The country has pledged to ban the promotion of ‘effeminate males’ and gay relationships, alongside bans on video games that appear to try and change the history of imperial Japan and Nazis, or videos that feature the overthrowing of ‘barbarians’.
It follows the news of gaming no longer being seen as ‘entertainment’ in Beijing, according to the leaked memo. Gaming is instead seen as a form of art that is responsible for maintaining and showing ‘correct values’ and an ‘accurate understanding of China‘s culture and history.
Children were limited to online gaming for three hours a week in August. China created the rule in a bid to aid addiction, The Times reports.
The new ban means that characters in video games now require a ‘clear gender’. Game creators are also required to not ‘blur’ any ‘moral boundaries’, according to South China Morning Post. If a character’s gender was not clear to regulators ‘immediately’, it would be considered ‘problematic’ and ‘red flags [would] be raised’, the outlet reported.
Furthermore, games could be viewed as spreading ‘colonialism’ if they are seen to be motivating players to get rid of ‘barbarians’. If Japanese warlords are featured then games could even be seen as praising ‘militarism’ and ‘jingoism’ too. The memo stated: ‘Games can’t distort facts or deliberately provoke controversy, and historical figures with established narratives must not be refashioned.’
Since July, no games which have been domestically produced have been approved. The move was announced by Chinese censors. Since June, no imported games have been approved either.
On September 8, the censors held a meeting to tell all of China’s big gaming developers about the new measures. Pornography, violence, and ‘wrong value orientation’ were all detailed by the censors, with the developers told to ‘firmly boycott any ill culture such as money worshipping, effeminate males and boys’ love.’
So far, in their latest monthly report, the Guangzhou video game industry association noted that 30,000 accounts had been removed, as per Times Radio.