Games in for a Rough Ride in China

In The Hutong,

The Chinese government’s recently issued list of 50 banned video and computer games is going to grow, and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of more aggressive moves against this genre of entertainment.

The problem with games goes beyond this current banning, which primarily content and anti-piracy focused. (I mean, come on – anybody who has played Command & Conquer: Generals can understand why the content nannies in the Beijing government might have a tiny problem with it.)

The real problem is that there is a growing sentiment in the market among parents, teachers, policymakers, and journalists that games are little more than an addictive, anti-social form of time wastage, like gambling without the cash, and that they have no redeeming social value. This sort of perception makes it difficult to build any kind of opposition to these sorts of administrative action, and they make the lives of game manufacturers uncomfortable.

The industry can either say “hey – parents, teachers, and policymakers: bite my game controller,” and deal with the results of that kind of approach, or they can take a more proactive approach to improve the image of gaming among those groups.

Guaranteed, if the industry DOESN’T do anything, these problems will grow. Soon.

You read it here first.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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