China has banned websites hosting games that glamorize Mafioso kingpins and street gangs. The Culture Ministry said these games promote obscenity, gambling and violence, and “undermine morality and Chinese traditional culture.” The report went on to say that the games encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify the life of a gangster. Chinese law enforcement bodies have been ordered to step up oversight and harshly punish sites that continue to run the banned games
All very true – but then you have to question what effect this has on the human psyche, and that’s a hairy topic. Most cultures seem to trust the emplacement of age-based content ratings, as adults are thought to be less influenced by the graphic material (if at all). Hypothetically, if graphic content were damaging, shouldn't exposure to it be left to an individual’s autonomy?
China’s online game industry is expected to swell by 30 to 50% this year alone, with sales revenue reaching from 24 billion yuan ($3.51 billion) to 27 billion yuan. It has about 200 million online game players and more than 300 million Internet users – the largest number worldwide.