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Playing a miserable game...

China censors restrict monetisation of video games


Link Here22nd December 2023
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
China is to bring in new rules that will limit the amount of money and time that people can spend on video games.

The restrictions are aimed at limiting in-game purchases and restricting time spent gaming. The planned curbs also reiterate a ban on forbidden online game content that endangers national unity and endangers national security or harms national reputation and interests.

Online games must not offer rewards that entice people to excessively play and spend, including those for daily logins and topping up accounts with additional funds, said the industry regulator, the National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA).

Pop-ups warning users of irrational playing behaviour are also set to come into force and game publishers would need to house their servers processing and storing user data in China, rather than elsewhere.

The news sent shares in tech giants tumbling and wiped tens of billions of dollars off their value.

According to Reuters, the censor is seeking public comment on the proposals by 22 January.

 

 

Randomly banned...

The uncut Nintendo Switch version of Mugen Souls Z has been banned in Australia


Link Here17th September 2023
Full story: Banned Games in Australia...Games and the Australian Censorship Board
Mugen Souls Z is a 2013 Japanese role playing game by Compile Heart

Eastasiasoft's uncut MUGEN SOULS Z is now banned under Australia's random rating generator called the automated International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) system. The decision appeared on September 14, the day of the Nintendo Switch release.

Back in March 2014, it received an M rating (like a PG-15) for sexualised innuendo and nudity.

Eastasiasoft tweeted:

The eShop page for MUGEN SOULS Z is live! Coming to Nintendo Switch on September 14th featuring content true to the Japanese original (hot springs mini-games, gallery images and more). MUGEN SOULS Z won't be officially available in Australia because of refused classification, sorry.

The PlayStation 3 version has always been cut for release in the US, Europe and Australia.

 

 

Video game censorship rules in Vietnam...

And government censors propose even more restrictions


Link Here12th September 2023
In July 2023, Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) issued a draft law to update the country's video game censorship laws currently defined by Decree 72. The MIC is taking feedback in a public consultation until September 15, 2023.

The current rules under Decree 72 are as follows:

Foreign companies must establish an entity in Vietnam in accordance with the country's foreign investment legislation in order to provide video game services. Foreign ownership is also limited to 49% under Vietnam's current foreign investment regulations. This means that companies looking to legally distribute video games in Vietnam will be required to set up a joint venture or sign a business cooperation contract with a local company.

Video games are organized into the following categories:

  • G1 games: Video games that have interaction between multiple players via the server;
  • G2 games: Video games that only have interaction between the players and the server (but no interaction between different players);
  • G3 games: Video games that have interaction between multiple players but no interaction between the players and the server; and
  • G4 games: Video games that are downloaded from the internet without interaction between players or between players and the server.
Video games are also classified by age:
  • 18 and up (denoted as 18+): Games with continuous protest and combat activities using weapons of a violent nature; no sexually explicit activities, sounds, images, language, or suggestions
  • 12 and up (denoted as 12+): Games involving resistance and combat activities with the use of weapons, but the weapon imagery is not displayed in close-up or clear detail; there is a moderate amount of sound and weaponry during combat; there are no activities, images, sounds, languages, dialogues, default character imagery, explicit content, or scenes that draw attention to sensitive body parts.
  • Players of all ages (denoted as 00+): Animated simulation games in which there are no weapon-based activities; there are no eerie sounds or imagery, horror, or violence; there are no activities, sounds, languages, dialogues, default character imagery, explicit content, or scenes that draw attention to sensitive body parts on the human body.
The draft decree released in July 2023 will add an additional 16+ age category:
  • 16 and up (denoted as 16+): Games that involve protest and combat activities using weapons; no activity, imagery, sound, language, dialogue, sexually suggestive characters, or content that draws attention to sensitive body parts.
In order for a company to provide G1 games, it must obtain a license to provide game services and receive approval for the game's contents from the MIC. To provide G2, G3, and G4 games, a company must obtain a certificate of registration and announce the service provision for each video game.

