Chinese censorship extends to gang-themed games

Yesterday, the Chinese Ministry of Culture announced that gangster-themed online games have been banned in China as they pose "a serious threat to distort the rule of law and moral standards of society."

John Woo's Hard Boiled, hong kong, gang, triad

Games which promote "fighting, murder, robbery, rape, cheating, or other antisocial behavior" have been deemed illegal content. Web sites hosting, publicizing or linking to games that have organized crime as a major theme face severe punishment. The severity of punishment, however, was not explained by state media.

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Further, The Ministry of Culture specified several film and book franchises whose themes were off limits, including Mario Puzo's "The Godfather," Wong Ching Po's 2004 film "Jiang Hu" and Comic book-turned popular film series "Young and Dangerous."

With about 200 million users and revenue of more than $3.5 billion, Online gaming in China is a huge industry, expected to grow as much as 50% this year.

"If games stick to the fantastical or the mythological, there should be no problem," Chen Yongjin, the founder of an online game company in Beijing told the New York Times.

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