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China Reviewing Game Consoles Ban

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the on-second-thought dept.

China 67

jones_supa writes "The Chinese government is discussing whether to lift its 12-year ban on game consoles which was established due to fear of harming the physical and mental development of the young. Even during this period consoles have been sold illegally and things like Kinect can be sold for other purposes such as medical treatment and education. Major game console vendors across the world made several attempts but failed to find a way to enter the Chinese mainland market officially, even though they have solid manufacturing bases there. 'We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market,' a source from the Ministry of Culture, who asked not to be named, said."

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Please don't (3, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714527)

You're one of the few enemies we can still put into our video games without any real backlash. If you start exerting the kind of leverage over our console makers and developers that you exert over our movie studios [yahoo.com] , then all we're going to be left with are North Korea, Iran, and a few of them stan countries. And even the stan countries are starting to bitch [foxnews.com] .

Re:Please don't (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714591)

then all we're going to be left with are North Korea

And who's NK's best friend? Nope soon enough we're gonna be stuck with WWII nazis as the only video game bad guys. At least the marketplace never tires of those guys.
Who would ever have guessed that world peace via world trade would be such a bummer?

Re:Please don't (2)

WillAdams (45638) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714609)

don't forget aliens and zombies and drug dealers and cartels and mafia and yakuza and of course, corrupt government / intelligence agency insiders....

Re:Please don't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714665)

don't forget aliens and zombies and drug dealers and cartels and mafia and yakuza and of course, corrupt government / intelligence agency insiders....

And niggers. Lots of niggers.

Gangbangers or if you like history theres the Hutus and the Tootsies massacring each other like proper gangsta niggers.

Re:Please don't (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714797)

jiang-shi is one that hasn't hit the fps cliche pool yet.

Re:Please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42716993)

don't forget aliens and zombies and drug dealers and mexico

ftfy

China only likes NK as they don't want to deal wit (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714671)

China only likes NK as they don't want to deal with them falling and having to deal with all people coming over the boarder.

Also they are tell NK to back off on the nuke tests.

Re:China only likes NK as they don't want to deal (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715183)

China only likes NK as they don't want to deal with them falling and having to deal with all people coming over the boarder.

Yeah, If I ran a boarding house I wouldn't want people coming all over my paying guests, either! Unless that's the kind of thing they're in to...

Re:China only likes NK as they don't want to deal (1)

usuallylost (2468686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717891)

China only likes NK as they don't want to deal with them falling and having to deal with all people coming over the boarder.

I have read a number of times that all of the surrounding governments are terrified that North Korea will collapse. Basically they are all concerned about having to deal with 24 million starving North Koreans.

Re:Please don't (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714675)

China isn't NK's best friend anymore. NK has been slamming them in their media ever since China agreed to not only abstain, but support the UN Security Council sanctions following their recent rocket launch. I would say that China hates North Korea but supports them because they don't want to deal with their refugees or lose face. North Korea is China's Israel.

Re:Please don't (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#42716721)

You mean that a lot of China's technology advances come from NK?

Re:Please don't (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717611)

LOL maybe NK isn't China's best friend anymore, but alas China probably still is NKs best friend, despite sibling quarrel.
Who else other than China would be NKs BFF? They really are kinda isolated. I think they like it like that.

Re:Please don't (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717773)

It probably doesn't hurt that North Korea is right on their border. I'm sure they'd rather have their own client state there than an extension of U.S.-backed South Korea.

Re:Please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715705)

But then the video game won't be saleable in Germany! Green blooded Zombies it is!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2012/05/11/internet-censorship-you-cant-play-wolfenstein-3d-in-germany/

Re:Please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42722949)

Unless you pretend to sell the game in Germany. Whoops.

I say start making US the enemies in your games (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714613)

What? If you did that the US empire would crack down on you? Label you as some unpatriotic terrorist? Disregard the First Amendment?

Well, there's your proof that the US is evil.

Re:I say start making US the enemies in your games (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714633)

What? If you did that the US empire would crack down on you? Label you as some unpatriotic terrorist? Disregard the First Amendment?

Well, there's your proof that the US is evil.

