China outlines console censorship rules

Gambling, drugs, racism and superstition are amongst the many things that will see console games being banned in China.

Games In Asia has word of a freshly published document that has been released by the Shanghai government explaining the restrictions that will be imposed on console games once foreign consoles officially go on sale – a move that it expected to happen imminently.

The extensive black list includes bans on the following content:

  • Gambling-related content or game features
  • Anything that violates China’s constitution
  • Anything that threatens China’s national unity, sovereignty, or territorial integrity.
  • Anything that harms the nation’s reputation, security, or interests.
  • Anything that instigates racial/ethnic hatred, or harms ethnic traditions and cultures.
  • Anything that violates China’s policy on religion by promoting cults or superstitions.
  • Anything that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling.
  • Anything that harms public ethics or China’s culture and traditions.
  • Anything that insults, slanders, or violates the rights of others.
  • Other content that violates the law

The approval process will apparently take no longer than 20 days. Games that are rejected can be resubmitted once offending content has been extracted. It is unlikely that minor game patches will need to undergo the same approval process as actual new gameplay content.

New consoles must also be fully localised for China

Interestingly the document references Shanghai’s culture department and not China’s infamous Ministry of Culture, leading to hopes that the rules will be imposed with less of a draconian iron fist.

As previously reported, the imminent lifting of regulations in the region will allow foreign companies to sell consoles in China on the condition that they are produced there and that the business in question operates out of Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone.

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