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China bans 'mafia-style' online games

29 июля 2009

China has banned online games featuring sinister mafiosi and knife-wielding street gangs, saying the software promotes antisocial behavior and is harming youth, state media reported Tuesday.

The Ministry of Culture has issued a notice prohibiting such games, which have recently been thriving on the Internet, said the People's Daily, the Communist Party's mouthpiece.

The games "highlight the antisocial gangster behavior of beating, killing, looting, raping and cheating, and they promote bloodshed and violence," the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site Monday.

They must be banned because they "gravely threaten and distort society's efforts to build a lawful society and moral codes and will easily harm the youth," the statement said.

Authorities will strengthen their control over "cultural content" on the Internet, it said.

Operators must immediately stop running or promoting the games, or providing links to them, it said, threatening "heavy" but unspecified punishments.

Some companies have already started internal investigations and removed some games from their Web sites.

Oak Pacific Interactive, which runs popular Web sites such as mop.com and kaixin.com, said it had scrapped several games including "Godfather" and "All Corners of the Country."

"All Corners of the Country" features black market deals, vendettas and street fights, according to previous Chinese media reports.

China has the world's largest online population, with 338 million Internet users, making the Communist Party nervous about the impact cyberspace might have on it.

The party has a history of blocking Internet content it deems unhealthy, which has included pornography and sensitive political information, a censorship system dubbed the "Great Firewall of China."

Источник: Total Telecom

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