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China has taken steps to ensure that its inhabitants can’t access violent videogames online.

The country’s Ministry of Culture has banned websites from “running, publishing or offering links to online games featuring mafia-like gangs”, threatening “severe punishment” against those that dare violate the ban, the country’s official Xinhua news agency said.

Violent games played over the web infringe on China’s regulations on internet administration, apparently, because they “advocate obscenity, gambling, or violence" and “undermine morality and Chinese traditional culture”.

Online mafia or godfather games seem to be quite popular in China, according to a circular recently posted on the Ministry’s website, in which gamers take on the role of killers and gangsters.

Such games “encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify gangster life. They are a bad influence on youngsters”, read the circular.

China’s the latest country to take a stand against violent videogames. Back in June, Japan announced moves to outlaw violent rape-based videogames. While several of Germany’s politicians are currently promoting measures that could see the country ban the production and distribution of all violent videogames by September. ®

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