China is cracking down on online games and streaming even more with ‘Healthy China 2030’

    
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Even setting aside the Blitzchung fiasco that sent China’s video game industry into the spotlight at the tail end of 2019, the western games press has been covering the China situation for rather a long time, from the big “freeze” on games approvals in the region a few years go to the ongoing fixation on “healthy gaming” for children that’s turned into draconian curfews and (effective) pressure of WHO into contriving what many academics have criticized as the scientifically sketchy “gaming disorder” classification.

China’s ruling party has renewed its focus on video games at the top of 2019, as it’s now issued a new press release asserting that “mental disorders” among minors is on the rise and lists several steps organizations and branches are required to take to address them. Under the “Healthy China 2030” initiative, everything from online games to streams seems to be up for regulation. As Gamasutra points out, it’s not entirely clear from the document how local governments and organizations are to carry out these initiatives, but given the curfews, content bans, and invasive facial recognition lockouts of the last few years, it’s not too hard to guess.

“Management departments such as press and publication, online information, radio and television shall strengthen the supervision of online content, timely discover and clean up illegal and harmful publications and information related to children and adolescents on the Internet, and focus on investigating online games, live broadcasts, short messages Video, educational apps, etc., crack down on online gambling, bloody violence, vulgar pornography and other websites and apps, and create a good online environment for children and young people.”

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Frank White

Ugh. Living in China sounds like being forced into a state of perpetual childhood, followed and policed everywhere you go by your strict, cantankerous grandparents who were born in the 1950’s: they scrutinize everything you do and say, and there’s tough consequences for disobedience. And the saddest part of it all is that if you really do grow up in such a world, you’ll probably learn to accept it all as perfectly normal….

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Robert Mann

I’m just waiting on the world to install internet disconnects around China. When we want internet with them, we can offer to connect for a short time. The rest of the time, their culture that conflicts so harshly with most everyone else can be isolated to preclude issues.

Now… if only the rest of the nasty online was so easy to deal with!

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Jarette Domongatt

That isnt a problem, China probably has now a prototype protocol for their own use.

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The best course of action would be to just leave creators create the games they envisioned and completely ghost China. If China offers to publish the game there, but requires portions of the game to be altered, they are just flipped off and everyone moves on.

Besides, Chinese games haven’t been any fantastic either – they either copy Western games or create something mediocre and boring so if they decide to punish the West by not releasing their games there, it won’t be a loss for anyone but the Chinese.

What China is doing is analogical of asking the painting of Mona Lisa to be altered so that it fits Chinese standards, meaning the whole world has to suffer for their requirements.

And if Western game developers comply, which they will probably do, since they are greedy swines like the rest of them, no exception, it just spells bad for everyone. I bet even Chinese gamers don’t care if a game has bones, blood, drugs, violence or whatever China wants to ban and if a regular gamer is asked, they will probably say that they don’t like what’s happening. But then again, they won’t say it out loud since their Chinese social score would go down.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

China has always been dicey with trying to get an online game launched, WoW in particular. But if you can crack the Chinese market and make sales (and even better, a profit) with all those people in China as potential customers then it is worth the extra hassle. Maybe. If regulations get too harsh then also maybe it would be better for online companies to wait until the wind from the Far East feels more gentler instead of rougher, metaphorically speaking.

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rosieposie

So we can expect our already watered down games neutered even further, that’s awesome.

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Sorenthaz

And yet these big gaming/media companies will continue to suck China off and do whatever they can to get into this potential market because of its potential $$$$, regardless of the regulations.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

China can say it’s going to regulate but it’s not working very well right now for them. Human beings gunna be human being. Violent content, gambling, porn, social media are what people mainly get online for. China isn’t going to stop that.

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Utakata

…in some counties, social media even regulates government! >.<

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aleccia_rosewater

Whatever happened to bread-and-circuses? I would have thought that heavy-handed governments would like it when people are too distracted to oppose them

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Arktouros

You need “bread-and-circuses” as you say to distract people from the miserable situation you make them live in.

However I don’t think people understand just how crazy of a turn around China has had over the last 40 years. We’re talking raising 800 million people out of poverty kinda change. You don’t need distractions when from their view things are vastly better than they were before.

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Bruno Brito

^

People aren’t realizing that yeah, while it’s not optimal to live under an autocracy, the chinese people are actually optimistic about the future. I would say the average chinese, with the typical chasings, is living way better than the middle class in the west.

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silverlock

People have short memories for things like that and China has made to many bad compromises to get there. China’s inevitable health crisis which will be of a scale never seen before will wipe out a lot of that good will and belief in the central government.

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Bruno Brito

I’m in no way, shape or form, condoning China’s government. I just don’t think we know all the answers, since the west isn’t really thriving for a while now.

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Robert Mann

That’s when economics are bad. The issue in China is that the government is on the whole “I’m a god-emperor!” kick, and they want everyone to be their perfect little followers doing and saying as told. Which means overbearing idiocy that inevitably ends in a bad way.

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3dom

“Gaming disorder” is a sign of suppressed potential i.e. a person cannot adapt to the rotten socioeconomic system and is potentially dangerous for it. Basically, people put a target on their back for the government to persecute them – and CCP is doing their best when it comes to persecutions.