The Chinese Communist Party will be introducing new laws that ban online gaming in order to curtail contact with individuals outside of the communist regime, according to a new report (via Taiwan News).

This revelation comes only days after Animal Crossing: New Horizons was removed from sale in the country. Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong used the game to share a screenshot of his virtual protests, stating “Free Hong Kong” and criticising Xi Jinping, the President of the People's Republic of China. Other Chinese players had created scenes in the social sim game that lambasted the regime’s response to the coronavirus, and as such, the game is now no longer available to purchase.

Now, the government has been alerted to an “authority vacuum” in online multiplayer games. The Chinese Communist Party is said to be unhappy that Chinese players are able to engage in unregulated spaces for socialisation in these games. Consequently, new laws are being created to “expand the scope of online censorship in video games,” and prevent players from interacting with gamers in the rest of the world.

In addition, online single-player games will be screened, as well as these online multiplayer games. An incoming law will require players to use their legal name rather than a username in the game, and it will also cover the exclusion of “zombies and plagues, map editing, role playing, as well as organising a union” from interactive experiences. Other new laws are not directly related to censorship, such as an online gaming curfew for children and young people, and a maximum amount of money people are permitted to spend on games to ameliorate internet addiction.

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