Did China Ban The Sims?

from the er...-sorta,-not-really dept

It’s not at all clear what’s going on here, but it looks like China has announced plans to ban a list of 50 “illegal” games. That’s where the story gets confusing. It’s positioned in two ways: a ban on unauthorized copies, which would be a crackdown on copyright infringement — and a way to “create a good environment for Chinese youth” which sounds more like a protectionist /censorship policy. If the goal was just to ban unauthorized copies — of which there are a lot in China — then why focus on the fifty specific games? Why not just announce a crackdown on all unauthorized products? If, however, the goal is censorship, then, it makes sense to name the fifty games (including things like The Sims 2) and ban all instances of them — which is how some think China will proceed. In other words, the claim that it’s for the sake of intellectual property laws is just an extraordinarily weak attempt at covering up a plan to censor certain video games. With such a weak cover story, you wonder why they even bothered, other than maybe to make Western governments (who have been known to buy weak cover stories) think that they’re cracking down on intellectual property infringement. Either way, you have to wonder what The Sims ever did to the Chinese government to get them so worked up. You just know some government official got addicted to it, and figured the only way he’d stop playing is if he banned it for the whole country. Next thing you know, they’ll add Minesweeper and FreeCell to the list.

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Comments on “Did China Ban The Sims?”

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dorpus says:

Re: No Subject Given

Is it? China has plenty of MUDs and multi-player games. They produce a huge supply of graduate students for US universities, and they are able to think for themselves and do good research.

People in East Asian cultures care more about money or success than “freedom” in the abstract. The Tiananmen massacre happened when the government deregulated the economy, so consumer prices rose, workers at state-owned factories were upset about it, and joined the college students, who erected a paper statue of liberty (and got Western media to symapthize with them), but said that the economy should be more regulated.

taikonaut (user link) says:

strange but understandable

online games especially “the sims” type have sucked up most of Chinese students time. Parents worry about it and urged gov to do something concrete. Recently china gov had issued a regulation that all online game service providers must to limit the play time for each player, system will terminiate the game if a player exceeds the time limit.

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