The Communist Party of China has decided to issue a ban on citizens participating in online gaming with foreigners. The government is known for its severe restrictions on internet access for the public, with the limitations commonly dubbed the “Great Firewall.”
According to Taiwan News, the Communist regime recently recognized an “authority vacuum” in the multiplayer games, which allow citizens to communicate with individuals outside of the firewall without any monitoring. The paper added that the government was uncomfortable having such an outlet for unchecked free speech, and local governments began drafting laws to prohibit players from talking with people outside of China.
This is not the first time that the Communist regime has put online gaming in its crosshairs. On April 10, the Chinese government banned a popular social simulation game called “Animal Crossing” after a pro-Hong Kong activist created a customized scene that mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping and contained a “Free Hong Kong” banner.
The CCP also discovered that others were using Animal Crossing to voice their disapproval of the party — and the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in particular.
Taiwan News claimed that the last issue was one of the major reasons behind the law, as the government aimed to “block Chinese people from learning how the world is reacting to Beijing’s handling of the outbreak and subsequent cover-ups.”
China has been the subject of international condemnation for the coronavirus pandemic, with many critics claiming that the country provided misleading information about the virus.
For example, reports have suggested that the government lied about the scale of fatalities in the epicenter of Wuhan. Though the CCP claimed that only 2,535 people in the city died from COVID-19, residents have since claimed that the true number could be as high as 47,000.
Another recent report has suggested that the virus could have originated in a Chinese research laboratory and not a wet market, as was recently covered by The Inquisitr.
In addition to banning online gaming with foreigners, the new law will reportedly include sweeping new regulations that will make all games subject to surveillance and require players to use their real names instead of a username or anonymous identity.
The law will also prohibit any game that features zombies, plagues, or map editing — even in single-player formats. Additionally, it will reportedly disallow any form of virtual union organizing or roleplaying.
Other new rules in the law are less political in nature and focus on ways to curb gaming addiction. These include a strict curfew for players under 18 and capping the amount of money that can be spent in games.