by Timothy Geigner

Filed Under:
dictatorship, games, thailand, video games

Tropico 5 Game Hits A Little Too Close To Home For Newly-Minted Thai Military Junta

from the their-version-of-the-sims? dept

As you may or may not be aware, Thailand changes governments like we change the oil in our cars: every couple of months or three to five thousand miles, whichever comes first. As we previously covered, the latest in Thai military juntas are (surprise!) huge fans of censoring the internet while claiming they don't and taking down social media sites while claiming that they don't. The picture being drawn for the rest of the world is one of an unsteady military government whose primary unifying factor is that it really likes censoring stuff.

But I didn't realize just how insecure these folks also are. That insecurity appears to be on display as the Thai dictatorial government has banned a video game about running a dictatorial government.

Thailand, which has been ruled by a military dictatorship for the past few months, has banned the video game Tropico 5 from appearing in stores, saying "some contents of the game are not appropriate for the current situation," according to publisher Kalypso Media. Tropico 5, of course, is a video game in which you can play as a military dictator, building and running your very own country in as sadistic a fashion as you'd like.
And, as we all know, subjugating millions of citizens as you laugh maniacally is for real life, not video games. The game, it would appear, hits a little too close to home for the Thai junta. After all, if citizens are allowed to play out what is essentially their government's own role, they may come to see how horrifically they're being treated and rebel. You don't want to remind those under your rule that they're under your rule, I guess.

The irony is not lost on Kalypso, the company that makes the Tropico series.
And here's Kalypso's Stefan Marcinek, also via press release: "Our distributor has been working hard to gain approval for the release, but it seems that the Board of Film and Video Censors deem some of the content too controversial for their consumers. This does sound like it could have come from one of El Presidente's own edicts from the game."
You have to think that a game mechanic was just born for Tropico 6, in which your dictatorial rule is furthered by banning video games.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Manon E. Moose, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 4:02am

    Game mechanics

    Tropico 4 already had the "Ban Social Media" edict, which not only increased productivity in all industries by 20%, but also disabled the game's built-in facebook and twitter integration.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    spodula, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 4:34am

    Just waiting for..

    The Junta expansion pack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 4:50am

    El Presidente

    is probably playing the game himself and searching for ideas on how to keep *his* government from being removed..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    vegetaman (profile), Aug 6th, 2014 @ 4:59am

    sarcasm ahead

    Hey now, they're just thinking proactively about their publicity rights!

    Won't somebody think of the military juntas!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Marak, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 5:03am

    Im trying to come up with some witty one liner to get funniest commentof the week, but honestly, how do you make a joke out of a situation that already is one?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    El Subcommandante Obama bin Alladin, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 5:07am

    Relax! It is not unlike there are plentiful black-market scooter peddlers with baskets full of pristine copies of newest titles, moving from one bar packed with white folks to another one. Personal experience from Pattaya. And a lovely one! :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 6th, 2014 @ 5:48am


    Something something they're government is really thai'd up in knots something?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 6:12am

    Re: sarcasm ahead

    In the loading screen the company has done some research on real life dictators doing curious things. This move might make for a good addition to those in Tropico 6 if that system is reused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 6:16am

    I'd like to say how bad I really feel for the Thai People for having to live under such a threat everyday of their lives, in America we are facing the same threat everyday with our Government and Lack of Justice system , It won't be long before American Politicians cult of censorship ,surveillance and dislike for its citizens catches the eye of every dictator or mock democracy .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    justok (profile), Aug 6th, 2014 @ 6:59am


    With synthetic oil, the 3K-5K is now out-dated.
    Maybe we need synthetic governments. No humans allowed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    sehlat (profile), Aug 6th, 2014 @ 10:43am


    Barbara Streisand is now the head of the Thai government?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Brazilian Guy, Aug 6th, 2014 @ 11:09am

    After learning how a brazilian comedy site trolled a lot of news agencies by planting the fake news that North Korea TV had claimed their country to win the World Cup, i'll wait for the innevitable moment when this article is debunked.

    On the other hand, if those guys also ban Wargame: European Escalation/ AirLand Battle,Red Orchestra, Red Faction Guerrilla, Jagged Alliance, and Hearts of Iron... then they are serious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Eldakka (profile), Aug 6th, 2014 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Game mechanics

    I thought you were joking, so I looked it up on the tropico wiki (well, used duckduckgo and it gave me the tropico wiki...) http://tropico.wikia.com/wiki/Edict:

    Ban Social Networks

    Cost: $250 monthly
    Requirements: A Telecom HQ
    Effects: Bans social media like Facebook or Twitter on the island, increasing productivity by 5%. In addition, if the player is playing the game on a PC, Facebook and Twitter integration will be disabled.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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