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China Bans Online Mafia Games

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China's Ministry of Culture has prohibited websites in the country from running, publicizing or offering links to online games featuring mafia-like gangs, and threatened "severe punishment" of violators.

Such games violated the ministry's regulations on Internet administration, for they "advocate obscenity, gambling, or violence," and "undermine morality and Chinese traditional culture," said a circular posted on the ministry's Website on Monday.

Some popular online games with the theme of "gangdom", "mafia", or "godfather" were running on some websites, according to the ministry. Netizens played killers and gangsters in these games.

"These games encourage people to deceive, loot and kill, and glorify gangsters' lives. It has a bad influence on youngsters," it read.

The ministry ordered its law enforcement bodies to step up oversight and harshly punish those sites that continue to run such games.

As of Tuesday, many websites offering such games have stopped applications. Blocked games include "Godfather" on, Jianghu (literally meaning ganster community in Chinese) on, and "Gangster" on

(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2009)

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