Crackdown launched on vulgarity in game promotions

13:32, July 08, 2010      

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Web celebrities who shot to fame thanks to the widespread distribution of their private "inelegant" photos online may now face the extinction of any hopes of becoming image spokespersons for online games, as culture authorities have launched a campaign to crack down on vulgarity in game promotions.

The Ministry of Culture issued a notice on Tuesday, requiring that cultural administrative agencies nationwide strengthen the management of online games marketing.

"Online games should give priority to their effect on society and the protection of minors," reads the notice.

The notice requires cultural authorities of all levels to inform websites with vulgar games promotions to delete the related content. Those responsible from online game companies should be criticized and asked to make corrections, it said, and additional appropriate punishment is to be imposed in case of serious violation of laws.

The regulations from the cultural authorities came promptly after an increasing number of controversial Web celebrities, became hot commodities for online game producers who want to take advantage of their fame to attract more gamers.

A classic case is that of the well-known model Zhai Ling, known as Shoushou (Beast), who became a household name overnight after three pornographic videos in which she was involved appeared on the Internet. In April, she was invited to be the image spokesperson of the online game "Journey to the West," developed by Linekong, despite heated criticism.

Wednesday Linekong could not be reached for comment.

An employee surnamed Chen from the marketing department of SmartCell, a Shanghai-based online games developer, told the Global Times Wednesday that they welcome the ministry's regulations and will do as required. SmartCell also invited a controversial Web celebrity, Yan Fengjiao, 21, to take part in promotional activities last month. Yan attracted the public's attention after participating in a TV matchmaking show, during which time naked photos of her were leaked online. "We haven't decided yet if we will still invite Yan to be the image spokesperson of one of our games," said Chen.

An insider said that though such promotions can achieve resounding results in the short term, it leaves the public with a bad impression of online games, according to a report by NetEase.

"The regulations are vague, failing to stipulate what is considered 'vulgar,' so I doubt it will really take effect," a gamer in Beijing who called himself Dawei told the Global Times.

Source: Global Times


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