back to article China warns game devs not to mess with history

State-run China National Radio has called for a stronger vetting of online video games and zero tolerance towards those that misrepresent historical events. Citing a game depicting Chinese general and Song Dynasty hero Yue Fei, China National Radio commentator Zhang Keyue lamented that mostly teenage players could easily be …

  1. Ordinary Donkey

    "That's our job."

    1. msknight Silver badge

      Exactly. And the biggest problem is that you're not going to know which version of history you're not messing with, until the powers that be tell you their already messed up version. What a... er... mess.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Just like the Trump GOP tried to rewrite the history of his selling out to the Taliban.

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          And followed through, as with many things, by Biden.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      > "That's our job."

      True, but to play the devil's advocate once again, I have yet to see a government not rewriting, or at least reinterpreting History: Bad things are sanded down (or simply forgotten), good things are enhanced and embellished, and one's own political convictions gain a clear and strong historical legitimacy. All this looks and sounds just fine until you check another country's history book and you get that old Twilight Zone feeling: Oops, am I still on the same planet?...

      History is the most fan-fiction-polluted science in the world...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        History is the most fan-fiction-polluted science in the world...

        The only guaranteed way to obtain correct non-manipulated history of any civilization is via the sewerage registry. The poo never lies.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: History is the most fan-fiction-polluted science in the world...

          Archaeologists do like their coprolites!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        More whataboutism

        Sure, many Governments *would like* to rewrite history. Very few have the ability to actually do so.

        1. Bitsminer Bronze badge

          Re: More whataboutism

          The Sovs did. Lots of examples at

          https://englishrussia.com/2007/02/22/soviet-russian-photos-correction/

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: More whataboutism

            Well technically you literally pointed at a website showing that they failed to... :)

            1. very angry man

              Re: More whataboutism

              Cowards don't carry a lot of weight here, history never lies and the news is a factual account of what is happening out side your door, you can believe factbook in all ways, " don't go the window, don't open the door and go outside, stay at your computer, that's a good subject, stay safe , take your pills" everything IS ok.

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: More whataboutism

          Oh but they have done and still do.

      3. gandalfcn Silver badge

        "government not rewriting, or at least reinterpreting History" A good example is the KJV which was written specifically and as instructed by King James to conform to the dogma and structure of the C of E and the socio-political requirements of the British monarchy.

        1. Denarius Silver badge

          citations please

          And there was I having learned it was mostly a revision of a two century old text from a learned dissenter objecting to doing all worship in Latin. See Prof FF Bruce, "The Books and the Parchments". This explains why KJV was old usage when it was newly printed. Also, it is not surprising that cultures use their current understandings of society and experience in their translation of other languages and sometimes unfamiliar concepts. I was around a discussion finding a way to express Good Shepherd to a tribe that only knew of cattle. Good Stockman worked well enough.

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: citations please

            The translators didn't even reference original MSS. James gave the translators instructions intended to ensure that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology of, and reflect the episcopal structure of, the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy.

            The translators made no first-hand study of ancient manuscript sources, even those that, like the Codex Bezae, would have been readily available to them.

            “they indicate a difference between the literal original language reading and that in the translators' preferred recent Latin versions”

            “For the Old Testament, the translators used a text originating in the editions of the Hebrew Rabbinic Bible by Daniel Bomberg (1524/5), but adjusted this to conform to the Greek LXX or Latin Vulgate”

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So I suppose that we won't be seeing the FPS aptly named "Tiananmen Square Massacre" by the new startup called ElevenCent any time soon, as according to the local Gouv , it was just a peaceful protest with nothing to see.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Winnie the Pooh is historic...

      Does that mean we can now show Mr. Pooh once again? Or report the facts about all those "incidents" that you previously swept under the rug to avoid international scrutiny? Or-

      *Post goes blank & is replaced by friendly green Chinese characters that read "Nothing to see here. Please move along."*

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Winnie the Pooh is historic...

