Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/01/china_bans_games/

Chinese government censors online games

And Britney's wardrobe gets the once-over

By John Oates

Posted in Media, 1st June 2004 13:55 GMT

The Chinese government is setting up a special committee to review and if necessary censor online games. Games which break the constitution, threaten national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity will be banned. Anything which threatens "state security, damaging the nation's glory, disturbing social order and infringing on other's legitimate rights" will also be banned.

All new games will have to go before the committee to get approval before they go on sale. All games already in the Chinese market will have to get approval before 1 September or face the wrath of the law.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Culture which is setting up the committee said there were 140 online games widely played in China. He said there were three problems with the games: firstly they were always related to sex, violence, gambling and superstition, secondly eight out of ten were foreign games and had not been checked by Chinese authorities and thirdly some games were damaging youngster's pyschological health.

At the end of last week the Chinese government banned PC game Hearts of Iron. It was charged with "distorting history and damaging China's sovereignty and territorial integrity". The strategy wargame showed Manchuria and Tibet and West Xinjiang as independent countries. The committee will be made up of a variety of people from different social strata, according newswire Xinhuanet.com

In unrelated news it was claimed today that onetime songstress Britney Spears is getting her wardrobe approved by Chinese authorities prior to touring there. Let's hope she left those Free Tibet knickers at home.®

Related stories

Google's Ethics Committee revealed
Chinese youths trash Internet café
China shuts 8,600 cybercafes