Can we talk about China and their insane censorship of people and video games?

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ajtee519

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#1  Edited By ajtee519

It's kind of odd to me that to this point, there haven't been several call outs of the CCP and what they're doing as far as who can play video games where, and their influence on Western Culture. This is a government that, no theory needed, our present government, and the UN, all agree, have forced Concentration Camps....a little more coverage and calling out of companies that get in bed with this country, would be good. We spend plenty of time on the Activision stuff...and we should, it's just creepy what we're choosing to NOT spend a ton of time on. Could we? This isn't an out of sight, out of mind thing. If we're going to be calling people out for the Activision stuff, it's absolutely gross that we put developers who get in bed with a country committing a genocide, live and in real time, on a list of those who shall not be called out. Also, one who is actively destroying artistic freedom in video games, and calling them "spiritual heroin" ...I mean, on every level, every time they can choose to be evil or not....they choose openly, Saturday Morning Cartoon villain, levels of evil. Every effing time.

Moral consistency, is super important, and frankly if you're not allowed to talk about it...then there's a much bigger issue at play here, I hope that's not the case.

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ajtee519

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And, I'm sorry but any arguement to the effect of "well, it's just China, ya know...they have a lot of influence and money" is utter BS. That's literally saying "they're slowly exterminating an entire group, but, f it, we need dat money dollar dollar bill ya'll". Nah, there is no moral argument for it. None.

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chaser324

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#3 chaser324  Moderator

@ajtee519 said:

And, I'm sorry but any arguement to the effect of "well, it's just China, ya know...they have a lot of influence and money" is utter BS. That's literally saying "they're slowly exterminating an entire group, but, f it, we need dat money dollar dollar bill ya'll". Nah, there is no moral argument for it. None.

I mean, there is no argument for it with respect to morality if that's what you're looking for. Money is the reason why the rest of world looks the other way. The low cost labor has made China critical to manufacturing the world over, and so much hinges on them that they can basically get away with anything. It's a fucked up situation, but I'm not sure what can really be done about it by people like us. Until people and organizations in positions of power around the world decide that things need to change, nothing is going to change.

In comparison, stuff like the Activision-Blizzard situation are at a level and a scope where it at least feels like there's something that can be done by individuals. Changing a single corporation or industry isn't easy, but it's still far easier than changing one of the biggest and most powerful countries in the world.

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ajtee519

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#4  Edited By ajtee519

You can call it out without saying "well its too monstrous for us to conquer, so we'll say nothing" Chosing to ignore it, especially as it more and more plants itself in the industry that you guys report on, and is your literal lifeblood...is a bad thing. I don't care how big the issue is, it only becomes bigger when one of the most prominent hosts, of prominent voices, IN THIS SPACE.. decides to go radio silent as a group. No bueno bro, no bueno at all. It's simply, the right thing to do. I just don't see why you wouldn't, unless you can't...and there is A LOT to be said about ignoring a GENOCIDE for financial purposes, for example, it invalidates your stance on all the other moral things you guys choose to speak about. It's never ok to ignore a genocide. Ever. Like...you can't be ok with ethnic cleansing but pretend that sexual harassment is a thing you all wax poetic on...common sense, one of these things is even worse than the other horrible thing. But it's even worse to be paid by someone committing one. I hope that's not the case, but if it's not....grow some balls, please. It doesn't look good. You should be calling attention to it even if you think that attention will go nowhere, because it's evil...and you shouldn't look the other way on evil. It's not just evil...it's direct evil towards the industry everyone here loves...by a country who's committing a genocide. There is a word for supporting and/or ignoring that kind of behavior, and we all know what it is. Don't be that. Speak.

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ajtee519

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I'll make it even easier than that...give us the GB stance on China (a country who almost everyone agrees is committing Genocide, except the Chinese government themselves) and their influence on Video gaming in general, along with how they treat their citizens. Just...take the worlds simplest stance on the matter...alot of people aren't commenting, but they're looking.

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Besetment

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Could you be more specific?

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SethMode

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#8  Edited By SethMode

Man, you are painting with some insanely broad brushes with stuff like "China is a country that" when it's the CCP that is the problem. Typically people don't engage in things like this because it's a whole other autonomous country with over a billion people so making sweeping statements or generalizations is incredibly dicey territory. There are socio-political, ethical, and economic nuances involved in global politics that make it difficult to find solutions for some of the smartest, most well informed people in the world. I'm fine without GB jumping up on a soap box to start railing against China like so many disingenuous people do on social media and streaming platforms.

