinese technology company Sina.