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China Bans Games That "Glorify Gangsters' Lives"

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the let's-buy-jack-thompson-a-plane-ticket dept.

Government 172

As we discussed in June, China has been working on plans to impose further restrictions on the games that can be sold or publicized within its borders. The Chinese government has now begun implementing those plans, starting with games that involve gangs, saying, "These games encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify gangsters' lives. It has a bad influence on youngsters." According to a Xinhua news agency, "The ministry ordered its law enforcement bodies to step up oversight and harshly punish those sites that continue to run such games."

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Well... (1, Interesting)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863453)

I guess it's better than just saying games are not ok and letting everyone buy them... Like with cigarettes. Yeah, smoking kills you. Smoking kills other people. Cigarettes are genocide machines. So why the fuck do you allow people to sell them in the first place?!

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

Carlos Matesanz (1344447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863485)

Taxes. Huge amounts.

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

migla (1099771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863571)

I don't know if cigarette taxes are the reason to still allow cigarettes in Sweden, for example. I imagine the cost to society from smoking may well be greater than the income, thanks to universal healthcare.

The real reason is probably that banning cigarettes would cause a huge(er) smuggling problem and large mobs of angry, smoking protesters.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

Carlos Matesanz (1344447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863627)

I cannot be sure of it, but it seems plausible to me. We've got universal healthcare here in Spain too but considering how much % of the price of the box goes to taxes, and considering that the real percent of smokers who actually develop cancer...
Of course the angry-smokers factor is also a big one.
But that's enought off-topic, baning videogames is pretty stupid and useless.

Re:Well... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864219)

But that's enought off-topic, baning videogames is pretty stupid and useless.

I'm all for it. But only if they start showing porn instead of action movies, too.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863657)

Smokers die much younger than non-smokers - so they don't cost much in pensions, which are otherwise an enormously expensive cost for society. Sure, society has to pay for smoker's healthcare, but if they lived to an old age we'd have to pay for pensions AND geriatric healthcare.

Re:Well... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864021)

The real reason is probably that banning cigarettes would cause a huge(er) smuggling problem and large mobs of angry, smoking protesters.

There's also a big lobby behind cigarettes. I'd say relatively small "favours" and "benefits" for various politicians trump any cost for society or protesters in the outcome of laws. Most politicians care more about their own wealth than society. Peace of mind is cheap.

*BZZZT* Wrong answer (4, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864281)

Actually, last I've seen an actual study of healthcare costs, the smokers and the obese actually pay for everyone else's healthcare. Yeah, they get sick earlier, but that's actually the point. They die quicker than they'd get to use their contribution to healthcare, and in many cases to the pension fund too.

Smokers get some cancer, get some chemotherapy or radiotherapy for months or a couple of years tops, then they die. End of expense, and it wasn't even the most expensive medication to start with.

They and the obese, occasionally get a heart attack or stroke, a lot just die right there. End of story, no medical expenses.

Etc.

And an obese smoker, now that's someone who really gets shafted out of their contribution to that universal healthcare and is paying a pension contribution for nothing.

The ones who actually cost healthcare a lot more money than they contributed, are those who live until 90 years old, and were on expensive anti-Alzheimer's medication or the like ever since they were 65.

So please spare me the BS pretense that you somehow subsidize those. They're the ones who subsidize you. And it already is a non-existent moral ground to complain about society's money going to them, when really nobody else actually gives them a buck. But it's already surrealistic to complain about paying money for them, when actually it's them paying your medical cares. Have a bit of decency, will ya?

Re:*BZZZT* Wrong answer (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864525)

My father, who is a doctor, says you are plain wrong and that the costs to society from treating these patients is far higher than the tax income. As a layman I cannot judge who is right or wrong, but I urge everyone to take the parent post with a grain of salt or at least a [citation needed].

Re:*BZZZT* Wrong answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864667)

I'm to lazy to look up the study proper which supports the grandparent (hell, i'm too lazy to log in), however, here's a link to newspaper article discussing the results: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/health/05iht-obese.1.9748884.html?_r=1

Re:*BZZZT* Wrong answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864931)

Well the studies have been done in the UK - smokers pay, via tax revenue on tobacco alone, almost double what it costs the NHS to treat them.

Having trouble finding the studies themselves but here's some figures:

It costs the NHS £5billion to treat smokers every year now: Link [bbc.co.uk]

Smokers pay approx £10billion in excise from tobacco and VAT on cigs alone: link [the-tma.org.uk]

By the way, this means that on top of my income tax contributions and other VAT sources, some of which will go towards the NHS the same as everybody else, we smokers are not only paying our own way, but double the amount required to treat us!

There are no excuses, no valid reasons for denying me the ability to smoke in private. The same should be able to be said about any substance, smokeable or otherwise. As long as the the tax revenue outweighs the cost, society has not been noticeably harmed (lets be honest if it wasn't cigs etc., i'd find something else to consume till my death).

Looks like it your dads turn to provide the citation btw.

