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BANGKOK-BLOCKED: Thailand's dictators 'ban dictator sim Tropico 5'

<blink> Irony alert </blink>

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Thailand's censorious military junta has banned Tropico 5, a game in which players assume the role of a censorious dictatorial ruler.

That's according to a report by the Associated Press: the game's Thai distributor told the news wire that the nation's Culture Ministry blocked the city-building title from sale on Monday. Publisher Kalypso Media said it was "disappointed" by the apparent ban.

Distributor New Era Thailand marketing manager Nonglak Sahavattanapong told AP that Thailand's censors declared "some part of [Tropico 5] might affect peace and order in the country." Thai officials could not be reach for comment.

Tropico 5 is the fifth installment of the self-described "dictator sim" strategy series in which the player controls the president of an island nation. Players can come up with and enforce policies on the island, including controlling the press and preventing a military coup.

As one might imagine, the subject matter of the game is a touchy subject for officials in the southeast Asian country, which has been tightly controlled by an unelected military elite that seized control earlier this year.

Since taking power, the top brass has implemented strict censorship policies online and offline, including arresting those found with banned content such as George Orwell's NSA manual, 1984.

The junta has also instituted strict control over social networks, collecting information from citizens' Facebook pages and blocking stuff critical of the government.

Outside of Thailand, the block – as reported – could serve to only increase interest in Tropico 5. The buzz caused by the ban will give the game more publicity than any ad campaign. ®

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