China will ban video games featuring same-sex relationships, ‘effeminate’ men and moral choices, according to a leaked memo.
The internal memo from a recent internal training by the state-backed gaming association was revealed by the South China Morning Post, lays out new restrictions for approving video games in China.
According to the publication, the memo said that video games must not be viewed as “pure entertainment”, and should instead convey “a correct set of values”.
Games that feature queer relationships or “effeminate males”, the memo states, should not be approved for release in China.
“If regulators can’t tell the character’s gender immediately, the setting of the characters could be considered problematic and red flags will be raised,” it added.
Games that allow players to make moral choices between good and evil should also not be approved, according to the memo.
“Some games have blurred moral boundaries,” it said.
“Players can choose to be either good or evil… but we don’t think that games should give players this choice… and this must be altered.”
The memo comes as China increasingly regulates its gaming industry, with the government announcing in August that it would be limiting the amount of time minors can play online games to three hours per week.
China recently banned ‘sissy’ effeminate men from TV
The leaked memo marks the latest move by China to crack down on the perceived decline of traditional “masculinity”.
Last month, China announced that “sissy” effeminate men would be banned being on TV, insisting broadcasters must only “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture”.
The official instruction was issued to broadcasters in China as part of a “national rejuvenation” campaign by president Xi Jinping to enforce traditional “morality” by tightening government control of business and society.
The government said broadcasters must “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal aesthetics” on screen.