Looks like the Chinese government has made an offer that gamers can’t refuse. According to The New York Times, the Chinese Ministry of Culture has just banned all online games that feature organized crime. By today, games like The Godfather, Mafioso Hitman, and Gangster were unavailable to gamers. Links to Internet games that included organized crime were also blocked.
The China Youth Association for Internet Development reported last year that 70 percent of all juvenile crimes were “induced by Internet addiction.” These kinds of games, according to the Ministry of Culture, “embody antisocial behavior like killing, beating, looting and raping,” and “gravely threatens and distorts the social order and moral standards, easily putting young people under harmful influence.”
Although the rules are unclear, “severe punishment” is in store for anyone who violates the terms of the decree issued on Monday.
This isn’t the only time China has restricted technology and gaming. In June, China started requiring computers sold domestically to include filtering software to weed out pornography and other things the government found inappropriate. This restriction was recently lifted after computer manufacturers put on the pressure. Back in March, 1Up reported that yet another World of Warcraft expansion was delayed due to the use of skeleton avatars. When the game was eventually released in China, the entire Death Knight class was not included.
What do you guys think? Is censorship the solution to violence sparked by videogames? Or is moderation the key?