We often take it for granted that we can buy and play video games whenever we want. We often forget that there are many places in the world that don’t have the freedom of choice that we do, especially when it comes to entertainment.China certainly comes to mind in this regard, and the Hollywood Reporter tells us, there was a thirty year ban on video games over there that has now been officially lifted. The Reporter tells us this could be a big boon for such companies as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, now that a whole new market has just opened up for them.
Gaming was banned in China because of what the government felt the games were preaching, as well as worries over the impact of game violence on Chinese society.
The games will have to meet the approval of the Ministry of Culture, but as Patrick Brzeski writes, “Foreign companies will be allowed to sell video games and consoles across China, so long as they set up joint venture operations within the new Shanghai FTZ [Free Trade Zone].”
We never thought we’d one day see video games as a symbol of freedom, but we’re glad to see at least one wall in China coming down, and that’s the wall that was erected against gaming. It also makes you realize that even something as simple as playing a video game should never be taken for granted.