Whilst most of us can happily sit down and play a title like Book of Demons without too much stress, spare a thought for those gamers in China. According to a documented thread on Reddit, it has been revealed that the Chinese government is set to ban many top esports titles including League of Legends.
The shock moves came after a new Online Ethics Review Committee was set up in the country, and they ruled that 20 of the world’s most popular online games had unacceptable content. Nine games such as Fortnite and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds were banned outright, whilst eleven other titles such as League of Legends and Overwatch were told that they must take corrective action or faced being outlawed in China.
So what is it that the Chinese authorities found so offensive about these titles? On the whole, it seems as though the committee found that many of the games featured too much blood and gore, plus there were also accusations that some titles featured depictions of female characters that were ‘overly revealing’.
The accusations of overly violent content against the likes of PUBG and H1Z1 shouldn’t surprise too many people who have played these chaotic battle royale titles. But anybody who has joined the Fortnite craze will wonder why the authorities had such a problem with the relatively mild cartoon-themed visuals.
The moves set a worrying trend for anybody who enjoys playing chaotic games like Override: Mega City Brawl, as it seems as though there is little in the way of consistency in the report. For example, whilst most of us will recognize that League of Legends regularly makes the shortlist of the most popular esports, the committee’s report found that the battle arena title not only had ‘overly revealing female characters’, but it even went as far to criticize what it called an ‘inharmonious chatroom’.
In fact, many other games that were criticised by the report were found to have chat rooms that were declared to be full of unsuitable content. It was stated that not enough was done by the games’ publishers to counter a prevailing attitude of toxicity in certain gamers’ comments, and it’s difficult to see what can be done about this barring getting rid of the chatrooms altogether.
Some of the other criticisms in the report were even more bizarre. The hack-and-slash game, Diablo, was singled out for including missions that were reported to feature elements of fraudulent behaviour, whilst Blizzard’s recent hit, Overwatch, was warned about including visual elements that promoted ‘incorrect values’.
Whilst the report is initially fairly amusing, it does spell troubled times for the esports scene in China. Until recently, China was well on its way to becoming a real superpower in the competitive gaming world, and the government had even permitted the building of an ‘esports town’ in the city of Hangzhou. But with this report, it seems that China’s gamers won’t be enjoying too much gaming freedom in the near future.