   

So, you base that on a personal opinion? (4, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28865057)

So, your father is a doctor and somehow he's a bigger authority than those actually paying for those treatments?

The link has already been provided by an AC above, but for whoever can't be arsed to copy and paste into the browser, here it is as actual link http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/05/health/05iht-obese.1.9748884.html?_r=1 [nytimes.com]

To recap, from the article itself:

Ultimately, the thin and healthy group cost the most, about $417,000, from age 20 on.

The cost of care for obese people was $371,000, and for smokers, about $326,000.

And that's just the costs. The smokers and the obese are simply cheaper. Even without the other factors, repeat after me, an obese smoker costs less than a thin and healthy person.

It doesn't even yet include the pension contributions (which someone who dies earlier will benefit less from), money given to the government in tobacco taxes and VAT (without smokers, to get the same services from the government you might have to pay more in taxes), etc.

Re:Well... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864403)

Hi, light smoker here.

Smokers pay 11 billion pounds a year in taxes in the UK. They cost the health service around 5 billion. We're subsidising you to the tune of 6 billion pounds a year.

STFU now.

Re:Well... (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864549)

Could you provide your sources for that statement? I have always been told it was the other way around.

Re:Well... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864871)

Tobacco revenues in excise duty and VAT
BBC article from last year quoting a cost of around 3 billion to the NHS from a study by ASH, the anti-smoking group
BBC article from last month claiming the figure had been underestimated previously and is now 5 billion [bbc.co.uk]

There have been "studies" by ASH, the anti-smoking group in the UK to show it is higher, but they used spurious figures such as the loss of future tax revenue from people who die early to stack their side, and ignored the corresponding lack of pension etc. in those cases.

Smokers basically pay for their own costs twice over, even at the higher end of these figures.

Re:Well... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864935)

Screwed up my tags in that last one, let's try this again:

Tobacco revenues in excise duty and VAT [the-tma.org.uk]
BBC article from last year quoting a cost of around 3 billion to the NHS from a study by ASH, the anti-smoking group [bbc.co.uk]
BBC article from last month claiming the figure had been underestimated previously and is now 5 billion [bbc.co.uk]

There have been "studies" by ASH, the anti-smoking group in the UK to show it is higher, but they used spurious figures such as the loss of future tax revenue from people who die early to stack their side, and ignored the corresponding lack of pension etc. in those cases.

Smokers basically pay for their own costs twice over, even at the higher end of these figures.

This stuff has been shown over and over again. The "I'm paying for your treatment" argument is totally and utterly invalid in the UK.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864467)

To clarify, the "smuggling problem" means violent crime, organized crime, gangs, corruption in police, prisons jammed to capacity, criminals made out of peaceful individuals, and billions of tax dollars wasted every year.

Of course, none of this is a waste if you're in the business of government and the tax money is passing through your hands. Just ask the architects of the US war on drugs, which has done more to expand power and revenue for the US government over the past half a century than just about anything short of war.

Now we're talking about a real cost to society, aren't we?

Re:Well... (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864833)

I imagine the cost to society from smoking may well be greater than the income, thanks to universal healthcare.

You're imagining wrong: As smokers are often to die earlier than non-smokers (heart diseases, cancer, less lung capacity), the costs at the last stage of someone's life are less. In a typical universal-healthcare-system, the last stages of someone's life is where the most costs are incurred.

So smoking actually -saves- money there.

Sorry, I can't be arsed to Google the (Dutch) research that had this result as the actual outcome.

Genes Determine Violence (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863529)

Beijing is wasting its time. Genes determine violence. Some ethnic groups are prone to violence. Playing violent video games will not affect the rate of violence.

Consider Africans (and African-Americans). They murder and rape at a much higher rate than either Europeans or Japanese. Most Africans in Africa cannot even afford video games, yet they rape and kill with wild abandon.

Look at the crime statistics of South Africa. After the Africans seized control from the Whites, the rate of violence skyrocketed.

Thus just proves the old saying: you can take the African out of the jungle, but you cannot take the jungle out of the African.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymos Noel Coward (1607485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863559)

Presumably games that glorify state-sponsored violence, corruption and other crimes will be OK for the Chinese government. So not all is lost!

Re:Well... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863891)

"Presumably games that glorify state-sponsored violence, corruption and other crimes will be OK for the Chinese government."

The Chinese government's thinking can be summarized as, suppress any expression of ideas which shows anyone opposing the views and rules of the people in power.

Gangsters oppose the law and the law is a set of rules decreed by the government that everyone must follow. In other words, the government is afraid of anyone showing any sign or even view glorifying people opposing the rules laid down by the people in power. They wish to maintain absolute power and fear anyone else taking power from them.

Ironically exactly the same thinking as every political party in every country, its just some countries leaders struggle to impose their will as much as China's government is able to do. Because the political systems in some countries (usually) prevents most political leaders gaining such absolute power.

All political moves are ultimately aimed at a battle for gaining and maintaining power over people. Its their core thinking regardless of which party or country they are in. They are all ultimately seeking power over everyone else.

