Metro Weekly

China seeks ban on gay relationships, ‘effeminate males’ in video games

Gaming regulators have ordered developers to stop showing "gay love" in games sold in the country

gay, video games, gaming, china
Photo by Jakub Sisulak on Unsplash

Censors in China are reportedly seeking to ban gay characters, gay relationships, and “effeminate males” from any video games sold in the country.

A leaked document from Chinese regulators, obtained by the South China Morning Post, reminds gaming studios in China that they must portray “a correct set of values” in games distributed in the country.

The National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) warned of stricter requirements for future titles, criticizing “blurred moral boundaries” in modern games and cautioning against depicting gay romances or “effeminate males.”

Game developers must also ensure that characters in games adhere to traditional gender roles and types of dress, regulators warned.

“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,” the memo states.

Regulators have reportedly slowed their approval of new games in China, after authorities met with major Chinese gaming studios including Tencent and NetEase.

SCMP reports that gaming studios were ordered not to show the “wrong set of values” in games, including “gay love.”

Games will also receive higher scrutiny if they “distort facts or deliberately provoke controversy.”

The crackdown on gay depictions in games comes after Chinese censors issued new rules aimed at preventing “abnormal esthetics” in media, including limiting depictions of “sissy idols” and “effeminate men” on TV.

Homosexuality isn’t illegal in China, but neither is it widely accepted. China’s censors regularly edit or ban LGBTQ content, including cutting depictions of Freddie Mercury’s gay relationships in 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Gay drama Call Me By Your Name was also suddenly pulled from the Beijing International Film Festival, with no reason given — although blame was placed on the CCP’s moves to gain tighter control over media and entertainment.

Earlier this year, LGBTQ people in China criticized authorities after dozens of LGBTQ accounts were removed from social media platform WeChat.

A number of student-ran accounts tied to LGBTQ groups on university campuses were blocked and then deleted from the platform without warning, with attempts to visit them producing a message that they had “violated” China’s internet regulations.

Read More:

Gay man claims he committed insurance fraud because of ‘gay lifestyle’

Florida high school crowns first transgender homecoming queen

Dolly Parton reacts to Lil Nas X covering ‘Jolene’: ‘I’m honored and flattered’

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!