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China is banning same-sex relationships in video games

The homophobic regulations are part of a wider crackdown on gaming

China is further clamping down on its video game restrictions by banning in-game portrayals of LGBTQ+ characters and relationships.

According to a new government memo acquired by the South China Morning Post, the country has laid out new regulations for video games stating that any “effeminate” male characters, established queer relationships, and characters with “no clear gender” are banned.

“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 said.

Subsequently, games that give players an option to be a good or an evil character have been deemed as inappropriate. The ban also includes any games that “deliberately provoke controversy” within their plot or gameplay.

The new guidelines come as part of a wider government crackdown on gaming. Last month, a law came under effect banning under-18s from playing online games for more than three hours a week. Previously, the country banned the sale of Animal Crossing after activists took to the game as part of the pro-democracy protests that began in 2019.