The question then becomes why are some people so deeply driven to seek and gain power over others for so much of their lives and why are they so fearful of loosing power? ... something is deeply driving them psychologically to behave this way. The answer to that question is the one thing they would never admit and would always attempt to use any excuse to cover up their real reason for behaving this way. The answer why they need power is they fear being powerless like they were when they were young. They fear anyone ever having power over them like they suffered when they were young. Its a fear of an injustice that is burned into them and drives them on, resulting in them behaving in a self-centered narcissistic personality disordered way. Which is exactly why they show so little empathy to others. A behavior that is very common to *high up* politicians in every country simply because narcissistic behavior provides a competitive advantage in highly competitive environments like the political battle for power, so they narcissistic people tend to fight to the top in power.

Re:Well... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863637)

In hopes that one of those cigarettes will kill you.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863851)

Cigarettes are genocide machines? To say this implies that A) It's targeting one group of people. (disclaimer: I'm American, i know stats for America, I think Europe and the rest of the world fall along the same lines because these are multinational corporations and their advertising strategies are similar regardless of country) In the US blacks are less likely to smoke than whites. So it's not a racial thing. The poor are more likely to smoke, but not overwhelmingly so, certainly not enough to declare it a genocide on the poor. And B) That cigarettes are gaurenteed to kill. In fact, as a white American male smoker (again, i apologize but these are the stats I know) I only have an 8% chance of dying from lung cancer (based on CDC data for roughly the last decade). Not exactly a death sentence. On the other hand, Smokers are half as likely to suffer from alzheimers and parkinsons. Cigarettes are proven to stimulate the mind.

To compare cigarettes to genocide is shameful. It trivializes actual genocides, the kind with mass graves and missing generations.

Obesity is a far bigger killer than cigarettes (especially in america where we seem to almost revel in gluttony.) Is a hamburger an instrument of genocide?

-rumsintheblood@yahoo.com (my network wont let me creat an account)

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863913)

Is a hamburger an instrument of genocide?

Ask any cow you insensitive bastard.

eat mor chikin! MOOOOoooo!!!

Re:Well... (1)

matria (157464) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864083)

Ok, so don't call it "genocide". What do you call something that is deliberately pushed that is known to kill hundreds of thousands of a given species every year?

And when major tobacco exporting country `US` threatens major auto export country `JP` that if `JP` takes steps to reduce their tobacco consumption, then `US` will retaliate by limiting the import of cars from `JP`, knowing that this will cause the premature death of hundreds of thousands of `JP` citizens, I'd call that genocide. If it's for greed rather than socio/politico/religious reasons, it's still genocide.

cigarettes are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864275)

Second-hand smoke is a massive myth.

Re:Well... (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864439)

"I guess it's better than just saying games are not ok and letting everyone buy them... Like with cigarettes. Yeah, smoking kills you. Smoking kills other people. Cigarettes are genocide machines. So why the fuck do you allow people to sell them in the first place?!"

Are you saying that these sorts of games "kill you", "kill other people" and are "genocide machines"? Aside from your moronic argument that harmful things ought to be against the law (McDonalds, anyone?), what are you trying to prove here? There is not one lick of evidence that violent video games cause real world harm. There may be a certain amount of (questionable) evidence the show correlation between real world violence and video game violence, but correlation !=causation. I know that this is China, where the government gets to make up their own rules and a video game ban in the least of their problems, but we don't need to defend their actions!

Oh, and as for the cigarettes thing -- the reason it is not against the law is that prohibiting things tends to be extremely ineffective (forbidden fruit/black market) -- we can help more people quit by making cigarettes prohibitively expensive through taxes, as well as making it inconvenient and undesirable through public smoking bans and education.

Re:Well... (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864683)

Are you saying that these sorts of games "kill you", "kill other people" and are "genocide machines"? Aside from your moronic argument that harmful things ought to be against the law (McDonalds, anyone?), what are you trying to prove here? There is not one lick of evidence that violent video games cause real world harm. There may be a certain amount of (questionable) evidence the show correlation between real world violence and video game violence, but correlation !=causation. I know that this is China, where the government gets to make up their own rules and a video game ban in the least of their problems, but we don't need to defend their actions!

My point (which you obviously, and maybe even intentionally, missed by a mile) was the hypocrisy of claiming that something is bad for you, then allowing it to happen. If you don't intend to do jack shit about it (because you believe you must not), then STFU about it.

Oh, and as for the cigarettes thing -- the reason it is not against the law is that prohibiting things tends to be extremely ineffective (forbidden fruit/black market) -- we can help more people quit by making cigarettes prohibitively expensive through taxes, as well as making it inconvenient and undesirable through public smoking bans and education.

Oh pleez. What's next: people can run faster with their legs missing, than with heavy shoes?

Re:Well... (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28865045)

"My point (which you obviously, and maybe even intentionally, missed by a mile) was the hypocrisy of claiming that something is bad for you, then allowing it to happen. If you don't intend to do jack shit about it (because you believe you must not), then STFU about it."

