China adds new rules against games with ‘effeminate males’ and ‘blurred moral boundaries’


The Chinese government is further putting the screws to game developers in the country according to the details of a new internal memo from a new training course organized by China’s state-backed gaming association, which outlines a wide number of new red flags that game devs in the country must follow in order to get approval, representing “a correct set of values” for the country as games are considered a new form of art and not pure entertainment.

The memo first points out that any games set in a post-apoc world where players have to kill may not pass muster. “Some games have blurred moral boundaries. Players can choose to be either good or evil […] but we don’t think that games should give players this choice,” reads part of the memo. Any games that also have gay romance or “effeminate males” will also not clear inspection, with the memo noting that “red flags will be raised” if regulators “can’t tell the character’s gender immediately.” Further warnings are also being put in regards to subjects like history, religion, and even visual style, as the memo states that “many current Chinese games now look more Japanese than Japanese games.”

As a result of these new internal guidelines, China hasn’t seen any new licensed video games for August and September, breaking a tradition of monthly approvals.

These new government-led warnings are adding to things that game devs in the country have to adapt to, on top of game time clampdowns for younger players, restrictions on how old streamers have to be, and a state-run news agency’s hit piece about gaming as “spiritual opium.” The effects of the country’s new tamping down on the gaming industry is already being felt, with stock losses for China’s biggest publishers and game servers crumbling under the strain of mandated time restrictions.

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