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China To Crack Down On "Undesirable" Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the stick-to-pong-and-nobody-gets-hurt dept.

Censorship 73

The Chinese government is getting ready to launch a new round of content restrictions for online games. Kou Xiaowei, a senior official with the General Administration of Press and Publication, said, "Although China's online gaming industry had been hot in recent years, online games are regarded by many as a sort of spiritual opium and the whole industry is marginalized by mainstream society." The article points out that China has already "banned children from Internet cafes and last year ordered their owners to enforce time restrictions after several cases involving obsessive players dying of fatigue after marathon game sessions." We've also seen Chinese restrictions on player-versus-player content for kids, as well as required content modifications such as removing skeletons in order for games to be sold there.

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73 comments

Goatse Corp to crack down on mooning (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28386391)

The Goatse [goatse.fr] Foundation has just announced a petition to crack down on unauthorized mooning. Punishments for violators will be severe.

"Anonymous Cowardon" (1)

Reasoned Mind (1554009) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387433)

WTF is with /. anymore? Now it's "Anonymous Cowardon"?

This site is pure ghetto.

Re:"Anonymous Cowardon" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28387575)

If you think that's ghetto, you should see the code.

When in China... (4, Interesting)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386407)

Do as the Chinese do....actually China has come a long way in the last decade, and its difficult to really get a clear perspective from our cultural context. I just hope that our relations with them, and the rest of the world improve, and that we are all tolerant of one another. One thing I do know about the Chinese, having been vary close to a gentleman from Shanghai, a graduate business student who now works here, is that in China their greatest fear is CHAOS. That one is not on the top of our list, but it gives a little insight as to why they may often seem heavy handed. Lets try to understand where they are coming from, when we hear about how they seem to be. I always liked Chinese food, and the people are cool too.

Re:When in China... (0, Redundant)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386473)

Mod up! One of the reasons this makes 'news' is because of our lack of understanding of their culture and the belief that we need to impose our values and beliefs upon everyone else. However, if they ban Half Life, it's war.

Drop dead, filth (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28386525)

Fuck you and the OP. You're enablers of oppression. Go tell the people in prison for speaking out, or the families of those who just vanished, that they shouldn't complain, and they just "lack understanding" of their own culture. Go out somewhere and get your head kicked. You need it, cum stain.

Re:When in China... (4, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386527)

However, if they ban Half Life, it's war.

Quite the opposite. They won't be able to connect to your server.

Re:When in China... (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386735)

It's understandable that their greatest fear would be chaos, they have direct experience with it during the cultural revolution. It was horrible. And interestingly, it was largely democratic, in that it was the people doing it, not the secret police, although it was at the instigation of the leaders. It was the rising up of the proletariat to do whatever they wanted.

One interesting difference between the Russian communism and Chinese communism is that while Russia had the secret police, and strong military control, China didn't really have that nearly as much. It was the people who kept each other in line in China.

While we look on their situation as oppressive, they don't see it that way, in fact if there were elections, most Chinese would probably approve the way things are being run right now. There will not be democracy until the people are ready for it.

Re:When in China... (2, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387007)

There will not be democracy until the people are ready for it.

Which is oddly democratic..

Re:When in China... (1)

castironpigeon (1056188) | more than 4 years ago | (#28388515)

China is too populous to be a democracy. According to Google there are roughly 300 million people in the US and 1,300 million people living in China. Forget about the size of the country for a minute and think about the size of the government that would be required to coordinate the efforts of so many people in some kind of meaningful way.

Of course, you could say that in a direct democracy or some kind of technocratic democracy people would all be so wired that they could make direct, informed decisions into a central computer that would compile everyone's decision and act according to the majority. C'mon, now. We can't even get electronic voting. We need committees elected by people. Committees to oversee those committees. And in a government as large as a democratic republic of China would be, you'd need committees to oversee committees to oversee committees and so on until government would be so bogged down they'd make US Congress look like a 24-hour Vegas wedding chapel.

So for now your choices are to have a China that keeps revolting, split the country into smaller chunks that can be more efficiently governed, or deal with a government that spends most of its effort creating social order and lets everything else fall where it may.

Re:When in China... (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 4 years ago | (#28389849)

(One of these things doesn't go with the other. )
We can't even get electronic voting.
We need committees elected by people.

