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China Shuts down Unapproved Cyber Games

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China's press watchdog has ordered to shut down the operation of 45 overseas cyber games which the agency says have not been approved by it and contain pornography, violence and gambling, Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday.

The overseas games include Omerta, a text-based multiplayer role playing online game themed on the mafia in the 1930s, which the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) says encourages its players to engage in virtual drug trafficking and prostitution.

The agency also dealt with 26 cyber games that run inappropriate content, such as the online roleplaying game Popmundo, although the report did not specify the punitive measures. In total 27 web game companies or websites have been given deadlines to rectify their content.

The sweeping measures come after a review by GAPP of over 200 cyber games running in China, which also halted Internet companies that provide online platforms for illegal games and urged online game designers to install anti-addiction systems in their products.

Some domestic games had added illegal content or gambling functions after obtaining approval for release, the agency found out.

Companies must obtain an internet publishing license before they are allowed to run online gaming services, the administration said.

The Chinese press watchdog halted software sales of the unapproved overseas cyber games and domestic online games on August 31.

( October 8, 2009)

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