A lot of domestic issues people like GB feel more comfortable speaking out about because they either have direct connections, experience, or a bevy of information and much time spent understanding more about the problems occurring in their own country. It's not really comparable to making uninformed or lesser informed armchair opinions about a country many people making those comments about have never even been to.

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FacelessVixen

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As much as I appreciate the call to arms, I don't see much in the way of a conversation around here going beyond "Yeah; we know that the Chinese government sucks, but what are we supposed to do about it?" Call me a pessimist, but as consumers, the usual raising a stink on Twitter and Reddit won't do shit, and I'm sure that asking China to stop censoring media don't make and state representative's to-do list as far as foreign policy goes; never mind that the notion of getting China to change their policies reeks of American exceptionalism at a point where America has some significant issues to deal with.

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ajtee519

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#10  Edited By ajtee519

CCP money, specifically, is making it's way into video gaming, and more and more developers are taking that money. Any time, in history, that a country's government was committing genocide, we took supporting that, or pretending it wasn't happening, or even worse, profiting off of it, as a bad fucking thing. I'm not painting with a broad brush...I think anyone who's not fucking five years old or being deliberately obtuse understands that I'm talking about the officially recognized and undoubtedly genocidal, government of China...the CCP and how their influence and money is becoming insidiously linked with an industry we all love, as they oppress their own people, as it relates to video games.....and the complete lack of fucking criticism the mostly silent video game media is leveling at them. The government of China is pouring tons of it's money through tencent and others into the industry here...the same government is committing a genocide...nobody is saying shit...that clear enough for you? I'm asking for a stance...it shouldn't be hard. Under no circumstances should "we openly, and aggressively, do not support the genocide happening in China, at the hands of the CCP" be a hard, or even fucking troubling thing to say. The fact that speaking out against a genocide could ever be considered by anyone to be "jumping on a soapbox" is fucking nuts. It's insane to NOT speak out against it. Like....would you have made that argument during Mao and all of his wonderful deeds? Like, that's insane. It's not complicated to be not a terrible person. They're doing terrible things and it's not ok. It's never ok to Genocide...and it's never ok to pretend that it's ok.

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ajtee519

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#11  Edited By ajtee519
@facelessvixen said:

As much as I appreciate the call to arms, I don't see much in the way of a conversation around here going beyond "Yeah; we know that the Chinese government sucks, but what are we supposed to do about it?" Call me a pessimist, but as consumers, the usual raising a stink on Twitter and Reddit won't do shit, and I'm sure that asking China to stop censoring media don't make and state representative's to-do list as far as foreign policy goes; never mind that the notion of getting China to change their policies reeks of American exceptionalism at a point where America has some significant issues to deal with.

The leading video game Podcast should probably have a stance on it. They have plenty on Activision, and I'm for that, but...how fucking nuts is it, that you guys don't expect the bare minimum....video game developers should stop taking chinese money as long as they're genociding people...stance? Like....guys, what the fuck? Again, it's about doing what's right, even if it won't make a difference. Again...there's a word for people who shrug off genocide...let's not be those people.

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SethMode

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@ajtee519: If you think GB supports the CCP I don't know what to tell you.

But I'm also unsure why you felt the need to create an account just to post screeds about this. Start a blog, email the staff, message the staff, I dunno, something else other than scream into a forum void? It reeks of performative anger and like the setup for some other shoe dropping about "game journos" or something.

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ajtee519

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#13  Edited By ajtee519

@sethmodeI don't think they support them. I think they might be slightly compromised in what they can and can't say, because to pretend this isn't an insidious fucking issue is a straight up delusion. Why is it more ok to NOT call out the CCP for their genocide then it would be for anyone else to not call out another country for the same thing? If they're a group of tyrants committing a systematic ethnic cleansing...isn't that the one fucking thing we truly hate and loathe supporting in this country more than almost anything else? Shouldn't there be a very strong push back against that in our video game media as the video game world is being slowly swallowed up by such people? Doesn't it at least deserve a fucking discussion? More than anything why WOULDN'T you take the worlds most obvious stand?

Incredibly powerful, genocidal maniac tyrants, slowly buying up the industry we love is something everyone should be very openly against. It's kind of one of those situations where there's no grey unless you lack a conscious.