Electronic vote tabulation devices do not allow for public oversight. If you don't have public oversight, you are basically counting votes in secret, which isn't good for a supposedly constitutional republic

Why worry about games when we have
Other crackdowns...

Threats by the Chinese government, if they catch ya posting something they don't like.myspace-cn [slashdot.org]

If we analyze China, ourtreasury notes [denninger.net], current events [washingtonpost.com], perhaps we should prepare for our future to be similar to Iceland. [blogspot.com]

Re:When in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28390771)

Wait, you are saying that China is too populous for a democracy to work yet you imply by this that a centralized government run by a handful of autocrats can? Why do you need committees for committess? There is no reason population has anything to do with this. 200 hundred years ago I'm sure some people if told the US pop would someday be 350+ mill they might've said "That's too large, it'll never work!", but it does function obviously.

Re:When in China... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#28392591)

You do it by making a representative republic, not a direct democracy.

The major advantage of a democracy is not that it's fair, or representative (I mean, the US had slavery under a democracy: how fair is that?); the advantage is that when enough people want change, they can change it without resorting to violence. It changes from a tyranny of one to a tyranny of the majority, but when the majority want something different, they can get it without having to face murderous police like in Iran.

Besides, China is an expert at beaurocratical management. They have entire philosophies dedicated to it. Confucius was a management expert. They should be able to handle it.

Re:When in China... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28387119)

Governments use many tools to divide and conquer us. Race, Class, base fears such as terrorism, and influence from foreign powers.
Yes, China is moving in a positive direction, but let's not fall into the cultural relativism trap. Our governments have limited power by design. That makes them better. Not, "Oh their culture is different so whatever works for them". They are not aliens, they are people, and getting rid of dictatorships is something they can aspire to.

The age gap is massive, since many younger people have no experience, or even second hand anecdotes of the cultural revolution; it's no more tangible to them as fighting in the trenches of WW1 is to me.
Have a few beers with some students in the bar, and you'll find that just as many are politically aware as anywhere else (mind you many don't care, and we have those people too). They are aware of the freedoms they lack, and want them back.

Re:When in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28389979)

That makes them better. Not, "Oh their culture is different so whatever works for them".

I was opposed to the Iraq war, but I was floored by a comment by some woman from one of those endless "Policy Institute For Instituting Polices" type places on the news. When asked if she thought Iraq was better off under Saddam, she said, "Yes, because it's something they were used to."

Re:When in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28387301)

...get the fuck out as fast as you can. China might look cool to a casual tourist but you'd have to be Chinese to tell us what's really happening. Globalization is fucking China and China is fucking its poorest people and 'dissidents', no doubt. Censorship is a nasty thing, not cool.

Re:When in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28387303)

chinese plant-- who said china's govt doesnt know h how to asstroturf? Thanks Bob Hu.

"vary" obvious.

Re:When in China... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#28399885)

chinese plant-- who said china's govt doesnt know h how to asstroturf? Thanks Bob Hu.

"vary" obvious.

LOL ... Did the "duck" sauce on my chin give it away...

Re:When in China... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#28389249)

What is it with Asians and conformity anyway? It must be some eastern religion thing, but it seems like China, Japan, Korea, etc. are absolutely OBSESSED with conformity, almost manically so. It's one of the reasons I hate their videogames. Every Japanese RPG is completely on-rails and plays pretty much exactly the same as the last. In the West, we love the sandbox game that allows for multiple approaches to any given problem. In Japan, it's all about "Go here, just like you're supposed to, and watch this long cut scene where we control the action!" You would just never see a game like Oblivion, Mass Effect, or Grand Theft Auto come out of Japan.

Re:When in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28409935)

Eastern religion thing? Which religion: Buddhism, which is about enlightening oneself or securing happiness for others;
Taoism, which is about reflection of oneself and ones environment;
Confucianism, which is again about analyzing oneself and deciding upon the right path;
Shintoism, which is about following doctrines and rites to purify oneself and ones loved ones from negative spirits.

These are massive simplifications based on limited understandings but it seems that these are not the
sort of religions that encourage "conformity".

