Saturday, July 13, 2024
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China will ban games that include same-sex relationships and effeminate men

Queerness in video games, such as same-sex relationships, may be banned in China in the future according to the South China Morning Post.

The publication reveals that an internal memo from recent internal training by China’s gaming association will lay out some serious restrictions for approving video games in China. According to SCMP, the memo outlines the view that video games should not be viewed solely as “pure entertainment”. More importantly, the video games that do get approved will have to convey the “correct set of values” that are important to the state.

Furthermore, the memo states that games which feature subjects such as same-sex relationships, as well as “effeminate males”, should not be approved for release in China.

“If regulators can’t tell the character’s gender immediately, the setting of the characters could be considered problematic and red flags will be raised.” The memo also states.

While this is indeed shocking, it would be incorrect to see think of this as a sudden change. This year on September 2nd, China ordered broadcasters to vilify and shun any artists who were “effeminate” or held “incorrect political positions.” As Channel News Asia further states, this tactic has been employed to “cultivate” a “patriotic atmosphere” in the entertainment industry.

According to CNA, The Communist Party within China states that they can “censor anything they believe violates core socialist values” and not only will these rules target video games and movies, but music too. Considering the popular idol groups within China, this new memo leak is sure to send shockwaves throughout China’s entertainment industry.

What’s clear is this: the view on what traditional standards is varies across the country, but whatever it is, queerness clearly plays no part in it. What this means for future video games that include same-sex relationships is uncertain. Will developers simply not include it, or will it be given a ‘switch’ to remove the content from the game entirely? We can’t say for certain.

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