Yes, Genshin Impact is blocking Hong Kong and Taiwan-related chat

    
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Don't let's fight.

There are some words you can’t say in Genshin Impact even when chatting with friends. These words are probably not of an enormous surprise to anyone familiar with the Chinese government, as the banned terms include Hong Kong, Tibet, and Taiwan. Others are a bit weirder, as some players are reporting “enemies” as an auto-blocked word as well. You can see it in action in a video down below.

So what’s the deal here? Well, the simple answer is that miHoYo, the indie studio that both developed and published Genshin Impact is a Chinese company that has to abide by Chinese rules. Most games have a certain list of words that automatically trigger filters, as do many sites more concerned with moderation (our own comment filters automatically catch certain terms, for example). There have been no reports about the game’s moderators coming down hard on people who express pro-Hong Kong sentiments, unlike certain other companies… but it’s still worth noting that if you want to talk about subjects that are controversial in China, a China-made game is probably not the place to do it.

Source: Kotaku
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bobfish

Every Chinese game does this, whether it is made in China or released in China. Its less common for the international version to also do it, but not unheard of.

I really think people need to do more research on a lot of these things. We consistently see articles about this and other Chinese companies and lots of people target the game or company, when really its the rules of their government. Not sure they are exactly laws, but going against the government in China is a pretty good way to get your business closed and thrown in prison.

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silverlock

This is a good reminder to people as to what authoritarian governments are which is very relevant these days as countries under Murdoch’s news corp sphere of influence seem to be flirting with authoritarianism more and more.

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styopa

I firmly believe China needs to be called out on their shit, but I’m fine with this.

Some times, people play games to, I dunno, have fun?

Not every forum needs to be filled with people banging whatever unhappiness-drum they’re carrying today.

agemyth 😩
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agemyth 😩

Your dedication to defending the status quo any time you hear about someone saying “maybe life should be better than this” is commendable. /s

Do you really think this specific topic is the right place for your “this is fine” opinion? You are standing up for government enforced censorship? There are arguments to be made against so-called “outrage” or “cancel” culture, but this isn’t the place.

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James Balmer

They have censored the word ‘words’ I’m not even making this up.

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styopa

My son showed me his own chat text where they ***ed out the word ‘is’… which is fairly fundamental to english communication, lol.
No doubt it’s to block “IS” as in Islamic State.

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Sleepy

Reading reports that the game also comes with an always-on anti-cheat software, which runs even when you’re not playing.

Call me paranoid, but the first thing I thought of when I saw this was “government sponsored spyware”

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Malcolm Swoboda

I hope you read the updated reports.

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Malcolm Swoboda

A neat exchange on Reddit that expresses some of my feelings about this matter:

I’m sure they’re obligated to do this as a Chinese developer, but you don’t have to look very hard beneath the surface to get a sense of miHoYo’s political position. There’s a ton of not-so-subtle subtext in the game’s story and lore referencing the CCP in a not-so-positive light. Kind of adds depth to the narrative when you know the writers are speaking from experience…

Really? Not doubting you here, but could you give examples?

Sure. The game begins taking place in the city of Mondstadt, which is called the “city of freedom”. The characters explicitly value their freedom of speech, which is under threat by an organization called the Fatui that wants to take over the city to “defend” it following recent economic “instability”.

You can also pick up in-game books which have readable excerpts. One of the first ones I picked up reads:

“During the time of the aristocracy, the tyrants who ruled Mondstadt spurned the study of history and forbade the people from speech and song that alluded to historical events. For they knew the extent of their own degeneracy, and wished not for their deeds to be held to scrutiny by the annals of history alongside tales of heroes’ honor and glory. But the winds of history blow strong, and ultimately no wall could be built tall enough to stay them.”

There’s more where that came from, too. Doesn’t take a great imagination to see the parallels.

I could never figure out whether the Fatui were of CCP or Russian influence. Their pronounced sound of their home city of Snezhnaya seemed like a perfect combination of both.

Honestly, could be either but i feel that they might have purposely blurred the lines cause their games story is already pushing the lines. Making it slightly less clear makes it safer for them considering how petty China’s government can be when it comes to people portraying their history/ current culture in a more….realistic lighting

That’s not even considering Liyue, the region literally based off of China, and how fucked up it’s portrayed as during the main quest. MiHoYo doesn’t really seem to like their lot very much.

Well, as somebody who’s played all of the main story so far… The first nation you go to is vaguely western European and has… Almost no problems with it beyond maybe a bit of a lack of divine power backing them up, because their god isn’t ruling because it wouldn’t be right for the free nation to have a true ruler. Meanwhile the second nation is very obviously Chinese and is… Kind of super capitalist, life revolves around business and trade and it’s presented… Sort of passively as a bad thing, like most people are kind of a little too cutthroat and people are losing touch with the artistry that led to it becoming so thriving in the first place. Never QUITE says anything too bad about it, but it’s notably harsher than anything said about the other nations apart from the one that’s explicitly villainous.

Oh, IMO it’s even better than that. While it’s a little under-the-surface, there’s a theme of how the local law enforcement are barely capable of handling what’s going on on a good day.

The three main heroes of the arc are A) A trickster willing to steal from the knights to save the day because dealing with them is too much of a mess, B) A vigilante who can’t stand the knights and frequently makes his opinions of how useless they are known, and C) The current leader of the knights, who’s working with the rest because she knows that we’re the only ones capable of handling the problem!

The first arc has major undertones of “Do the right thing, even if it means going against what people are saying”, and I’m fairly sure that’s not exactly a message the CCP would approve of.

EDIT: more
“Yeah, they… Almost flat-out criticise the China stand-in for being or becoming a capitalist nightmare. It’s mentioned as being the most prosperous of the nations and the most ancient, and their god’s super involved in it, but over time they’ve kind of gotten full of themselves and basically don’t care about the actual god’s help beyond what he offers to their business. It’s never very front and centre, but the general implication seems to be “this place has a great history and lovely traditions and they’re basically throwing it under the bus for money”. The western European stand-in nation is only really criticised as their god doesn’t rule the place so it’s kinda a relatively minimal country in the grand scheme. I dunno if it’s intentional criticism or not, but you could certainly interpret it that way.”
“I think the funniest part is how they mention their God do some yearly planning, that was like “yeah, that’s communist China all right””

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styopa

That’s pretty good, thanks.

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Mush V. Peets

Sounds like the Chinese censors were, a bit paradoxically, a positive thing here: they actually forced them to use good and tactful allegory that is generally applicable, rather than artless and painfully obvious stand-in plots that force a message down your throat. There’s too much of that now.

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Hayn82

I rarely found deep conversation like that on Reddit. The fact that I play Genshin Impact but don’t notice the connection make feel dense. Do you have any link to the Reddit exchange ?

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Malcolm Swoboda

Tracked down the thread again for you :) https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/j6dcwu/the_words_taiwan_and_hong_kong_have_been_censored/g7y12j8/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

r/gaming is just memes and r/genshinimpact is overtaken by memes but has some good talk hidden as well, with users complaining about the memes being so allowed (wow congrats you posted the same screenshot joke for the hundredth time..).

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Hayn82

Thank you