China has banned a Swedish-made computer game for "distorting history and damaging China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the Ministry of Culture (MOC) said Friday.
The PC game, "Hearts of Iron", was accused of distorting historical facts in describing the Fascist regimes of Japan, Germany and Italy during World War II.
Moreover, "Manchuria", "West Xinjiang", and "Tibet" appeared as independent sovereign countries in the maps of the game. In addition, it even included China's Taiwan province as the territory of Japan at the beginning of the game.
"All these severely distort historical facts and violate China's gaming and Internet service regulations," the MOC said. "The game should be immediately prohibited."
All websites are banned from releasing the game and all the CD-ROM game copies will be confiscated, the MOC said, and the sellers will be punished according to law.
Internet bars that provide downloads of the game or fail to stop those Internet surfers who download, install or play the game,will be fined or even ordered to stop business.
The game was made by Paradox Entertainment, a games developer based in Stockholm, capital of Sweden, published by Strategy First,and was first released in 2002.
The MOC has established an imported game products censorship committee in an effort to step up censorship on the content of online games.
The committee regulates that online games with content violating basic principles of the Constitution, threatening China's national unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity will be banned from importing.
Online games with content threatening state security, damaging the nation's dignity, disturbing social order and infringing on other's legitimate rights will also be prohibited.
Earlier in March this year, the State Press and Publication Administration (SPPA) banned a Norwegian-made computer game, "Project IGI2: Covert Strike".
The game was accused of intentionally blackening China and the Chinese army's image as a freelance mercenary fights in the game across three linked campaigns in the former Soviet Union, Libya and China, where he steals intelligence and conducts sabotage in China and shoots at China's soldiers while China's national flag and signs like "China Aviation" pop up frequently.
The SPPA in early 2003 banned a US-made computer game, "Command and Conquer Generals: Zero Hour Expansion", also for smearing the image of China and the Chinese army.
The MOC said that all foreign online games must accept content examination by the ministry before they enter the Chinese market. Those already-entered online games must make up relevant examinations before Sept. 1, or the game operators will be punished according to law.
The ministry allows the import of foreign online games whose content accords with Chinese national conditions and has positive effects on young people's mentality, the MOC said.