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Besetment

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Could you please be specific? Are you saying you want the crew to talk about the Uyghur genocide on the bombcast?

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ajtee519

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Could you please be specific? Are you saying you want the crew to talk about the Uyghur genocide on the bombcast?

I think they should at least acknowledge that it's happening and the same party that is committing this atrocity is also becoming more and more intertwined, financially with the video game industry...an industry that these same monsters refer to as "spiritual heroin" Yea, I think it deserves a fucking comment from some of the most trusted, wide reaching, voices in the industry. Like...make no mistake, in function, ignoring this is no less terrible than the people who in history, ignored other genocides happening around them...at all. If you have the voice to speak out, and it directly effects the thing you talk about, on top of that...you should fucking say something, even if it doesn't change anything. It's what's right.

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eccentrix

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I don't think they have time in their 3-4 hour podcast to talk about all the atrocities in the world, even as they relate to video games.

They didn't speak much about the crimes of the DPRK when they played Pyongyang Racer, or the crimes of the US when they've played America's Army.

If this is a simple topic for anyone over the age of 5, you should be able to infer their beliefs without them being made explicit.

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Besetment

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Hell yeah, man. I'd listen to that. Doesn't seem likely, though.

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ajtee519

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#18  Edited By ajtee519

@besetmentWhich is unfortunate, I think alot of people, many of whom probably have no idea about what's happening, would listen to it, intently, because we all like and trust these people. And I want to be clear about that. I like and trust the people of the gbcast. I think maybe they can't do what I'm suggesting they do. I'm not suggesting that they're supportive of the CCP. I DO think they should take a stance regardless, or do their best to do so while letting us know that they can't, if they cant. Creativity goes a long way when you're trying to say something you're not allowed to say. I certainly do not think they're happy or supportive of what's happening in China, but I'd very much like them to speak up.

@eccentrix ummmm they don't have time, once, in the span of 3-4 hours to take a few minutes and take a stance? This is an ongoing genocide by a group of people who are more and more becoming a very very loud and powerful influence in the video game industry...your entire argument is fucking terrible. They've got plenty of time to talk about Activision every week.

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ghost_cat

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There are things in our backyard that we need to take care of first before focusing on the neighborhood, ya feel me?

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eccentrix

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@ajtee519 said:

@eccentrix ummmm they don't have time, once, in the span of 3-4 hours to take a few minutes and take a stance?

Would you be satisfied with them mentioning it once for a few minutes?

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bybeach

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#21  Edited By bybeach

I would not mind at all them mentioning when it affects video games. Which it has, if I remember not too long ago a game out of Taiwan, and some indirect reference to Pooh Bear (a supposed reference to Xi). Talk about thin skin...reminds me of a former president, or Putin.

This may seem shallow, but this is a video game site (except when it isn't) and they are ill equipped to talk about international matters, beyond opinion. But in the realm of Video games, and whatever lies directly next to the subject...Have at it!

I am not (at all!) hostile to the OP's concerns, but a Video game site does by it's own definition has limits in discussing international affairs with authority.

PS And as @sethmode says, differentiate between the people, and the Ruling Class, Party, Elite etc.

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sombre

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Why would a videogame podcast talk about Chinese politics?

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Shindig

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@ajtee519 said:

@eccentrix ummmm they don't have time, once, in the span of 3-4 hours to take a few minutes and take a stance?

Would you be satisfied with them mentioning it once for a few minutes?

I can think of examples in the past where China's influence has been mentioned on the bombcast. First thing that comes to mind is the Blizzard punishments that came in the wake of the Taiwan protests.

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emospacemonkey

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#25  Edited By emospacemonkey

#FreeHongKong. Boycott Blizzard. China don't care. #Giantbomb

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cikame

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We can but... there's also Wikipedia...
By that i mean if anyone wants to read up on the issues and controversies surrounding China it's not hidden, it's actually very scary how blatant they are about what they do, and currently there's not a lot of punishment for it so... we're just kinda here now.
There are a few things that we're putting a stop to, are we still blocking Huawei 5G in the west? That's an absolutely massive business venture that we've snubbed, how other industries deal with China in the future we'll see.

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wchigo

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@sethmode: I don’t disagree, but would just like to point out that the CCP likes to play that card as well. You think a US policy created by Biden or Trump really makes its way to the average Chinese citizen in its original form?