From that horrific generalization we move to the other, what do you mean "every" Japanese RPG is completely on-rails. I'll admit
I am a massive fan of JRPGs and have played few WRPGs, apart from every GTA (which is apparently an RPG now).
Might I remind you that Live-A-Live, Romancing Saga, the Suikoden games, the Mana series, the Zelda series,
the FF series, the Dragon Quest series, Xenogears, Kingdom Hearts, and many other RPG games have come from Japan. Often
these games have immersive stories (for me), which require you to move to a certain point and view a scripted sequence. They also often can
have massive hubs for which to explore, hidden enemies and treasure to discover, side quests to complete and so forth.

Finally, the belief that no WRPG-style game could come out of Japan is erroneous, to me. Sega made Yakuza (2, and 3 as well) for starters.
Shenmue is also fairly free-roaming. The plot need not be followed. But mainly just because basing the concept that people from a certain
culture are incapable of making games with the qualities that you desire, simply because you have only played a limited subset of games
from a few major Japanese development companies, is wrong.

My two cents say that if you like one style of games, stick with them. But don't claim that every product that comes from the designer, developer,
producer, culture, country (or continent) that has created a different style of games is suddenly void of any qualities.

Re:When in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28398513)

CHAOS? We virtually fear EVERYTHING. "Don't talk about politics", "Don't talk to strangers", "Don't criticise government", "Don't get into the others' businesses", "Don't be lucid", "Don't trust anybody"... I can go on and on, and it will all begin with "don't". And the greatest fear of ours is not CHAOS, it is "politics".

But why? Because we are Chinese, a people living in oppression for thousands of years. We even think like our masters, for that serves their purposes: chaos is bad, stability is of utmost importance.

And guess who will be more intolerant of my opinions? Not you, slashdotters. but my "fellow-citizens".

Cracking down on games? (1)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386421)

Or is this a ploy to decrease "imports?"

Somehow, I just don't see China treating World of Fight on equal grounds with World of Warcraft.

Ask your sister... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28386515)

...if she masturbates, then report back the results.

Re:Ask your sister... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28386647)

I'll ask her next time I'm fucking her with my gigantic penis, so tonight probably.

Agreed. (2, Insightful)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386547)

China has the power to do many things other coutries frown upon. Of all the things they did, I think this one is the least disturbing.

Nothing to see here, move along.

HAHAHA you will become US China. I mean U.S. (2, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386573)

Please slashdotters, click..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Race_(1976_game) [wikipedia.org]

For a little video game history in the US.

Back in the day (3 years after I was born) this little gem of an arcade game was released. It was protest by parents groups, it was on 20/20. This was during that wacky time in the 70's when even stuff like AD&D was considered by some religious extremists to be a "Gateway to Satanic Worship"

OK so granted, our country is now fucked. China exports more goods to the US than we send to them. That's OK though because I see a little bit of history repeating.

Certainly we shouldn't take pleasure in others miseries, but I can't help it. You're (you are china) trying to restrict a game. I should cite some more recent examples, like the "Nintendo Seal of Excellence" where the crosses in the American version of Castlevania were removed.

Hopefully in my inebriated state I've somehow managed to convey a message here, and that message is "So what if they censor games now? The subsequent Chinese generations are going to be just as if not MORE into capitalism and consumerism than today's (just like with the US). At some point, some government official is going to realize that it's a huge waste of money trying to censor everything, and that department will get cut. It will probably have more to do with cost savings than some sort of moral obligation to the population.

Just look at how the internet has changed radio. Howard Stern gave up on terrestrial radio and FCC censorship. Same thing will happen in China. Just watch, and laugh at their governments laudable efforts to control it.

Re:HAHAHA you will become US China. I mean U.S. (1)

Rattenhirn (1416947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387139)

[...]The subsequent Chinese generations are going to be just as if not MORE into capitalism and consumerism than today's (just like with the US).[...]

You make that sound like a good thing...

