China Lifts Video Game Ban…With A Catch

After 14 years, the Chinese government finally decided to lift its ban on video games, but it comes with a plethora of catches and restrictions.

Earlier this year, China also lifted its ban on the restricted sale of the PlayStation 4, XBox One, and Wii-U noting the three major consoles could be sold within Shanghai’s free-trade zone pending government approval.

This time around, games can still be sold within Shanghai’s free-trade zone, but must be approved by Shanghai’s government culture department and the approval process takes close to three weeks to sort. However, the Chinese government has laid out a strict plan of restrictions for disallowed content.

  • Gambling-related content/game features
  • Anything that violates China’s constitution
  • Anything that threatens China’s national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity
  • Anything that harms the nation’s reputation, security, or interests.
  • Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
  • Anything that violates China’s policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
  • Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
  • Anything that harms public ethics or China’s culture and traditions.
  • Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
  • Other content that violates the law

There is no official layout of what kind of games would make the cut, but predicts games like Grand Theft Auto V wouldn’t. These new rules also apply to any game updates or DLC. The console ban began in 2000 because of concerns about potential harm to children’s physical and mental development.

Source: GameSpot