Companies must meet the following requirements to provide video game services in Vietnam:

  • Be established in accordance with Vietnamese law and have a certificate of business registration for video game services;
  • Have registered domain names for the services;
  • Have sufficient financial and technical capacity, organizational structure, and personnel suitable for the scale of operations; and
  • Have measures in place to ensure information safety and security.

The validity of a video game license may vary depending on the request of the company but cannot exceed 10 years under the current Decree 72. However, this time limit has been reduced to five years in the draft decree.

In addition, to provide G1 games, the service provision system of the company must also meet certain criteria:
  • Being capable of storing and updating the personal information of players, including their full name, date of birth, permanent residence address, identity card/citizen identification card/passport number and its date and place of issue, and phone number and email address.
  • Having a payment control system for the video games located in Vietnam and connected to Vietnam's payment support service providers, ensuring accurate and sufficient updates and storage and allowing players to search for detailed information on their payment accounts.
  • Being able to manage players' playtime from 00:00 to 24:00 hours daily and ensure the total playtime of all G1 electronic games for players under the age of 18 does not exceed 180 minutes per day.
  • Continuously display the player age classification for all games during the game's introduction, advertising materials, and during the game's service provision; and display the warning Playing for more than 180 minutes a day will badly affect your health in prominent positions in games' forums or on players' computer screens during playtime.

The draft decree has lowered the daily limit for players under the age of 18 from 180 minutes to just 60, in line with the proposed reduction of the daily limit in the previous draft amendment to Decree 72. However, whereas this was initially only proposed for G1 games, the draft decree stipulates the same requirement for G2, G3, and G4 games as well.

Video games are subject to certain censorship laws, and companies must obtain approval from the MIC to ensure that their content is not prohibited. Under Decree 72, the following content is prohibited:
  • Images or sounds that are horrifying, incite violence and brutality, are vulgar, erotic and obscene, immoral, contrary to traditional ethics and culture and national customs, or distort and undermine history; and
  • Images or sounds that depict suicide, use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, or terrorism, child maltreatment, abuse, and trafficking, or other harmful or illegal acts.
  • Opposition to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;
  • Undermining national security and social order and safety;
  • sabotage of national unity;
  • conduct propaganda about wars and terrorism;
  • sow hatred or division among ethnicities, races, and religions;
  • Propagate and incite violence, obscenity, pornography, crimes, social vices, and superstition;
  • harm national traditions and customs; Disclose state secrets, military, economic, and diplomatic secrets, or other secrets protected by law;
  • Provide information that distorts, slanders, or offends the reputation of organizations or honor and dignity of individuals;
  • Advertise, propagate, and trade in banned goods or services;
  • spread banned newspaper articles, works of literature or art, and publications; and
  • Impersonate other organizations and individuals and spread false and untruthful information that infringes upon the rights and lawful interests of other organizations and individuals.
The draft decree adds two articles regulating virtual items, units, and reward points and game cards. The draft decree stipulates that companies may only create virtual items, units, and reward points for the video games to be used in exchange for virtual items within the scope of the game itself.

 

 

Slavery Simulator...

Google bans game from its app store after controversy in Brazil


Link Here29th May 2023
Google has banned a controversial game called Slavery Simulator (Simulado de Escravidao) from its app store, after it caused a bit of an outrage in Brazil.

The game, which allowed players to buy and sell slaves, was launched by Magnus Games on 20 April. The game was downloaded about a 1,000 times before it was banned.

In a description of the game, the developer boasted that users could exchange, buy and sell slaves. It also allowed players to inflict various forms of torture on them. According to images of the game, users were offered a choice to either liberate the enslaved characters or use slaves for your own enrichment.

Social media users in Brazil expressed their 'fury' over the game, and a number of prominent politicians urged officials to hold tech companies to a higher standard. Brazil's Ministry for Racial equality said it had arranged a meeting with Google to help build anti-racist content moderation policies. It added that the developers would be held legally responsible.

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