I doubt the government will label you anything, but most Americans won't buy your game.

Re:I say start making US the enemies in your games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714899)

What? If you did that the US empire would crack down on you? Label you as some unpatriotic terrorist? Disregard the First Amendment?

Well, there's your proof that the US is evil.

I doubt the government will label you anything, but most Americans won't buy your game.

Yeah you'd miss out on the fat Americans with their fat fuckin dollars.

Re:I say start making US the enemies in your games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715117)

I'd actually say that 'Spec Ops: The Line' was one of the best shooters in years, and it got my money. And all my friends' money too. Reviewed wonderfully, but didn't sell anywhere as well as it deserved, and nowhere near the level of whatever the most recent Modern Warfare / Call of Duty games are.

Judging by the fact that it's inspired a fair bit from Apocalypse Now, I guess the pattern is that if you make a movie/game about killing US soldiers, you'll receive rave reviews and lots of awards... but it won't necessarily translate to making money hand-over-fist.

Re:Please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714867)

What about Somalia and Mexico? I doubt Mexico would be against an anti-drug game and Somalia doesn't even have a government. It does look like bad guys as government forces may soon be a thing of the past. There are still many other sources to leverage.

Re:Please don't (2)

mog007 (677810) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715139)

That's patently false.

Homefront was originally going to depict an invasion of the Chinese army, but the producers were worried about upsetting the Chinese, so the antagonists in the game were changed to North Korea.

Re:Please don't (1)

jandrese (485) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715735)

I wonder if this is what happened with Crysis too? I remember being bothered in that game that the opponent was a highly technological North Korean army who beat the rest of the world to full production on nanosuits. It would have been less jarring to just make up a country out of whole cloth than to to shoehorn North Korea into that role.

Re:Please don't (1)

stms (1132653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717431)

Makes sense don't piss off the guy who likes you piss off the guy who already loathes you.

Re:Please don't (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715871)

You didn't see who the US is fighting in the Red Dawn remake did you? It's not China any more for that reason.

Re:Please don't (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42719167)

In the original movie it was Nicaragua and Cuba alongside the Russians. When it was written it was during a political crisis in Central America. China never had anything to do with it. (Which isn't surprising since China has not been historically expansionist.)

Re:Please don't (1)

BTWR (540147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42722945)

In the original movie it was Nicaragua and Cuba alongside the Russians. When it was written it was during a political crisis in Central America. China never had anything to do with it. (Which isn't surprising since China has not been historically expansionist.)

I think the GP meant that the 2012 release was actually filmed as a US vs Chinese invasion. Fearing a Chinese backlash, the invading army was changed to North Korea.

source [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:Please don't (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717687)

You're one of the few enemies we can still put into our video games without any real backlash.

Modern warfare games tend to use Russians and Middle Easterners as villains. I can't think of a game in the last five years that had China as the main villain. Sometimes North Korea is used as a euphemism. I had assumed this was because game publishers wanted to sell to China's growing middle class, but if game consoles are banned that clearly doesn't work.

Re:Please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42718865)

Almost any game can be ported to PC, if it is thought it will sell.

Re:Please don't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42721135)

I'm trying to think of a video game that casts China as the bad guy, but nothing comes to mind really. It's all terrorists, Nazis, Nazi terrorists, zombies, Nazi zombies, zombie terrorists, etc.

Re:Please don't (1)

Onuma (947856) | about a year and a half ago | (#42723679)

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising?

That's the only one I can think of at all. Battlefield 2 had the Chinese as an enemy, but there was no storyline so it wasn't clear...it was just US Marines vs. Chinese Army (or equivalent).

PC games (3, Insightful)

stevenh2 (1853442) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714547)

PC games are common in China for this reason. There is no point in banning consoles.

Re:PC games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714599)

Console games are harder to pirate = less money for china.

Re:PC games (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714643)

Interesting. My game says made in China.

Re:PC games (1)

Haoie (1277294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42718537)

Everyone likes to complain about Japanese games not getting exported [no export for you!].

But there are probably countless of Chinese games - of varying quality - not being localised elsewhere.

