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Steamy games...

Steam bans adult only games in China lest the website gets blocked


Link Here 2nd October 2018
Steam isn't officially available in China, but it's not officially blocked either. But this inbetween state still gives the censors unofficial power to ensure that Steam does not allow adult games to be sold in China.

Steam only recently stopped censoring adult games in the rest of the world but the change of policy will not apply to China.

As part of the policy shift, steam added two more content filtering options for users: A general Mature Content filter and an Adult Only filter. But China doesn't have the latter option, which means that they don't have access to these games at all.

Chinese media speculated that Steam is restricting adult titles from Chinese gamers to avoid getting officially blocked in the country. China's government is tightening its grip on the gaming industry and repeatedly clamps down on online content that they deem inappropriate, so Steam could be trying to keep a delicate balance: Not officially blocked, but not officially banned, either.

 

 

Trigger happy censorship...

China blocks game streaming website and app, Twitch


Link Here 22nd September 2018
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
Twitch, the game streaming giant noted for its eSports, has confirmed that it is now banned in China.

Abacus first reported that Twitch's website was unavailable in mainland China, and that its app had quietly vanished from the Chinese Apple App Store.

Twitch declined to comment on why it had been banned. A recent development was the popularity of the app to view the Asian Games, which was not broadcast on state television.

Perhaps the ban is also to do with Chinas trade war with Donald Trump.

 

 

Offsite Article: Censors not playing the game...


Link Here 21st September 2018
Full story: Games censorship in China...A wide range of censorship restrictions
China freezes video game approval after a change of organisation and the resulting consideration of new rules

See article from pocketgamer.biz

 

 

More like gambling than baseball cards...

European games censors get together to oppose loot boxes in video games


Link Here 20th September 2018
Full story: Loot boxes in video games...Worldwide action against monetisation of video games
Fifteen EU-based regulators plus Washington State have made a joint declaration while Australian based study likens loot boxes to gambling, not baseball cards

Fifteen EU gambling regulators from the UK, Ireland, France, Austria, Poland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Spain, the Isle of Man, Malta, Portugal, Jersey, Norway, and the Netherlands plus US representation from the Washington State Gambling Regulator published the letter, noting their concerns with the business model.

In addition to the loot box problem, the letter addresses how it will take on websites that let players either gamble or sell in-game items like skins or weapons with real-world money.

One of the signatories, Neil McArthur, CEO of the UK Gambling Commission said:

We have joined forces to call on video games companies to address the clear public concern around the risks gambling and some video games can pose to children. We encourage video games companies to work with their gambling regulators and take action now to address those concerns to make sure that consumers, and particularly children, are protected.

The letter speaks of the groups concerns but does not detail the direction sthat the group will take in reacting to the concerns.

According to VentureBeat, a study conducted by the Australian Parliament's Environment and Communications References Committee showed that there were links between loot box spending and problematic gambling. The population sample size was 7500 people.

The more severe a gamers' problem gambling was, the more likely they were to spend large amounts of money on loot boxes. These results strongly support claims that loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling, said the report, conducted by Dr. David Zendle and Dr. Paul Cairns.

In a statement, the pair added loot boxes could potentially act as an introduction to gambling or take advantage of gambling disorders. They note that the industry tends to brush off loot boxes as similar to harmless products like baseball cards, football/soccer stickers, and products along those lines.

In related news games maker EA could face legal issues for ignoring a ruling by the Belgian government to remove the Ultimate Team portion from FIFA 18.

 

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