WTF are you talking about? Total logic fail. Why is it hypocritical to say that something is bad and then not make it against the law? Is it hypocritical for the government to tell us that we need to eat better without outlawing McDonalds and mandating a good diet? Of course not, the folks researching our health NEED to tell us what they are figuring out and what is good and bad for us, but it is not hypocritical for them to let us decide for ourselves whether or not to listen. By your line of reasoning, all fast food joints would be put out of business, you would be chased by a guy with a cattle prod to make sure you run the mandatory 5 miles a day, and government operatives would bust into your bedroom every time you (well, probably not you, but other people) decided to have sex just to make sure that they are wearing a condom. If this were not the case, government funded medical research (which is a very large portion of medical research, btw), would not be allowed to inform you of the risks in the world around you. Public schools would not be able to warn kids about the risks of fatty foods, cigarettes, and unprotected sex. What you are advocating is either fascism or idiocy.

Oh pleez. What's next: people can run faster with their legs missing, than with heavy shoes?

Again, WTF are you talking about? Do you think about these viewpoints before you share them? I am saying that making things against the law does not make people not do them. This is very well backed up by evidence. The most well known example of this is alcohol prohibition -- nobody stopped drinking, alcohol consumption was just pushed underground. This created a huge black market economy and allowed villains like Al Capone to effectively take over the major cities. Because of the fact that alcohol had to be produced by villains as well, there was not quality control. Drinkers had no idea how much alcohol they were getting and the homemade hooch frequently contained some seriously noxious chemicals which rendered many users blind.

Compare this to what we are doing with smoking, and what Portugal has done with drug use. In both cases, we are using education and treatment to reduce the use of these substances, both of which are far more effective.

Re:Well... (1)

nagnamer (1046654) | more than 5 years ago | (#28865095)

You watch too much movies, dude. Get real.

Re:Well... (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28865235)

"You watch too much movies, dude. Get real."

Nice -- logic fail and grammar fail, all in one short comment!

Good (2, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863475)

I've never understood why people think being 'gangsta' is cool. Being 'gangsta' is being willfully ignorant and talking like you're retarded.

Get off of my fucking lawn.

Re:Good (4, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863535)

Nice way to be completely off-topic. You're criticizing hip-hop, not criminals. Gangsters aren't limited to inner city black youths who wear stockings on their head under a baseball cap, it's any criminal who's in the gang. Some of them even wear suits.

Re:Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863563)

No one calls mafiosos gangsters anymore, nice way to be pedantic.

Re:Good (1, Flamebait)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863829)

Troll please, read this Wikipedia entry for gangster [wikipedia.org] , tell me whether you see the likes of Bugsy Siegel or of 50 Cent, then STFU.

Re:Good (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863879)

Besides RTFA, the topic is all about "mafia gangs". Nothing about "gangstas". Not only was I not being pedantic but you're nitpicking and wrong.

Re:Good (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864415)

Aren't the steps between "Mafia gangstas" and hording in WoW fairly small? Don't you build a team of people, gear up, and then go kill/plunder to get items/gold?

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863589)

stop talkin shit biatch, I'll cut you

Re:Good (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863595)

Do you hold that view about movies, books, music, and TV Shows that portray gangesters and other such characters in any way, as well?

It's people like you who not only are unable to determine the difference between reality and fiction, but assume that others are similarly impaired and must be 'protected', that are truly the most monsterous threats to real human freedoms.

You disgust me.

Re:Good (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863693)

Do you hold that view about movies, books, music, and TV Shows that portray gangesters and other such characters in any way, as well?

No.

It's people like you who not only are unable to determine the difference between reality and fiction, but assume that others are similarly impaired and must be 'protected', that are truly the most monsterous threats to real human freedoms.

Wat?

You disgust me.

Sry D:

Re:Good (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863715)

I've never understood why people think being 'gangsta' is cool. Being 'gangsta' is being willfully ignorant and talking like you're retarded.

Because that's what most teenagers aspire to. It takes guts to admit that the pretty world view you were raised with just doesn't cut it in the real world, and that you're completely lost. So instead, most teenagers get angry, act like they know everything, lash out, break stuff, smoke chemicals and pretend they think it's a good thing, etc.

Eventually, if they're lucky, they realise that's not working for them, open their hearts again, and develop the maturity needed for the adult world. Or maybe they're unlucky and end up in prison before that happens.

Re:Good (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864449)

Erm, what about us adults who are angry about the state of the world, act like they know everything, smoke chemicals and think it's good thing etc?

I mean, just because I can make it in the world doesn't mean I have to like the reality I see and the dumb apes that inhabit it, does it?

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864039)

I've never understood why people think anybody cares about what they think.

Get off my internets.

P.S.
Hip-Hop!=willful ignorance and speaking like retards. we call those people rednecks.

