Friday, August 08, 2014

Not To Be Outdone, Thailand Bans A Game For Politics

Adding to the international bannings, Tropic 5, the Sim City builder in a Latin American setting where you have to maintain power throughout multiple eras as the city expands, is now no longer welcomed in Thailand. The National Council of Peace and Order, who seized power in May, find the game offensive and not suitable for children, even though it's totally cool to launch a coup and impose martial law in the real world. That's fine. But according to the NCoPaO (Nnnncopao. That sounds fun), the game's content could disrupt peace in the region. And may give other, potential militarists and separatists ideas on how to overthrow the current regime.

The banning of games throughout the world is not uncommon. The loads of stories I have written regarding China's policies should make that clear. Other countries such as Australia require editing of content or outright bans of products that don't meet their guidelines.

What makes Thailand's case stand out is that, in a sense, they are being hypocritical. The content in Tropico 5 could replicate how the militants overthrow the government. Whether in fear for their safety that people should see the horrors of their actions and revolt, or help squish down another uprising by a separate group, this is one of the few times we have seen a game being banned for political reasons.

Let's be honest. I doubt that people will play that game and think "Hey! We should totally take over this country and rule it this way!" It's a game, not reality. As complex as it may be, it will never fully replicate strength it takes to run a country. The world needs to relax. Games are fun.

Now if you excuse me, I'm going to load up SimCity 2000 and send UFO's to destroy a starter town. Because it's completely real and legit to do this. Don't judge me.

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