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Top 10 Countries That Censor Video Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by some Alex Crilly Mckean And you thought your parents were strict! Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Countries That Censor Video Games! Special thanks to our user “Dan Paradis” for suggesting this potentially inflamatory topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Countries That Censor Video Games
It’s for your own good, so they say. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten countries that censor video games.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the countries around the world that for one reason or another have come down hard on gaming as a whole.

#10: New Zealand

Despite the remoteness of the region, you can be sure that there’s still a thriving community of kiwis who love to play video games, and while regulations on said games haven’t been nearly as strict as in that ‘other’ country (you know, the one with the awfully similar accent) New Zealanders have still had to deal with Christian influenced groups like First Family New Zealand trying to put a stop to violent titles being published. Granted it worked for the likes of the Manhunt series, but on the bright side at least Grand Theft Auto 4 made it through.

#9: South Korea

How do we put this this delicately? The gaming culture in this country is freaking intense. On the one hand millions of adolescents have been reported to spend so much time playing that they culturally neglect the general standards of living, so much so that fear of gaming addiction prompted the government to issue what has been labelled the Cinderella Law, preventing minors from playing games online during the early hours. In contrast, there’s a huge emphasis on the professional gaming scene, to the point where its players are treated like celebrities, while noted to practise so much they sustain injury. While that’s apparently brushed aside, 2009’s Mortal Kombat wasn’t as lucky.

#8: China

Its two sides of the same coin. While it now possesses the highest grossing video game market in the world, there was a time back in 2000 were foreign consoles were outright banned for fear of corrupting children. Fifteen years later plus an obscene amount of revenue seems to have changed their tune somewhat. Of course, the price remains that every video game must be subjected to the same censorship rules as all other media in China, including any content that seems to promote the violation of basic principles, threatening national sovereignty and general disruption of social order. As such, don’t expect to see locals playing Battlefield 4 any time soon.

#7: Saudi Arabia

A less informed individual might lean towards the thought that because of religious reasons video games would have been banned outright. While it is true that due to excessive nudity and violence and in one case the inclusion of the word God in the title, games such as Grand Theft Auto, Heavy Rain and God of War were outright banned. However, it should be noted that there is indeed a gaming culture in Saudi Arabia, one enforced by a growing number of developers that are spearheading a larger percentage of female video game designers, as well as promoting exciting content within the frame of their culture.

#6: United Arab Emirates

The potential for growth in the UAE’s gaming industry has become monumental in recent years, but alas despite its immense successes there is still a lot of censorship to navigate, with a huge selection of games shipped to the UAE having to jump through all kinds of hoops. While it should be noted that recent digital versions of said games seem to be gaining traction, the likes of series such as Dead Island, Max Payne, and Blazblue were banned due to the inclusion of scantily clad ladies as well as excessive violence. Heck, Spec Ops: The Line was given the chop for just featuring a sandstorm-ravaged Dubai.

#5: Brazil

The gaming industry in Brazil is a little weird to say the least. Not made available until the 90s, the country’s ludicrously high import tariffs and taxes as well as a lack of domestic manufacturers meant that many foreign developers avoid exporting their products to the country. While things have certainly calmed in recent years, the purchase of consoles and video games as a whole remains excessively expensive, not helped by the bizarre banning of titles like EverQuest due to its more mature moments, and even Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City because it used a the work of a Brazilian composer without permission. No wonder Nintendo decided to bail on them.

#4: Germany

In truth, we can kind of see why Wolfenstein 3D was stopped at the gate, what with the fact you gun your way through Nazis and eventually kill off Hitler, heck the very incorporation of swastikas is considered racist propaganda. That aside, in spite of having the largest video game market in all of Europe, legislation that proposed to ban all violent video games has been met with fierce opposition from the general gaming public, but it hasn’t stopped the government from going on a censoring spree, infamous from turning human characters into robots. Geez, German Team Fortress 2 must be a bundle of fun…

#3: Australia

You have to feel sorry for the Aussie gaming community, whatever titles managed to not get themselves banned still ended chopped to pieces in terms of edits, mostly because up until 2012 an R18+ rating on video games didn’t even exist. Of course, there were still plenty of problems afterwards, you need only look what at happened in 2015; two hundred and twenty games banned over a four month period. For fans of franchises likes Saints Row and The Witcher, they had to go through the motions of seeing these games get banned, only to be released much later will all the naughty bits edited out. Guess Geralt won’t be getting laid after all.

#2: Iran

Violent or sexual content? Anything that discredits the Islamic Republic of Iran? Not a chance. As you might have gathered, for political and religious reasons a majority of outsider titles are frequently met with strict censorship, though Iran’s overall gaming industry seems to be doing quite well due to their own distribution of original titles. However, some games worth highlighting are Battlefield 3, due to it depicting the US army fighting in Tehran aka Iran’s Capital, Clash of Clans out of fears that it “Negatively affects family life” … what? But one game that was banned for political reasons was ‘1979 Revolution: Black Friday’ a game that depicted the violent side Iranian Revolution, something the government wasn’t too happy about.

#1: Venezuela

Pushed forward by the likes of their former president Hugo Chavez and put into motion by the Government come 2010, any video game with even a sniff of violence soon found itself banned or destroyed. As you can imagine the ban was not met well, with major companies like Sony openly opposing it, especially given the seemingly brash and unclear nature of the ban. If your country is openly ravaged by violence chances are it’s not due to playing the likes of a video game, though obviously the Venezuelan authorities still disagree since if you’re caught with one then you could be facing some serious jail time.
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