Exactly. What I want to see is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864781)

a game that glorifies acts of vigilante justice and lynch mobs against these fucking retards. I never understood why walking with a fake limp and having a biscuit-lipped mouth full of gold teeth was considered cool by some folks. Try doing some inner-city volunteer work, people, and you'll quickly get tired of the "gimmie" and the "gangster" mentalities, and you'll tell these people that their failure at life is due to their own poor choices. Should've been taking advantage of that free public education instead of acting like a little bitch and making your teacher's life hell. I just can't even begin to tell you how many times I personally witnessed a fat welfare queen dumping her kids on us volunteers while she locks herself in her government-provided house to smoke weed and fuck the latest deadbeat nigger to cross her doorway (without a condom, no doubt). You won't hear Obama blaming THOSE folks for America's problems, primarily because they are the inhuman product of the Great Society and are his largest voting block. Really folks, when do we say enough is enough and cut off the gravy train to these losers? BOO FUCKING HOO!!!

As an aside, why is it that all of Obama's arguments rely on an appeal to emotion? Didn't he learn about logical fallacies in his first semester at Harvard Law? Oh right, he was an affirmative action product and didn't belong there in the first place. Gee, America is sooo racist, giving away these six-figure Ivy League educations to anybody who's not a white male...

Re:Good (1)

tsq (768711) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864787)

You know, I'd honestly prefer to be a "willfully ignorant" "retard talkin'" "gangsta" than a racist white nerd, to be honest.

Glorifying loot and kills (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863493)

Apparently WoW will not reopen in China any time soon...

Re:Glorifying loot and kills (1)

MaerD (954222) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864873)

This was my first thought.. "well, there goes most MMO's.. at least Eve, WOW, and COV"
Any game that has PVP for that matter and allows "clans", "guilds", or other similar groups is out.. after all, you'll just be a gang looking to beat all the other gangs, right?

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863499)

ladies, get your pussies ready!

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863509)

If by first you mean fourth.... Yeah I guess you are first ;-S

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863543)

Save your mod points: I admit that this is -1 Offtopic. Anyway.

It's been a few years since I last read Slashdot regularly, and the troll count has increased something like 5-fold. Was this a sudden increase, or something gradual? Anyone have an explanation for this?

Re:fp (0, Offtopic)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863655)

Save your mod points: I admit that this is -1 Offtopic. Anyway.

It's been a few years since I last read Slashdot regularly, and the troll count has increased something like 5-fold. Was this a sudden increase, or something gradual? Anyone have an explanation for this?

We've suckered TPTB at work into believing that this sight is a reasonable IT research site, but haven't been able to provide a good business case for 4chan yet.

And websites with games on them? (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863513)

This gives them another excuse to ban many websites (even if they already do, now they have another reason to).... facebook, myspace, etc. all have applications that are mob/mafia/gangster based. They could probably ban a large portion of flash game websites.

Small Potatoes (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863551)

I'm pretty sure this will be downmodded by Chinese nationalist trolls, but what the heck -- I'd complain about the injustice of this, but given that China is run by an unelected, authoritarian government, I'd say they have bigger problems there. I realize how China's history of fragmentation and turmoil makes many Chinese believe that authoritarian rule is best for China, but the fact remains that other parts of this planet managed to escape turmoil *and* develop without authoritarianism. I can only hope that some day the Chinese people will see the light.

Re:Small Potatoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864521)

I realize how China's history of fragmentation and turmoil makes many Chinese believe that authoritarian rule is best for China, but ...

Perhaps that is part of the problem... maybe China should be divided into fragments as the local population wish. Of course, the chances of that happening are approximately equal to zero.

Re:Small Potatoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864711)

Ctrl+H "china" for "the USA" and you wouldn't be far off the mark...

Real vs Fake (4, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863567)

So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

I never knew the Chinese thought so very little of themselves.

Re:Real vs Fake (2, Insightful)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863641)

I never knew the Chinese thought so very little of themselves.

And you drew this conclusion about well over a billion people, based on the actions of how many?

This just in: Politicians suck, everywhere!

Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863827)

The Chinese government's thinking can be summarized as, suppress any expression of ideas which shows anyone opposing the views and rules of the people in power.

Gangsters oppose the law and the law is a set of rules decreed by the government that everyone must follow. In other words, the government is afraid of anyone showing any sign or even view glorifying people opposing the rules laid down by the people in power. They wish to maintain absolute power and fear anyone else taking power from them.

Ironically exactly the same thinking as every political party in every country, its just some countries leaders struggle to impose their will as much as China's government is able to do. Because the political systems in some countries (usually) prevents most political leaders gaining such absolute power.

All political moves are ultimately aimed at a battle for gaining and maintaining power over people. Its their core thinking regardless of which party or country they are in. They are all ultimately seeking power over everyone else.

The question then becomes why are some people so deeply driven to seek and gain power over others for so much of their lives and why are they so fearful of loosing power? ... something is deeply driving them psychologically to behave this way. The answer to that question is the one thing they would never admit and would always attempt to use any excuse to cover up their real reason for behaving this way. The answer why they need power is they fear being powerless like they were when they were young. They fear anyone ever having power over them like they suffered when they were young. Its a fear of an injustice that is burned into them and drives them on, resulting in them behaving in a self-centered narcissistic personality disordered way. Which is exactly why they show so little empathy to others. A behavior that is very common to *high up* politicians in every country simply because narcissistic behavior provides a competitive advantage in highly competitive environments like the political battle for power, so they narcissistic people tend to fight to the top in power.

