China’s Ministry of Culture has banned online games featuring mafia-like gangs, warning that violators will be “severely punished.”
Websites are now prohibited from running, publishing or offering links to such online games, because they “advocate obscenity, gambling, or violence,” and “undermine morality and Chinese traditional culture, reports the Xinhua News Agency.
Gang-themed games “encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify gangster life,” according to a circular posted on the ministry’s website on Monday.
Blocked online games include the likes of Godfather, Jianghu (meaning gangster community) and Guhuozai (young and dangerous guys).
China has around 300 million internet users and a rapidly growing online games market. In terms of revenues, the sector grew by over 60 percent in 2007 to generate $1.66 billion and by more than 63 percent in 2008 to hit $2.8 billion, according to Pearl Research, which expects it to exceed $3 billion this year.