And yet the CCP will conveniently mention how this is an affront to China and its people and they will blah blah blah, when in fact it’s mostly the CCP that is upset about it, and will twist the information to suit its own purposes and rile up the nationalists.

Is there a point to my post? I dunno, it’s 1am and I’m not exactly operating at peak mental capacity…

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BladeOfCreation

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You are right to call out the fact that corporations and economic entities--and the people who work for them--have been cowed into silence because they want access to the Chinese market.

I don't think this applies to Giant Bomb.

@ajtee519 said:

Any time, in history, that a country's government was committing genocide, we took supporting that, or pretending it wasn't happening, or even worse, profiting off of it, as a bad fucking thing.

It took the American government 102 years to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. Americans were happy to condemn Germany for its treatment of Jews; Americans were considerably less happy to open the country to Jewish refugees. If anything, saying, "This is bad, but oh well," is a time-worn tradition when it comes to this sort of thing.

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FinalDasa

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#30 FinalDasa  Moderator

I think the issue is less that GB should somehow turn a portion of their podcast into a CCP takedown report and more that the larger news media doesn't say much of anything about China's larger influences and hidden cruelties.

Maybe use this energy to write or call your political representatives, learn more about the issues at hand, organize politically, etc.

Also, this is literally a thread, on the GB forums, with now 2 mods having replied and it's still open for discussion. Not sure what's being oppressed or not talked about.

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Atlas

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One important thing that nobody has mentioned: COVID has directly resulted to a sharp increase in cases of anti-Asian discrimination, harassment, and violence in the West. I know that this thread is only concerned with the actions of China, and specifically their government, but we've seen Asian people report abuse who aren't Chinese nationals, who aren't ethnically Chinese, etc.. And maybe that's enough to make some publications and outlets a bit shy about being overly critical of China, because we should be able to rationally differentiate between the CCP and the will of the Chinese people, and not to extrapolate attacks on CCP policy into hatred for Chinese Americans, Chinese Brits, etc., or people of Asian descent living in the West in general. Because we all know that's wrong. But it's a crazy world out there, and one thing seems to lead to another, and nobody wants to be seen as stirring up hatred when all they're doing is trying to engage in meaningful and productive discourse about the actions of the CCP.

With that being said, fuck the CCP.

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beggary

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#32  Edited By beggary

@ajtee519: buddy, wait until you hear about our military and the drones that killed kids today and what our military does for the planet and how much money they pump into video games.

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Topcyclist

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This seems like a thread that will be gone soon. lol too spicy a discussion, hope you all well but I will not speak on this. Happy discussions.

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brandonj98

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I lived in China for 4 years. While i agree some of the things the CCP does is terrible i would like to point out all of the "censorship" is greatly exaggerated in western media. I wouldn't start clutching pearls over the video games.

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ghost_cat

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I lived in China for 4 years. While i agree some of the things the CCP does is terrible i would like to point out all of the "censorship" is greatly exaggerated in western media. I wouldn't start clutching pearls over the video games.

I'm actually curious because I've never spoke with a current resident of mainland China before: what are the things CCP mostly censors, and what do we, as westerners, over exaggerate or get wrong?

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brandonj98

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@ghost_cat: while yes they offically censor some media and the internet most of the normal versions of things like games movies or whatever are still easily acquired through gray markets. I lived there when "foreign game consoles" were still illegal but were wildly available for purchase. The CCP usually pulls this stuff for the hardliners in the party but rarely ever actually enforces any of these policies.

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BladeOfCreation

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@brandonj98: That's interesting, and thank you for bringing it up. Western depictions of non-Western cultures often treat non-Westerners as if they are slaves to their culture with no free will of their own. (In my own experience, supposedly religious Iraqis had a whole lot of porn videos of their phones.)

I think what the OP is talking about here is the CCP's pressure on speech outside of China's borders, in which the Chinese government exerts pressure on non-Chinese entities if they say something that the Chinese government doesn't like. That pressure is economic in nature and doesn't fall under a strict definition of "censorship," but it is exerted in a way that punishes people (or more accurately, encourages companies to punish people) who say things that don't toe the CCP line. There are plenty of examples of this.