Re:HAHAHA you will become US China. I mean U.S. (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387221)

So what if they censor games now? The subsequent Chinese generations are going to be just as if not MORE into capitalism and consumerism than today's (just like with the US).
.
You write as though the PRC still gives a shit. I agree with you, I just don't agree with the way you say it. It's not that they are trying to convert the capitalists to communists or vice versa, they simply don't give a shit what you are. That is the problem. What the "officials" are concerned about, much like normal politicians, is more power and more money.
.
At some point, some government official is going to realize that it's a huge waste of money trying to censor everything, and that department will get cut.
.
If you and me who don't work in the office realize this, they realize this by working there. They know it's a huge waste of money. But if you were them, you won't go around telling people that. You will say we're making tremendous efforts and progress in the well-being of the Chinese citizens by censoring harmful materials from the chaotic internet. Why? Because you got bills to pay too.
.
It's sad isn't it but that's how the world works. Much like recycling, I admit there must be some recycling method and system that makes the earth "greener" but I am pretty sure there're systems that don't work. In fact there're recycling systems that makes it worse. But if you're working in there, you won't say nothing. You can quit, but "saying" things won't change the ethics as there are thousands more working with you in there that have bills to pay too.

Re:HAHAHA you will become US China. I mean U.S. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#28388019)

You're talking about China like it's this little unimportant thing. China owns the US in terms of debt and exports. In the coming decades, China is going to be the number 1 superpower, and the US will be *nowhere*. Trust me.

You might want to read this:
http://www.chrismartenson.com/ [chrismartenson.com]

Re:HAHAHA you will become US China. I mean U.S. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#28389387)

Laudable actually means praiseworthy btw, I'm guessing you meant laughable.

Re:HAHAHA you will become US China. I mean U.S. (1)

MWoody (222806) | more than 4 years ago | (#28398039)

It was an arcade game. Arcades were populated with mostly preteens. Removing something from public places is one thing; removing it from private consumers is another.

Or do you think preventing Chuck-E-Cheese from including animatronic porn in their acts is the same thing as banning the sale of adult DVDs?

Usually we like it (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386609)

Usually we consider it beneficial if what we call "opressive" governments take over ideas from what we call "free" democracies.

In this case [slashdot.org] I'm not so sure if I'm glad.

What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386673)

Can someone who understands Chinese culture a little better than I explain why skeletons are considered so taboo?

I've heard of the problems that WoW has had including them, as well as other games such as Magic the Gathering being told to take the bones out if they want to sell in the Middle Kingdom. I haven't heard much of an explanation other than that skeletons aren't allowed...

Anyone care to give a bit more of an explanation? (I've tried a quick google, but all I get is people reporting that WoW got rejected in China.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

ammit (1485755) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386709)

That's funny...the first result I got gave me the answer - skeletons are a bad omen/bad luck in China. Maybe try Bing next time...it might have more pictures.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28386797)

So why do they have to censor superstitious things that are supposed to bring bad luck? We don't ban black cats, walking under ladders and so on. Just because it's a "bad omen" isn't really an explanation why they are so adamantly trying to censor it.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28386825)

Probably because banning violence (in germany and australia), and banning everything that could even remotely remind someone that we are a species that wants to reproduce (in the US) were already taken, and they certainly can't go around not banning anything.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

ammit (1485755) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387603)

Well I think it might well be. I think that some cultures take their superstitions a lot more seriosuly than others is all....

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28394087)

They aren't taking the supernatural seriously until they ritually debone the dead and burn the bones to prevent the rise of the zombies. How can they eat your brain if they don't have any teeth or jaws?

Besides, an advancing horde of boneless zombies is funny.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (4, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386853)

Can someone who understands Chinese culture a little better than I explain why skeletons are considered so taboo?

My wife is Malaysian Chinese. I don't have a complete answer for you but I can make a couple of observations:

  • Chinese cemeteries in Malaysia are unmaintained and overgrown. Once your relatives get buried there nobody goes back to clean out the weeds and repair damage. There are whole herds of buffalo in the Ipoh chinese cemetery which nobody seems to know about. I found one when I went over a small hill to take a leak.
  • They take ghost stories much more seriously than westerners. I got a tour of my wife's home city and was pointed to an empty house site. Apparently a rich man had built a house there but pulled it down when it turned out to be haunted. I said they should just rent it to westerners looking for a spooky experience. They acted like the crazy westerners wanted to get killed or something.
  • Walking through the streets I noticed a little shrine. It had burning stuff and fruit like an offering. I ask my wife what that was. She snapped don't go near it. Ancestor worship and we walked on.

