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China Tries To Ban Video Games Featuring 'Gay Love'

Naughty Dog | NetherRealm Studios | Rockstar Games | Respawn Entertainment

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

17th Sep 2021 11:56

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China's censorship of the video game industry continues, with the latest radical steps proposing a blanket ban on titles that features storylines of "gay love". From The Last of Us Part 2 to Cyberpunk 2077Hades to Apex Legends, even Bugsnax has LGBTQ+ representation in today's age. However, all that could be about to change if you live in China. 

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With the debate raging on about how much is too much when it comes to children and video games in China, the country recently imposed new restrictions that would limit how long the younger generation can spend glued to their screens. That's all well and good, but in the next wave, China plans to clamp down on LGBTQ+ themes and male characters who are "too effeminate". 

What is China's stance on LGBTQ+ themes in video games?

According to the South China Morning Post, China is upping its parameters for approving video games. Apparently, the approval of video games has been "too aggressive", with a meeting between Chinese officials and representatives from Tencent and NetEase saying restrictions need to be enforced.

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Here officials want to restrict games that have a "wrong set of values", which include a focus on money. The big takeaway is that "gay love" is included in this list of wrong values. If this wasn't enough, those at the top want to move away from titles that feature "effeminate men". 

In a separate report from english.gov.cn, it explains, "The authorities ordered the enterprises and platforms to tighten examination of the contents of their games. Obscene and violent content and those breeding unhealthy tendencies, such as money-worship and effeminacy, should be removed."

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Sorry, we guess Castlevania's Alucard will be getting a macho makeover to make him more like Duke Nukem. Still, it's no secret that the wider gaming world has become tired of cigar-chomping womanisers that make titles feel dated before they've even hit shelves. Adding Rambo to Call of Duty: Warzone is all well and good, but at least there's a formidable squad of female Operators to go with him.

What is the history of the LGBTQ+ community in video games?

Looking back at the history of the industry, there's a shockingly low number of games that represent LGBTQ+ themes. Those that do are often struck with controversy, like when Nintendo tried to censor Birdo - who was originally conceived as a male who wanted to dress as a female. These days, Birdo is considered a cisgender female. 

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Elsewhere, LGBTQ+ characters often fall into the old "bury your gays trope". Despite its stellar work on raising the profile of the LGBTQ+ community, even The Last of Us fits this stereotype when it killed off Riley. When it came to The Last of Us Part 2, some critics were also furious that Naughty Dog included a transgender character called Lev. 

You also only have to look at the way the canonically gay League of Legends character Taric is displayed. In North America, Taric has a bare chest, rippling muscles, and flowing locks of long hair. In the West, it's a very different design, with Taric looking like a completely different character.

Weirdly, it's unexpected games like The Sims that have flown the rainbow flag for the longest, while modern titles have started to embrace LGBTQ+ themes - despite resistance. Still, the latest news from China shows that not all parts of the world are willing to accept change just yet. Taking a leaf out of Mario's book, it sounds like China is saying "So long Gay Bowser" to LGBTQ+ rights. 

 

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The Bloodborne Demake Has Just Got A New Trailer

FromSoftware Inc.

Written by 

Tarran Stockton

Posted 

22nd Oct 2021 15:31

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