Nintendo and Sony stocks are surging (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714589)

Or so I heard on NPR this morning. They're probably salivating at the prospects right now.

Re:Nintendo and Sony stocks are surging (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715495)

Ok, I see what they're talking about. Not sure if half a point is a Surge just yet. Was MS left out because they think it will go as good in China as it's done in Japan?

Other gaming platforms exist (1)

Pale Dot (2813911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714627)

Even for China, this doesn't make much sense nowadays. PCs and smartphones can be (side) loaded with games similar to those found in consoles.

Question to answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714699)

Has there been some recent studies disproving the causal effect of games leading to mental retardation?

Re:Question to answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715161)

Have you ever used ventrilo?

wat ? (1)

Keychain (1249466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714765)

I m pretty sure my sister brought 2 DS (on two different trip) from china, the first one of those being gifted to her by our cousin (someone living in china). Second one was pretty easy to find too. I actually had no idea that this ban was in place Maybe they're just reviewing it because the law is unenforceable ?

Re:wat ? (1)

jadv (1437949) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714839)

You should have published this as AC. I'll bet there must be some Chinese Govt shill checking out your profile right now, to find a way to catch your relatives.

Re:wat ? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715365)

China is the world leader in counterfeit products. They encourage people to buy things there and sell them abroad.

Re:wat ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714841)

I m pretty sure my sister brought 2 DS (on two different trip) from china

Was it possibly Hong Kong? At least in the past, they got special rules.

You know what else is bad (0, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714785)

You know what else is bad for young minds? Bullshit propoganda, lies, arrests for virtually no reason, and ruining the environment. As for my amazing proficiency at programming and solving IT problems with critical thinking, you can blame 15 years of video games for that.

Re:You know what else is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714971)

Bullshit propoganda, lies, arrests for virtually no reason, and ruining the environment

So I take it you don't live in the US, or anywhere in Europe for that matter?

Pray tell, where do you live? I'm keenly interested, but I'd understand if you do not elaborate - such a fantasy utopia should be kept secret and guarded, sure.

Re:You know what else is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715483)

You'll be modded down, of course. Posts like this will only work in threads about the US. Assimilate into the Slashdot hivemind or perish.

Re:You know what else is bad (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715895)

You're taking "bad for young minds" literally. To the Chinese government, that means anything that might lead to less pliable, diligent citizens.

Re:You know what else is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715947)

You know what else is bad for young minds? Bullshit propoganda, lies, arrests for virtually no reason, and ruining the environment. As for my amazing proficiency at programming and solving IT problems with critical thinking, you can blame 15 years of video games for that.

And your humble, down-to-earth personality too!

They are readily available, if you really want one (5, Interesting)

moondawg14 (1058442) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715011)

I currently live in Beijing. I can have a new console in my living room in less than a half an hour. They're for sale in every major market here. And not really marked up much more than the US price. It was a piece of cake to get a 220V power supply for the Wii when we moved. I think I got it for 40 kuai (about $6) Sure, they'd sell a ton more of them if I could go to Gomez or Sunning..... but the "ban" is surely not keeping them out. Like most regulations here... not enforced at all... or selectively at best.

Re:They are readily available, if you really want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715407)

It's probably something they will use to throw the book at you if you break any other crime.

Re:They are readily available, if you really want (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42716027)

Gomez? Sunning?

Are these malls, chain stores, or communist goods distribution points?

Re:They are readily available, if you really want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42719113)

Large electronics and appliance stores. You will never see a crowd of people there.

What Ban? (2)

j0brien (212706) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715079)

I was visiting Shenzen in Summer 2007 when it was still quite difficult to find a Wii on the shelf back in the USA. I saw them for sale at all of the computer/electronics markets. For about the same price as back home, they were chipped and came with any 10 games.

Joey Sneddon DEAD - WHY DOESNT ANY1 CARE?!!!1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715147)

BREAKING NEWS: JOEY-ELIJAH SNEDDON FOUND DEAD
OMG! Ubuntu! Founder found dead at his London flat

Police believe the young genius, who practically invented micro-peen pornography, committed suicide.