        *Post goes blank & is replaced by friendly green Chinese characters that read "Nothing to see here. Please move along."*

        这没东西看。 请移步。

        [Sorry, can't do green.]

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Winnie the Pooh is historic...

          有志者事竟成

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Winnie the Pooh is historic...

        "the Republican National Committee (RNC) removed a page from its website that touted the Trump administration’s peace deal with the Taliban."

        "Rudy Giuliani reportedly told the FBI that he was “under no obligation to tell the truth” while campaigning for Donald Trump"

        "Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde ... "You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.""

    2. Avatar of They

      Another option.

      I was thinking Total War - Tibet myself.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It never existed

      "...according to the local Gouv , it was just a peaceful protest with nothing to see....."

      According to the CCP, the Tiananmen Square Massacre wasn't even that. According to them, nothing happened in that place on that day.

      1. SkippyBing

        Re: It never existed

        I read somewhere a few years ago that this was causing problems as the censors hadn't heard of it so didn't know it needed to be censored.

      2. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: It never existed

        According to the CCP, the Tiananmen Square Massacre wasn't even that. According to them, nothing happened in that place on that day.

        And Google in China agrees with them, so that must be true.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "it was just a peaceful protest with nothing to see....."

      A BBC reporter recently did a bit on the "Tank Man" photo in China. Almost all the younger people shown it had never seen it before. Older people on the whole also claimed to have never seen it and a few denied seeing it but looked a bit uncomfortable at having said photo thrust into their face.

    5. adam 40 Silver badge

      Tianenmen Square? When I were a lad....

      ... we had the 三年大饥荒

      Only 55 million dead.

      Thanks a bunch, chairman Mao (whose mausoleum borders said square...)

      If you want to see some examples of "traditional" censorship, then visit Sun Yat-sen's mausoleum in Nanjing, and have a look at the friezes, and in particular, the blank areas where the faces of the nonconformists used to be.

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Good work for game devs, if they don't vanish

    The games will need a software update every time the Chinese Government changes the official record historical events.

    1. Christoph

      Re: Good work for game devs, if they don't vanish

      There's a civil servant in charge of making those changes - a Comrade Winston Smith.

    2. Draco
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Good work for game devs, if they don't vanish

      How can someone who never existed vanish?

      As an aside: hallucinating game devs who never existed is a sure sign of mental illness. Fortunately, re-education centers have a long, proven, track-record in treating such cases. They are very patient and think nothing of spending 10, 20, or more years in treating your delusions.

    3. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: Good work for game devs, if they don't vanish

      The games will need a software update every time the Chinese Government changes the official record historical events.

      Actually, the Chinese government doesn't chop & change history to suit the zeitgeist, 1984 style. They decide on the history and stick to it, come what may.

      Now, whether it bears any relation to what actually happened is a whole other question.

  4. Lil Endian

    Factual Games

    Games are how we teach the youngest of children. Suspending disbelief allows players to investigate options unavailable in reality. Creating games teaches the building of internally consistent rules etc.

    If games are to be factual, historically accurate, there's probably little fun to be had in playing the Jin dynasty in a C13 game - you are going to lose to the Mongols every time.

    The "challenge" is to encourage critical thinking, to distinguish the difference between fact and fiction. If people can't tell the difference, better to start there. Otherwise how would they tell the difference between true (historical) facts and false ones. I think some governments don't like critical thinkers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Factual Games

      I'm quite sure that here in the West, it's strongly advised against letting the youngest of children use screens, let alone play video games, and really sure that is not how we teach them.

      1. Lil Endian

        Re: Factual Games

        I wasn't referring only to computer based games, but games in general.

        "Got your nose" is a game. Do you still think your uncle has your nose? Nope, you learnt.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Factual Games

          Gee, so you were talking about something totally unrelated to the content of the article, since China has not announced any restriction on "Got your nose"? You had me fooled for a second there, I should have suspended my disbelief, or something.