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863669)

So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real? [...]

... Unlike American and European teenagers.

Re:Real vs Fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863673)

There are stupid people everywhere, even in that perfect little fantasy land that you live in. Children need to be protected because they are naive, stupid people need to be protected for exactly the same reason.

Re:Real vs Fake (3, Insightful)

omarch (1599035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863687)

So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

It's not Real vs Fake. It is about cultural values. All those games and movies tell you that the best thing in a world is to make a quick buck and spend it on chicks, alcohol and cool car. And this has bad influence on youngsters

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864335)

Good point. I work with inner-city middle school kids, and many of them are "wanna-be-gangsters". They really think it is cool to be in gangs because it has been glorified in movies and games. Tony Montana has become a hero for many of these kids. Having said this, I don't thinks these movies and games should be banned, but they do influence our youth, especially inner-city kids, who often lead turbulent lives.

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864689)

I love it when people say "inner city" when they mean black!

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864801)

Inner-city as in all Hispanic second language learners.

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864391)

I suspect some small percentage people ARE affected by games, but I think allowing these games is much less dangerous to society than allowing authorities to limit your access to media and entertainment (to the extent it is done in authoritarian regimes, where the authorities are the real gangsters - but they don't allow movies about that either, do they? Hmmm...).

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864691)

Governments do evil things, but you're definitely at a greater risk of personal loss/injury from some wannabe kid than you are from a politician.

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

Knutsi (959723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864773)

My guess is that over the past 500 years, bad authorities have killed, injured of messed up the lives of far more people than other criminals.

Some examples:

  • loss of property
  • assassination, jailing for political activity
  • extermination for ethnic reasons
  • suppression (violent or otherwise) of groups
  • war

Yes, crime sucks and should be fought, but bad politicians are more far more scary.

Re:Real vs Fake (4, Insightful)

twostix (1277166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863859)

Ok did you miss the last 40 years of Chinese history??

Dear white middle class westerners,

China is not an Asian version of America, the UK or Australia. It is run by a ruthless totalitarian government and said government is not all benevolent smiles, hugs and teddy bears like western governments are. Yes it's hard to believe if you listen to moral relativists in western countries as they bash on their own governments (which *is* a great deal of fun I admit) but there's a reason one doesn't hear the Chinese in China railing against the Chinese government in any meaningful way (and it's not because they're are doing such a bang up job).

Please keep that in mind when reading any Chinese related news.

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863951)

So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

I never knew the Chinese thought so very little of themselves.

You know, I agree with your conclusion but I disagree with your reasoning. You've employed the all too often cited strawman [wikipedia.org] .

I don't think that the Chinese government has implicated distrust in the discernment of its people. The common person is adequately capable of drawing distinctions between reality and fantasy. However, the Chinese government understands all too well the depravity of humanity. Their reasoning goes along the lines that what you perceive through the senses effects the nature of your psychology in many ways, especially subliminally. Now, the Chinese (as well as many Western governments) are well acquainted with the concept (i.e. in the form of propaganda) that we absorb much more implicitly than explicitly.

The distinction of distrust in the discernment of self-knowledge and distrust in the discernment of external perceptions is huge. Lacking the discernment of reality to fantasy is cause for insanity. Lacking the discernment of introspection is mundanity. Few truly know themselves.

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863961)

So, the Chinese government has just stated to the world that they are not confident that their people are capable of discerning the difference between things that are real, and things that are not real?

Repeating the same, stupid fallacy over and over may be enough to convince you, but it doesn't make it more true.

Another possible interpretation could be that the majority of the Chinese people want it this way and that the government simply follows their wishes. It is not impossible - even the most oppressive government wouldn't be in power unless they had the support of a considerable part of the population, and China is far from the most oppressive regime in the world.

In fact, knowing China and Chinese culture, I'd say that my interpretation is a lot more likely; Chinese culture focuses a lot more on the value of things like education, self-control and morality, and the typically American admiration for notorious criminals such as Billy the Kid, Al Capone and the Mafia is not something they share. Being married to a Chinese, I know just how much revulsion that kind of things generate.

Re:Real vs Fake (0, Troll)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864063)

Perhaps the Chinese are confident that their games industry can come up with games that are both fun, engaging and yet do not glorify reckless murder. And I'm sorry to all you hand wavers out there decrying this decision because "the Chinese should be able to discern reality from fiction" - unfortunately there is a significant number of people in this world who cannot and these games contribute to a normative environment that condones violence. Just look at how easily kids are convinced that they should wear the latest clothes from brand X, drink coke, eat macdonalds, listen to hip hop, walk with a swagger... you sincerely believe some of these kids are not influenced by these games? I think it is a sad indictment of the moral state of our society when people argue for the right to murder - real or imagined.