"He once looked at the W3C specs on HTML5, the Internet would not work without him."
-- Snoop Dogg

"He was a true genius. He put Ubuntu on my laptop when I wasn't looking, I was angry at the time, but now I think it was a true act of rebellion, of protest, an expression of angst and almost desperation to create a better world. The Internet has lost a wise man and its greatest prophet this day."
-- Milena Velba

It is believed Sneddon wanked himself to death after being harrased by the evil government for not paying a parking ticket.

The overweening, overbearing government of the UK had sent several harassing letters to the poor, depressed man-boy, politely requesting payment.

Pointless, repetitive, unrewarding activities (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715331)

Aren't they also having trouble filling vacancies toiling in the iFactories? Consider it as training.

I'm no fan of bans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715395)

>which was established due to fear of harming the physical and mental development of the young.

but, what if they're right about this? American kids aren't as physically fit as we were when I was young, and gaming is likely part of this worrying trend.

It's also possible that the problem-solving in games makes you smarter, so maybe the lack of fitness is a reasonable trade-off.

Re:I'm no fan of bans (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42719261)

The US is an information/service economy, physical capacity is irrelevant for anything other than health and being sexually attractive, which you'd think were major until you realize just how lazy people are now.

Not to mention from what I've seen there just seems to be collectively lowered standards. I suppose it depends on which social strata you're in. This might be somewhat reversed by the trend toward nanny-statism which is slowly making being unhealthy illegal. Pretty soon we'll be off of the metaphorical hamster wheels of workaday existence and onto real, compulsory hamster wheels. Considering that's the way people vote they deserve it.

Have they banned Atlas Shrugged? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715541)

If they're worried about stunting the emotional development of their youth, have they banned Atlas Shrugged yet?

ironic (1)

fluffythedestroyer (2586259) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715647)

they are allowed to create games and "probably" create console as well but not allowed to sell it in their own country ??? wow ???

But the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715829)

If they let video games run crazy all over the place, they're going to have more school shootings.

They're already heartless... (1)

thisisfutile (2640809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42716051)

Even if you argue that video games destroy young minds, what more damage could be done? I'll remind you of the toddler that was run over (twice) and then passed by numerous times by its fellow countrymen. The unedited video is not for the faint-of-heart, but ABC had a nicely summed up version... http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/10/chinese-toddlers-hit-and-run-mother-praises-rescuer/ [go.com]

Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42716133)

Surely the problem is in the games, and not the game consoles as such? Yes, there is a lot of violence, a lot of mindless grinding, but there are certainly also more interesting games than the typical FPS.

Drone Pilots (1)

sackofdonuts (2717491) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717263)

They are realizing that they need drone pilots and our gamers are the best in the biz. So they too want to get some of that training for their current and future drone pilots.

This is about export, not import (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42719293)

On the face of it, they are talking about lifting a ban on console sales inside the country. But what they're really looking for now is not to increase people's access to these devices, but to spur domestic console game development. China by now realizes what a huge market this is, and that they've essentially locked themselves out of it because of their official stance. Meanwhile the gray/black market (or "market" as its known in China) for these items has already penetrated the country. So they essentially lose little by dropping the official ban and opening the doors for Chinese developers (who have already delivered AAA titles under contract for Western studios) to vie with the rest of the world as a gaming superpower. They have the knowledge and infrastructure, much of it supplied by external investors, and now they just need the law to follow to cut out the foreign middleman.

Re:This is about export, not import (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42722973)

If I recall correctly the ban only applied to overseas systems, while consoles from Chinese companies were still allowed.

trade deficit prevention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42720383)

it's easy to counterfeit game cds, so they don't have to worry about chinese currency leaving the nation in the form of trade deficits or lowered trade surpluses in the case of pc games or software. But counterfeiting game consoles is harder, so a much greater percentage of chinese hard currency would be leaving the country even though the consoles are manufactured there. So it benefits China the longer they can prevent console sales. It seems that a permanent ban isn't practical any longer.

piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42722023)

The most likely explanation for their potential willingness to allow these console now is that they have finally figured out how to copy the games.

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