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China to ban video games featuring same-sex relationships

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China enacts a ban on video games featuring homosexual relations.

According to South China Morning Post, a new government memo said only games describing a “correct set of values” would be approved by authorities, meaning new restrictions on games featuring same-sex relationships, “effeminate men” and characters including sex is not immediately apparent.

“If regulators cannot immediately say the gender of the character, the character setting could be considered problematic and red flags will be raised,” the note said, before clarifying that the ban includes games where male characters dress or act like women.

As part of this push towards what the country calls “morality,” the memo says Chinese authorities are also restricting games that “[blur] moral limits “by letting players make seemingly benign choices, such as playing an” evil “character.

“Players can choose to be good or bad… but we don’t think games should give players that choice,” he continued. “And that needs to be changed.”

The new rules are the result of an internal training course for the state-backed gaming association of China, which is supposed to teach game developers what is allowed and what is not allowed in their games. Recently, officials also met with two huge Chinese game companies – Tencent Holdings and NetEase – to explain what narrative elements would prevent their games from being released, citing everything from “gay love” to obsession with money as promotion of “bad” values.

However, this is only the latest version of the country’s strict media regulations and censorship laws, which also include a recent mandate limiting online games for children and teens to just three hours per week. Not only that, but in accordance with the previously mentioned gambling restrictions, China has also banned “sissy” and “sissy men”. television, which aligns with new anti-gay legislation that attempts to rebuild “traditional masculinity.” Instead, they are now suggesting that broadcasters simply fill the slots with programs promoting “excellent traditional Chinese culture.”

Read it South China Morning Postthe full report of here.

Photo via Getty / Kristian Dowling

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