Now get off my lawn

Re:Real vs Fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864397)

I never knew the Chinese thought so very little of themselves.

I thought the Olympics proved that to everyone. >1 billion people and they can't find a pretty girl that can sing [timesonline.co.uk] ? Or gymnasts that are over 14 [telegraph.co.uk] ?

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864611)

The Chinese take virtue ethics very seriously.

Personally, I think that plot in most games is window dressing; it doesn't really seem to matter much. Story plots seem to be a lot more potent than game plots. A story's plot can change the world, be it *Uncle Tom's Cabin*, *Mein Kampf*, or the latest political conspiracy theory of your choice. I doubt we'll ever see a computer game that will have that kind of propaganda power.

I'm not entirely sure why there is a disparity between games and stories, but I think it might be a left brain/right brain thing. You can only immerse yourself in a story if you allow it to take over your faculties of language and logic. Video games achieve the experience of flow state by taking up spatial and motor faculties.

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

Eivind Eklund (5161) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864785)

Yes! The Chinese government has, stupid as they are, chosen to conservatively follow the lead of social psychology textbooks (e.g. David Myers "Social Psychology") about how we get influenced by video games, rather than random posters on Slashdot.

Now, it may be that the textbook in question is wrong (it's a major one in the field, but the only one I've read that cover this particular topic) - but if you're experimenting with a billion people, it is a relatively sane choice to say "We'll remove the freedom to experience violent/gangster glorifying videogames in order to give people the freedom of walking around without being violently assaulted."

Breaking this down, I think the following questions are the ones that's relevant. They're working under the assumption that there may be some correlation between playing violent/gangster glorifying video games, an assumption that as noted is shared by at least some major social psychologists. (I've included both positive and negative influence as separate points. Note that Freud's theory of catharsis / building up and releasing "emotional energy" is not considered scientific any more, and a hypothesis based on this giving positive results should at the very least be examined closely. As far as I know, substitute activities aren't well supported either.)

What is our best estimate at the cost of the extra criminal behavior by people that are influenced to be more violent

What is our best estimate at the benefit from the people that become less violent due to video games?

What's our best estimate at the value of the freedom to play violent video games - ie, how much does it improve the lives of the people that play them (and those around them) compared to not having them available?

What's our best estimate at the cost of enforcement for this law?

My personal guesses is that there is a significant number of people that are slightly influenced towards violence and acceptance of crime by these kinds of games, that there are few that are influenced to not be violent from them, that the value of playing this particular type of video games instead of other video games is quite low (assuming that your peers don't have the games either), and that the cost of enforcement for this kind of law is fairly low in a country that does heavy censorship already. Under these assumptions, the Chinese move makes sense and is rational, even though it goes against my personal feelings with regards to censorship (I hate when censorship is necessary/beneficial.)

Re:Real vs Fake (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864867)

Well, I knew that when China banned Death Note.

Although in that case, I think it might have been government bureacrats having a hard time distinguishing fantasy from reality!

Good (2) (4, Interesting)

Meneth (872868) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863575)

Maybe, if the government bans enough stuff, the Chinese people will get fed up and construct a proper democracy. A long shot, I know, but one can hope.

Re:Good (2) (2, Funny)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863663)

Yeah, cause it worked so well the last time a few Chinese peasants tried to revolt by gumming up the army's tanks' treads with their corpses.

Re:Good (2) (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864011)

Yeah, cause it worked so well the last time a few Chinese peasants tried to revolt by gumming up the army's tanks' treads with their corpses.

Sort of brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Chinks in the armor" doesn't it?
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Disclaimer: The word "chink" is in the summary tags - nobody complained/mentioned it yet. If you find it racist then feel free to type some vitriol or mod this down. Thank you.

Re:Good (2) (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864173)

It wasn't peasants who were massacred at Tiananmen Square, it was students. Many from affluent backgrounds.

Re:Good (2) (1)

defireman (1365467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863695)

So we can be ruled over by corporations instead of the Party. Do you honestly believe that a Democracy is a miracle cure or something?

Re:Good (2) (1)

RobinH (124750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863923)

It's better than being stuffed in a concentration camp because you didn't toe the party line, and being force fed through a tube down your nose, and stored in a cell that isn't quite big enough in any dimension for you to stretch out fully, just so you'll eventually break down and sign the document admitting your guilt, so they can finally "legally" execute you.

Like they do in China.

Re:Good (2) (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864613)

So you're telling us that you are willing to turn a blind eye to a government that abuses it's citizens and control every aspect of their lives? True that Democracy has it's flaw but at least we do not have to worry about the government murdering us in the middle of the night. And that is exactly what the Chinese government had done to my great uncle and his family.

Law as a side-effect of the one-child policy? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28863677)

This law possibly shows that while China isn't a representative democracy, it is being overly influenced by the will of the older generation as a result of the one-child policy. In all societies, those in power (whether that's economical, political and/or other) makes the rules. And these particular laws are possibly meant to appease the older generation, less familiar with computer games (or adversely affected by these laws).