Its just that the Chinese have a thing about death. Its not discussed in polite company. They avoid the number 4 because the way it is spoken it sounds like death.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387831)

Its just that the Chinese have a thing about death. Its not discussed in polite company. They avoid the number 4 because the way it is spoken it sounds like death.

You're thinking of the japanese language - "shi" means "four" or "death" depending on the character used to spell it.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387945)

Its just that the Chinese have a thing about death. Its not discussed in polite company. They avoid the number 4 because the way it is spoken it sounds like death.

You're thinking of the japanese language - "shi" means "four" or "death" depending on the character used to spell it.

I don't know much about the Japanese but the Chinese definitely have a thing about the number four. They won't sit at table number four in a restaurant. Several times after we have got a new phone service my wife has told me we have to change the number because (she says) her mother thinks there are too many fours in it.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28391233)

Several times after we have got a new phone service my wife has told me we have to change the number because (she says) her mother thinks there are too many fours in it.

I'm chinese and the last four digits of my phone number is 5840. That means "don't get rich, death certain."

I think it's accurate.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28388603)

The same in Chinese. The number 4 is "si", and death is also "si". The tone is different, but more or less the same.

Numbers in Chinese (1)

Fortunette (892670) | more than 4 years ago | (#28388927)

Its just that the Chinese have a thing about death. Its not discussed in polite company. They avoid the number 4 because the way it is spoken it sounds like death.

You're thinking of the japanese language - "shi" means "four" or "death" depending on the character used to spell it.

It also sounds like 'to die' in Chinese.

'Si' [mandarintools.com] (Pronounced Like The Si in 'Sir') in the four sense.
'Si' [mandarintools.com] (Pronounced Like The Si in 'Sir?' The difference in pronumciation is the tone with this one going down in the middle and ending up like a question, and the Si in four just going down in tone like a statement.) in the death sense.

Here is a list of all the things Si can mean [mandarintools.com].

Numbers in Chinese often sound like words, here's a wikipedia entry on it [wikipedia.org].

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28389055)

It's too bad you apparently don't know that the Japanese language is constructed out of elements ripped off from Chinese, or you wouldn't have had to contradict someone for being right.

From where I'm sitting (i.e. far away) it seems like Japanese culture is the distilled essence of other Asian cultures. Anything that wouldn't fit on their little island was excised a long time ago, like rudeness. :)

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28389657)

chinese for 4 is si, same word as death, si.

4 is avoided *alot*.

thus my phone number is something like 424242. ....no telemarketers calling me :)

yep i've lived here for a while, and whilst i have lots of chinese friends, speak the local language okay for a laowai and prefer chinese food over western, almost everday I see or hear something that makes me realize i barely understand chinese culture....

the point is, as a number of people have said, you just can't apply western cultural / ethical concepts here. well, at least not totally.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 4 years ago | (#28394183)

I take it comics featuring The Fantastic Four don't sell well in China.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28389881)

...

My wife is Malaysian Chinese. I don't have a complete answer for you but I can make a couple of observations:

  • Chinese cemeteries in Malaysia are unmaintained and overgrown. Once your relatives get buried there nobody goes back to clean out the weeds and repair damage. There are whole herds of buffalo in the Ipoh chinese cemetery which nobody seems to know about. I found one when I went over a small hill to take a leak.

This kinda doesn't fit with Qing Ming festival... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qingming_Festival

Having said that, my experience in mainland china is very similiar. Cemeteries are not popular places the other 51 weeks of the year.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28386919)

As far as I know anything related to death is taboo in China.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (4, Interesting)

Alsee (515537) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387041)

Can someone who understands Chinese culture a little better than I explain why skeletons are considered so taboo?

I wouldn't really claim to understand Chinese culture, but I did happen to read an article explaining this particular point, so I can give you a second-hand answer.

A very deep issue in Chinese culture and thousands of years of history and mythology, is ancestry and the spirits of ancestors, bordering on ancestor worship. Anywho.... authoritarian regimes tend to take one of two approaches to religion. Either there's Nazi model where they seize upon the predominant religion (evangelical Christianity in the Nazi's case) and impose it in all the schools and throughout society as a tool of power and control by claiming "Gott Mit Uns" (God Is With Us), or there's the Stalin model that seeks to exterminate religion as a competing threat to it's own power and authority.

