China sets up online game ethics committee

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/7 22:38:43

Gaming ethics committee safeguards morals

Young people play video games in an Internet cafe in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. Playing games online is a popular hobby among many teenagers, who use Internet cafes to evade reality and develop a sense of achievement in online worlds. Photo: CFP

The ethics committee governing online games that was recently set up under the guidance of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is designed to solve game addiction and controversial ethic problems that affect Chinese teenage players.

Of the 20 games in the first batch up for moral evaluation, nine were not approved by the committee and 11 of the games were required to be modified to avoid any morality risks, China Central Television reported on Friday. Media reports did not disclose when the committee had been set up.

Wang Sixin, a professor at the Communication University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Friday that the morality committee is led by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), which will screen content for pornography, violence and vulgarity in an attempt to manage game addiction, a social phenomenon that some say is extremely troubling to some Chinese teenagers.

China has more than 583 million game players, most of whom are teenagers, a report by China Consumers' Association released on Thursday shows.

If online games violate family ethics beyond the acceptance of common Chinese norms, such as portrayals of homosexuality or pregnancy before marriage, the morality committee will evaluate to ensure they fit with China's socialist core values, Wang noted.

According to Xinhua News Agency on Friday, the ethics committee is set up under the guidance of the Publicity Department of the CPC, which is composed of experts and scholars from relevant departments and units as well as universities, professional institutions and the news media.

The committee is responsible for the moral evaluation of games that may produce moral controversy. The committee will provide decision-making reference for online game management departments, guide online game companies to consciously abide by social morality and professional ethics, always putting social benefits and protection of minors' physical and mental health first.

Before the morality committee was set up, online games only had to pass administrative evaluation, under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Wang said, adding that the new committee means the Chinese government is putting video games as equal as online video and audio programs.

Newspaper headline: Gaming ethics committee safeguards morals


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