But not only does the older generation have the status/power/money in China (as in most countries), they also make up a larger proportion of the population than comparable Western countries, as a direct result of the one-child policy. In particular, it'd be interesting to see the societal effects of the one-child policy both now and as it ends and compare it with the rise of the baby boomer generation post-WII.

Re:Law as a side-effect of the one-child policy? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864511)

In particular, it'd be interesting to see the societal effects of the one-child policy both now and as it ends and compare it with the rise of the baby boomer generation post-WII.

Technically, the result of decades of one-child policy is that as long as this policy remains in effect, there will not be a baby-boom generation, unlike the united states and europe where older people of the WW2 generation suddenly found themselves overrun with teenagers who didn't care for Bing Crosby and wanted to see those hippies from Liverpool and the satanic hip gyrations of Elvis Presley. Until the older generation leaves through attrition, the new generation will find themselves hopelessly overnumbered and underpowered. Give it another 20 years though and the story might take another tangent.

Bullies in the playground (4, Insightful)

lordharsha (1101875) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863743)

*sigh* Gorram governments.

When I was a kid, politics was this big boring thing that all the grown ups with moustaches and beards went on and on about.

Now that I'm older, it's a hell of a lot more like a pissing contest, with each country trying to introduce more asinine laws and control each and every moment of their citizens lives. Hell, it's almost like a black comedy.

I'd laugh at the whole thing, but some of the shit that the governments of the world do in our name really scare me. Eventually enough people are going to come to their senses and fight back.

That's it for my rant. Mod me up, mod me down, ignore me, but I felt I had to get my 2c in.

Re:Bullies in the playground (1)

twostix (1277166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863949)

Do you really believe that the Chinese government, the government of a country about 10 years away from becoming a superpower really gives a shit what anyone else thinks about it?

They don't play inane western "pissing match" games. They just get on with owning half of the worlds factories, governments and natural resources while stepping on the throat of anybody in their population that doesn't like them.

Hell, the US secretary of state has already bowed down to China desperate for China to continue buying US Bonds so the US Federal Government can continue to function in any capacity. Very shortly (if not already) much of the west will need China much much more than China with 1 billion people on their way up needs the west.

We'll be wondering wtf happened to the wests dominant position within a decade.

Re:Bullies in the playground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864097)

We'll be wondering wtf happened to the wests dominant position within a decade.

It has been outsourced.

Why think for yourself? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863839)

When you can have the government think for you? Oh, wait, you don't want me to type that in? You don't want me to type this in either? Then what should I type in?

Organized troublemakers (5, Insightful)

Leptok (1096623) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863943)

Hmmm, I wonder why a repressive government would have a problem with glorifying organized groups of troublemakers?

It's over for some games (1)

Renderer of Evil (604742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28863975)

This is terrible news for the upcoming Gangsta Skeleton: Democracy City MMORPG.

Myspace/Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864111)

There goes Facebook & Myspace then, since both host an application called Mafia Wars which is quite popular according to its wiki article - over 2.5mil players.

"Mafia Wars is available on Facebook, Myspace, Tagged, and Yahoo"

No games involving Communist party then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28864137)

... which has proven to be quite a criminal gang during history...

Other gaming news (1)

kanwisch (202654) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864193)

In related news, Xinhua news agency reported that games involving corruption were being added to educational curriculum.

China has reached the 1930s! (2, Interesting)

thisissilly (676875) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864379)

Ever heard of the Hays Code [wikipedia.org] ? It applied to movies, but they didn't have video games back then.

The Production Code enumerated three "General Principles" as follows:

  1. No picture shall be produced that will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil or sin.
  2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
  3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.

Re:China has reached the 1930s! (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864983)

Mod this man up, boy aren't we calling the kettle black.

Re:China has reached the 1930s! (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28865059)

Industry guidelines != law

People might get ideas (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864487)

if they consume entertainment that glorifies gansters, e.g. this quote from the 1949 Jimmy Cagney Movie White Heat:

It's always "somebody tipped them." Never "the cops are smart."

What's this? (1)

WeirdingWay (1555849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864865)

Thugs banning games about gangsters?

Free to Choose Otherwise Is to my Credit (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 5 years ago | (#28864997)

It's to my credit then that I choose not to partake of videogames that glorify criminality. I'm glad I live in a country that has no such wholesale banning of such material, and would hope that people would--of their own free will--avoid such influences on their own. It is a weak mind that has to depend on brutality for entertainment, but I'd rather that the weak minds have that option than to have it mandated otherwise. In a way by banning it, the people themselves never get to build the character to avoid such indulgent and gratuitous diversions. Of course with that said, it's a sad thing to note just how popular some of these titles are in our "free world". While I don't think such should be banned, I do wish a few more conscientious adults would stand up and say, "This stuff is garbage" and set an example of avoiding them. If such games were not nearly as popular as they are, perhaps the issue would never even be necessary. I've often wondered why choosing activities that uplift and edify seems to be less thrilling (when we all know it's right) than the alternatives.
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