In Chinese culture the idea that the spirits of The Ancestors might disapprove of government policies and government actions, the idea that The Ancestors might grant strength and power to humble peasantry, to fight and win against an impossibly larger and more powerful (but corrupt) foe.

Think of our Robin Hood story, and cross it with the mythology of pretty much every martial arts movie you have ever seen where some guy beats the crap out of entire armies worth of enemies, and cross that with a mythology that idolizes and idealizes the power and nobility of ancestors, and which believes that the spirits of the ancestors still live and watch over us and that their power can be called upon.

I also think we view skeletons as generic mindless creepy-ghoulies, empty shells animated by magic, but I think they view them more as animated by the spirit of a powerful ancestor. Consider out "Night of the Living Dead" movie mythology, if you see a zombie you just whack it with a shovel, they are only dangerous if you get mobbed. On the other hand imagine a "zombie" who was the full mental-and-spiritual embodiment of King Arthur, you are NOT going to win in combat against him, and if you oppose him you're pretty much automatically "the bad guy".

Hopefully I didn't butcher Chinese culture too badly with my substantial ignorance. The Chinese government is opposed to any and all religion, considering it a threat to their own authority and their own stability. And of course they are most keenly allergic to the most deeply rooted mythologies of their own culture.

-

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (2, Funny)

Dusty101 (765661) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387439)

Consider out "Night of the Living Dead" movie mythology, if you see a zombie you just whack it with a shovel, they are only dangerous if you get mobbed. On the other hand imagine a "zombie" who was the full mental-and-spiritual embodiment of King Arthur, you are NOT going to win in combat against him, and if you oppose him you're pretty much automatically "the bad guy".

This is not the case, however, if a cricket bat is used...

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 4 years ago | (#28388335)

I'm not sure why or even if the Chinese have a particular problem with skeletons; Having been married to a Chinese for 10 years and lived in Beijing, I have never come across this. If they have an issue with skeletons, I'm not sure we have to invent intricate explanations - all cultures have some things they consider particularly unclean and unacceptable. One thing I found surprising was that in Japanese Shinto the penis is apparently revered, even to the extent that they will carry a huge, vividly painted model of one round in the streets during religious festivals, but they are very prudish when it comes to the female counterpart. It's just one of those things, and even if we can't always understand it, we can still respect it.

But I think your attempt at interpreting this in the light of the Chinese as a wildly repressive, fascistic regime is plagued by a number of factual errors. Communists and socialists are traditionally anti-religious, not because they hate God, but because they have observed how religion, and Christian religion in particular, has usually been employed to uphold oppressive and unjust regimes.

But as far as I can see, the Chinese government has never been simply anti-religious; the problem they can see with religion, however, is that certain religions require the undivided loyalty of their followers, often in opposition to the society of which they are citizens. I don't anyone who knows anything about Chinese history can blame them if they tend to a bit sceptical about the influence of, say, Americans evangelists, who demand that their followers are blindly loyal only to their McJesus and fiercely opposed to anything that smacks of non-American values.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 4 years ago | (#28400605)

the Chinese as a wildly repressive, fascistic regime

Actually I used the word "authoritarian", although I can see how you interpreted my post as more venomous than I had intended, from the way I used the examples of Nazis and Stalin to make my point about the bi-polar relationship between authoritarianism and religion. I do consider authoritarian government to be a bad thing, and I do have many objections against the Chinese government, I really did not intended to equate it with the Nazis.

factual errors. Communists and socialists are traditionally anti-religious, not because they hate God, but because they have observed how religion, and Christian religion in particular, has usually been employed to uphold oppressive and unjust regimes.

No error. I think you mis-read me even worse there. Heehee.
I completely agree with what you wrote. In fact I myself am an atheist. Not so long ago I participated in a "Why to atheists hate God" blog discussion. Explaining that I think Santa Clause and fairies are silly, and I think people who believe in Santa Clause and fairies are silly, and sometimes I get hatefully-angry at people who do stupid/harmful/evil things based on their belief in Santa or fairies, and trying to get it through their thick skulls just how utterly nonsensical it was for them to claim that I hate Santa or fairies. And of course the bashing-my-head-against-a-wall frustration of watching Christian fundies continue to post nonsense claiming that I hate God.
So it struck me particularly odd and humorous that you thought I was accusing them of "hating God". They don't hate God, don't hate Santa, and don't hate skeletons. What they are afraid of however, is the fact that irrational people who follow fairytales are far more likely to risk their own welfare and risk their own saftey and even sacrifice their own lives fighting against an authority that they (rightly or wrongly) view as as unjust.

