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Chinese officials take Godfather game to the mattresses

The Chinese government has announced that it has banned online games that glamorize gangs. According to the government, any websites featuring or publicizing online games, which glamorize mafia gangs, will be "severely punished." Exactly what the severe punishment will be is unknown.

Reuters reports that the Culture Ministry said games that, "advocate obscenity, gambling, or violence," and "undermine morality and Chinese traditional culture." The official Xinhua news agency continued saying, "These games encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify gangsters' lives. It has a bad influence on youngsters."

The Chinese agency specifically pointed out the Godfather title from EA as one of the offending games. The Cultural Ministry has ordered law enforcement bodies to step up oversight on sites that continue to run this sort of game.

Chinese officials have a lot of ground to cover to enforce these rules. China's online game industry is expected to grow from 30 to 50% this year with sales revenues of as high as 27 billion yuan. China reportedly has about 200 million online game players, the largest number in the world.

China previously announced that Green Dam filtering software would be required on all computers sold in the country, but it backed down from that under criticism.

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RE: Prohibition
By MozeeToby on 7/28/2009 11:39:54 AM , Rating: 5
Ever watched a real video game addiction happen? The guys across the hall from me junior year of college slipped rapidly from hobby into, what I would call, an addiction. All had been gamers for most of their life but it took on a completely new lever for them that year.

They went from slightly eccentric college students to the stereotypical video game players that people make fun of. 20+ hours of play time a day, skipping class, skipping meals, skipping showers. Two lost their long term girlfriends, one dropped out of school before the end of the year, and another ended up a year behind.

I never would have thought it was possible for games to have such a detrimental effect on people's lives because I never imagined it was possible to become so obsessed with them (and that's coming from someone who admittedly plays too many video games). If the definition of an addiction is a compusion that you have little to no control over, that hurts you and your family and friends, video games can absolutly become an addiction.

RE: Prohibition
By ClownPuncher on 7/28/2009 12:19:32 PM , Rating: 3
Part of the problem is taking the responsibility away from the people who become addicted. Blaming the games and saying they have detrimental effect is erroneous. The responsibility lies fully on the individual.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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