          1. Lil Endian
            IT Angle

            Re: Factual Games

            Surely computer games are a subset of games in general? So, no, not unrelated.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Factual Games

              Be sure to bring back those goalposts when you're done running around with them, thanks!

              1. Cybersaber

                Re: Factual Games

                The first "anonymous coward" moved the goal posts i.e. gaming -> online gaming, children -> young children in an attempt to score points by first re-construing the OP's words more narrowly, then making a straw man argument.

                FYI, being nasty as an "anonymous coward" is a good way to get booed via down-votes.

      2. neoaliphant

        Re: Factual Games

        When with toddlers, use of tablet gamesand technology increases intelligence, coordination and spacial awareness, various studies have proven. Issue comes with balance, as games playing can give a dopamine hit, its very easy for those lacking enough dopamine balance - ADHD to get hooked.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Factual Games

          > Issue comes with balance, as games playing can give a dopamine hit, its very easy for those lacking enough dopamine balance - ADHD to get hooked.

          The games industry calls them "whales".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Factual Games

            Save the whales!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Factual Games

              Shave the whales!

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Factual Games

                They shave every day and always have done. Proof: When did you last see a hairy whale? Not even a hipster moustache to be seen.

          2. Cybersaber

            Re: Factual Games

            I think you might possibly be misusing the term. Whales in that context refers to gamers with the means and willingness to spend lots of money on a whim, just like it does in the gambling context.

            1. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: Whales

              Wow! I do that - bought Resident Evil: Village because I saw a shot of Lady Dimitrescu, Red Dead Redemption just to see how the horses were animated. So I'm a whale.

              That would explain the waistline I suppose, and the fact i can't grow a beard.

        2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: Factual Games

          But they also decrease verbal skills as "no one is talking to the child!". This is also been theorized to contribute to certain Autistic syndromes as the child does not learn to properly communicate or socialize.

          Using the screen as a baby sitter so you can go vegetate in front of Netflix is not proper parenting!

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Factual Games

        "I'm quite sure that here in the West, it's strongly advised against letting the youngest of children use screens, let alone play video games, and really sure that is not how we teach them."

        Then you're mostly wrong, wrong, and wrong respectively. People are often advised to reduce their children's use of screens, not entirely eliminate it. We're also not talking about the "youngest of children", but rather children of many ages. Videogames are very popular with children and always have been, and as long as their parents maintain restrictions on how much they use them, it isn't automatically harmful.

        As for not being a way to teach them, you may be unaware of the many educational games which exist. I've seen plenty of teaching tools redesigned to be more entertaining, trying to get the children to voluntarily learn mental math. In my childhood, I had an electronic dictionary which had several word games on it, which was useful in that it taught proper spelling and grammar and, if the computer opponent used a word you didn't know, you could easily look it up right there. Lots of other games may include less teachable content, but will be a little useful (for example, it should help quite a bit with familiarizing children with computer interfaces which they will use later). This doesn't make all videogames an educational experience, but there are some which are used to that effect.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Factual Games

      "The "challenge" is to encourage critical thinking,"

      In China?

      1. Lil Endian
        Go

        Re: Factual Games

        Everywhere.

        Otherwise we just get bigoted, ignorant sheep spewing utter sheepshit.

        Information is key. Communication is key. Education is key.

        /stopbeforemegarant :)

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Factual Games

        Yes, in China. I'm amazed at the number of people who gullibly parrot Trumpspeak in the belief they are knowledgeable.

        If those in and supporting the Trump GOP were capable of critical thinking they wouldn't be doing what they are presently doing, would they.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Factual Games

      Given that rather a lot of people believe in sky daddies and astrology that doesn't seem to have worked very well.

  5. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Castle Wolfenstein & Hitler

    I agree.

    You can imagine my shock when I learnt that Hitler didn't actually have machine-gun arms...