Fairytales are a particular threat to authoritarian power. Rational self-protecting people are relatively easy keep under control with the routine threat of arrest and imprisonment for criminal anti-government activity. Robin Hood fairytales can inspire the masses to risk their necks overthrowing an evil dictator, and a "God wants you to kill the infidels and He will reward you in heaven for it" fairytales can inspire the masses to overthrow a good government to impose a nightmare of slaughter and cruelty.

Fairytales are far less of a threat in a democratic society because the greatest power in fairytales comes in demonizing some enemy to fight against. Any fairytale storyline that takes aim to demonize the majority of population... well that's obviously a rather self-defeating situation in a democracy :D

-

Kicking kids out of net cafe's (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 4 years ago | (#28394383)

Ok this one I will definitely go with.

After living in Beijing for three years and becoming a Call Of Duty 4 freak (a nasty opium like habit that some Chinese friends gave me)I have seen that their net cafe's are _sketchy_.

The smaller ones will sell you pornography. EVERYONE is smoking like a chimney (I know I was lighting up between rounds) and in general they are just dark, seedy, places that I wouldnt want my kid within 100 yards of.

I know its easy to say 'think of the children!' but in this case ill actually go along.

Re:What's with the skeleton hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28387461)

death in china ~ rape in the west

Removing Skeletons? (1)

dukieduke (918198) | more than 4 years ago | (#28386897)

Well there go the sales of "Lego Battles" in China. (OK, I kid when I talk about "actual" software sales in China) Pretty much any plastic Lego set that has skellies in them as well. Pirates, Castle, Indy, etc. At least I can take to heart that there will be no more pirated versions of "Clash of the Titans" floating around China. Heaven forbid China should decide to invade North America on the evening of Oct. 31st. That is when we allow the skeletons, princesses, superheroes, witches and ghosts free to patrol the streets looking for sustenance. They will find you.

Think about the farmers (0, Troll)

AniVisual (1373773) | more than 4 years ago | (#28387061)

World of Warcraft, CYBERSPACE -- thousands of gamers riot in-game as the economy collapses.

I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28387683)

how about a game where you push suicidal people off bridges?

more than one question at issue (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 4 years ago | (#28388495)

Every time /. has a thread about regulation of video games or porn, I see that several different arguments get blended together as if they are interchangeable:

1. What is the proper role of government, vs. families, individuals and other institutions.
2. Can indulging cruel appetites in virtual reality be harmful, when the victims aren't real?
3. Given that we already have cruel appetites, can indulging them in a relatively harmless way be less bad than suppression or acting out in worse ways?

Obviously most Chinese people have different ideas about the role of government than most Americans or most Europeans. There are valid points to be on both sides, and existing culture has to be taken into account when deciding what policy is best at the present. As an off-topic example to illustrate, almost everyone acts like the Chinese government's persecution of the Falun Gong is unambiguously bad. But Chinese history shows that religious cults can get very, very, disasterously out of control, for example with the Taiping Rebellion. So I think its not so clear cut.

The idea that what you do in video games or what images you look at doesn't affect your appetites or how you think about other people is just ridiculous. For example, can a formerly decent and empathetic person play a rape video game without it at all affecting their perceptions of women that they interact with in real life? Really? Yeah, skeletons aren't that big of a deal to most of us, but its still true that the images you experience do affect you, skeletons included.

The last question has no simple answer, which is why I am mostly libertarian about these things. My main point is to distinguish it from the second question, since there has been a lot of BS about this on /. in relation to porn, pedophilia, and violent video games.

The Chinese government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28388517)

Ugh. It's pretty simple to understand the Chinese government actually.

You all know of the story of that grandma who doesn't understand computers at all, and ask "What does this button do?" and "Can I delete these files? *points to system files*"

Now imagine people with that level of computer literacy in charge of China. That's Exactly what's going on.