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nomiconic

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@brandonj98: it seems like it's almost worse that the official legal situation is so different from the actual one, because in that scenario it's probably standing in for some kind of class system where the laws DO get enforced on people who are undesirable for some other reason. like how we have drugs in america that are federally illegal but people basically only get prosecuted for them based on race or class or whatever

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monkeyking1969

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...that every powerful nation everywhere sucks and hurts people?
...that every powerful nation everywhere sucks and hurts people?

__________________and their insane censorship of people. (take your pick)

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Mexico
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Africa
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
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emospacemonkey

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#WinnieThePooh Rocks

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Onemanarmyy

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i hope we'll see them release a rap posse cut when they decide to make their stance regarding the CCP known to the world.

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AV_Gamer

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Like others have said, its really a pointless topic. China is a country with its own rules and culture. Whining about how unfair any of it is won't result in anything changing. And the United States is not going to start World War 3 because they banned video game playing to a couple of hours a day and banned effeminate celebrity men from their television broadcast. Only the citizens of China can change those things within their country if they want to, but it's not the Western powers business.

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bybeach

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@av_gamer: I partially agree with you about their internal politics and culture.

But I have been hearing of their decisions affecting what the rest of the world can see and play. My fault for not being to present them concisely, but generally it's China somehow censoring a Taiwan horror game that perhaps inadvertently made supposed fun of Xi, And something(s) I have heard about Tencent. As others have said, I may live in a country that has problems of it's own. But I am just plain adverse to any foreign entity enforcing what I view as internal restrictions outside their domain. Especially when I see capitalism of all things sucking up to them, because of a desire to acquire more Chinese currency.

Though it is rather humorous.

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topgunmv

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The only input I remember Giantbomb having regarding China was the group sort of collectively pissing and moaning that they might have to pay 70$ more for consoles because of the Trump trade war.

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Onemanarmyy

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#45  Edited By Onemanarmyy
@bybeach said:

@av_gamer: I partially agree with you about their internal politics and culture.

But I have been hearing of their decisions affecting what the rest of the world can see and play. My fault for not being to present them concisely, but generally it's China somehow censoring a Taiwan horror game that perhaps inadvertently made supposed fun of Xi,

That's probably the story surrounding Devotion. There was a poster in the game that said something like `Xi Jinping Winnie-the-Pooh moron` which lead to massive reviewbombs on steam and a ton of complaints at GOG. The devs took it off steam to “review our game material once again making sure no other unintended materials was inserted in.” The game never returned to Steam, and Red Candle Games later apologized for its “severe art material mistake.” GOG decided to not sell the game neither. “After receiving many messages from gamers, we have decided not to list the game in our store.".

Red Candle Games apologized, saying that the team had used internet slang as placeholders while working on the game, but forgot to delete all of them. It said it had replaced the poster in a new patch after it was discovered. “We are deeply sorry for the trouble it caused to everyone, and that we sincerely ask for the forgiveness of our players,” Red Candle Games wrote.

Right now RedCandleGames is selling the game through their own online store. Their Weibo account was taken down over this as well.

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AV_Gamer

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#46  Edited By AV_Gamer

The relationship between Taiwan and China is very delicate. Basically, China makes it clear to Taiwan that they are allowing them to have their Country,. but don't get cute, because this can change at anytime. And again, no one wants to see World War 3 over a video game, so yeah, Taiwan is going to buckle under pressure. And the lesson with RedCandleGames is a simple one: Just because they decided to do the right thing and remove a poster making fun of the Chinese President Xi, doesn't mean everyone else will do the same with their content. South Korea said they are thinking about cancelling Squid Games, despite it being a huge international hit, because they don't like that it reveals how capitalistic and coldblooded their society is. I'm sure many fans of the show may be angered by this if they go through with it, but at the end of the day, it's South Korea's choice.

Shame about Devotion though. Its actually a pretty good Firewatch, Gone Home, type of game. More so a much better Gone Home.

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vaiz

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#48  Edited By vaiz

I believe the official Giant Bomb stance on China for the past decade has been, and I quote:

"China Don't Care".

I'm sorry someone had to reference it and it may as well be me.

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@av_gamer: "South Korea said they are thinking about canceling Squid Game" - - huh? Where did you see this? I live here and haven't heard anything...also, "South Korea" didn't make Squid Game. Also, Parasite is equally damning of social status and capitalism and its beloved here.

Just curious where you heard this from, especially considering it isn't a South Korean government show, it's a Netflix show made in South Korea.