    1. Christoph

      Re: Castle Wolfenstein & Hitler

      But he did only have one ...

      1. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: Castle Wolfenstein & Hitler

        @Christoph "But he did only have one ..." Now now that's a low ball.

  6. Binraider Silver badge

    Where does China stand on the banning of Hearts of Iron IV. Meddling with history indeed.

    1. GrumpyKiwi

      They banned HoI III as it showed China as divided up during the warlord period. So IV is probably on the shitlist too.

  7. DrXym Silver badge

    Got it

    So as long as game devs stick with depicting atrocities committed during the Cultural Revolution they should be fine.

  8. Denarius Silver badge

    you mean

    Kung Fu Panda might be censored ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you mean

      Oh, fuck!

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "eventually misinterpreting the game's historical fiction as true"

    It's a game, not a history lesson.

    That is a stupid decision. It is also a demonstration that the Chinese governments wants its citizens to only think in the approved way. No leeway for intelligence, your brain will be stamped with the Proper Thinking Protocol.

    Human beings do not function like that. We need evasion, fantasy, and alternate realities - especially when our lives are dull and dreary.

    Putting the squeeze on gaming is just to give you a generation of alcoholics and drug users.

    It's a bonkers decision, and the consequences will not be what you think, Xi.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: "eventually misinterpreting the game's historical fiction as true"

      That is a stupid decision. It is also a demonstration that the Chinese governments wants its citizens to only think in the approved way. No leeway for intelligence, your brain will be stamped with the Proper Thinking Protocol.

      Opposed to that, Western governments want their citizens to only think in the politically correct approved way.

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: "eventually misinterpreting the game's historical fiction as true"

        Speaking as one, they can fuck off.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "eventually misinterpreting the game's historical fiction as true"

      "It's a game, not a history lesson."

      True. On the other hand, look how many people get their understanding of history from Hollywood.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: "eventually misinterpreting the game's historical fiction as true"

        Most in the USA.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: "eventually misinterpreting the game's historical fiction as true"

      "We need evasion, fantasy, and alternate realities" The USA has got that in spades. it's called Trump, the GOP and their slavish disciples.

      "Putting the squeeze on gaming is just to give you a generation of alcoholics and drug users." you mean like the USA? Have you watched Trump Jr? Giuliano? Trumo oh "medication"? And what MJT is on f. knows.

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    So what's new? It's a relatively ancient novel art although AI and IT have certainly transformed it

    China National Radio commentator Zhang Keyue lamented that mostly teenage players could easily be influenced, eventually misinterpreting the game's historical fiction as true.

    Oh? So? The Wacky Wastrel West has been using television and radio/audiovisual telecommunications since it was ever invented for that sort of remote virtual influencing* ...... spinning yarns for folk to believe for real ..... and it is quite effective ...... but far from perfect whenever the scripts don't match the views on the ground and the audience is smarter than the publicised performers/mass multimedia pwnd stars.

    Has it done any great harm? :-)

    * quite practical brainwashing

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call of duty - Tianamin Square

    Where you re a loyal soldier sent in to quell the dangerously unarmed students. Drive a tank!

    Or play the occupation/liberation of tibet addon, where you move enough people in and relegate the locals to servants, slowly breeding them out of their homeland.

  12. HammerOn1024

    Dear China

    Since you in the central committee like to re-write history to your liking anyway, what's the problem?

    My response: NUTS!

  13. steviebuk Silver badge

    Oooo was...

    ....someone mean to Winnie the Pooh? It appears if you even think of disagreeing with the CCP or tell it like it is, you're censored. Take YouTube for example. Make any comments about the CCP and you'll notice your video being demonetised.

    It seems like the likes of YouTube, Hollywood and others are fine with the CCPs genocide of the Uyghur people, just as long as they can keep Winnie the Pooh happy, so keeping the Chinese market so they can continue to make lots of money.

    Question is, does The Register censor?

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