You have a bunch of 60+ years-old (apparently, 50 years-old is Young by Chinese government standards) computer illiterate people who've gone through most their lives without computers, and who even now barely know how to use email (I live here, I can say that middle-aged Chinese, even the bosses of big companies, are so bad at computers that it makes me want to hit my head repeatedly against a wall. How do they manage? They don't, they have secretaries do the work for them).

So suddenly there's this thing called "internet" that pops up, and they barely have a clue what it's all about apart from the fact that they don't know how to use it, and they've gone through most of their lives without it. So on the one hand they figure, "what harm can come from a little banning?"

Then stuff happens, and you can guess the results.

Ancestor Worship (3, Interesting)

tarlss (627609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28389519)

If China ever had a state religion, (and it did back in the Imperial days) it would be ancestor worship. The Chinese have a strong belief in the power of the dead. A skeleton shows disrespect of the dead as obviously this body was unburied and now the spirit is angry and in the world. It's sort of like consigning the person to an eternal hell. Proper burials are a big thing. It is indeed a cultural taboo, maybe like how witchcraft and wicca is taboo in large portions of America. The Chinese government, up to the Last Emperor in the early 1900's, seriously believed in the Mandate of Heaven and superstition. Supernatural evidence such as ominous dreams and the testimony of ghosts was used in court cases as late as the 1890's. The Dowager Empress' support of the Boxers during the Boxer rebellion, was based on her belief that they literally posessed magical kung fu powers- that they could deflect bullets, and defeat the colonial powers in the country. The government may have rejected superstition, but as we in America know, just because the government rejects religion, doesn't mean the whole country is not tainted by it. Replace ALL of our Christian influenced stuff with Ancestor Worship/Taoist/Buddhist synchrotism influenced stuff, and you get China. The Chinese government has long been the protector of cultural sensibilities, it's one role that the Chinese government takes on today. Cultural control is a key part of Confuscian society, not just government. Even Democratic Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea promote 'social repression and lack of individual expression' as it were, through strict educational regimes based on memorization, and encouraging a highly disciplined and hierarchal family structure. To the CCP's credit, they've done much more for women's rights and the equal rights of minority in China (societally) than the above mentioned Asian democratic countries. The above countries harshly disapprove of things like interracial marriage and women acting outside of or neglecting 'the traditional role', and never had anything like the Civil Rights movement to change old perceptions on race/eugenics. That doesn't justify censorship of course. If they could just get with the program and institute some kind of genuine elections and government respect for human rights, then mainland China would be one of the most open and free countries in Asia.

Re:Ancestor Worship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28399331)

So what does ancestor worship have anything to do with banning the skeleton and skull? Chinese of the older generation never have this weird culture of seeing them as anything even close to cool and would want to publicly display such things in front of their houses on a certain day of the year. Banning them amid this weird culture seeping through the younger generation is simply a declaration of the country own cultural sovereignty. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Thank you god (1)

Grashnak (1003791) | more than 4 years ago | (#28390047)

I wish someone would ban undesireable games in North America. Would have stopped me from suffering through Battlecruiser 3000 AD and Daikatana back in the day.

Re:Thank you god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28396435)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/1999/11/22/

old stories (1)

edward2020 (985450) | more than 4 years ago | (#28390293)

Wow, a quote from an article over a year old, a link to a /. post from 4 years ago, and the stupid skeleton thing from March. Slow "news" day I guess...

Depressant (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28391213)

From TFA:

online games are regarded by many as a sort of spiritual opium..

Yeah sure whatever you say, China. Nevermind that your "governance" is regarded by MOST OF THE WORLD as a "spiritual depressant".

New Game Offered For Chinese Government Approval (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28394083)

How about an MMORPG featuring Kou Xiaowei as the boss skeleton in the tutorial at the beginning; you have to blow his head off 4 times a-la Frontal Assault, at which point he morphs into a flaming skeleton hurling rotten bowels at you. You combine a Free Tibet rune with a Falun Gong scroll to create the Staff of Tienamin Vengeance and use it to explode him into nothingness. The entire thing is subtitled with randomly generated Chinese characters, just because Chinese characters look cool. The clients can also operate as servers, so anyone can fire up a host, it'll be designed to work great through proxies, and it'll use UDP port 53 for everything, so you have to block DNS to shut it down. Suck it down, Chinese government!

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