Chinese video game ‘The Wall’ highlights country’s online censorship

A fun new video game from Chinese games developer ZuoBuLai Game Studio gives players the opportunity to try and destroy the country’s Great Firewall.

Their new game is called ‘The Wall’ and, as a recent trailer shows, it is a name which clearly alludes to the China’s famous online censorship tool. The retro style ‘shoot ‘em up’ game also includes various logos and icons which allude to the cyber-security theme.

Play the Wall to free ‘Facebookk’ and ‘Googlee’

Footage shows that the game involves the main player having to shoot at guards who are protecting the wall, before shooting the wall itself to destroy it. They also show the player trying to free trapped domain names, with examples in the trailer including www.Facebookk.com and www.Googlee.com.

The strap-line for the game are even less subtle. The text on the trailer reads (in English and Chinese) “if you were born inside The Wall, will you be docile enough to accept its protection? Or would you like to break the wall?”

The game itself has no specific release date at the moment, but according to the South China Morning Post, online responses to the trailer have been hugely positive both inside and outside China.

The trailer has also been shared, without being censored, on the Chinese gaming website CowLevel.net and Chinese social media site Weibo.

To release a game which appears to be encouraging users to break through the Great Firewall is a bold move in a country where the Communist regime is seeking to clamp down further on internet freedoms.

Online news clampdown

Just last week, yet another series of regulations were announced on online news portals. From 1st June, all companies which publish, share, or edit news online in China will not only have to be licensed by the Chinese government, but their editorial staff will need to be approved.

If that wasn’t chilling enough, all other staff will also have to undergo government training and receive official accreditation before being permitted to work on the sites.

In a statement, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said that these new rules would “strengthen management of information” and “promote the healthy and orderly development of internet news, in accordance to law”.

The new rules will apply to “websites, applications, forums, blogs, microblogs, public accounts, instant messaging tools and internet broadcasts”. If a site does not receive an official government license, it will not be legally allowed to post any news content or comment about government, economy, military, foreign affairs, or ‘other areas of public interest’.

Furthermore, original news reporting is now only permitted by publicly funded news organisations. Any attempts to enter an agreement with overseas partners will also have to be approved by the Government.

This clampdown is basically an attempt to stop any website from reporting any news content which does not meet with the approval of the Chinese Communist Party. And although the fines for failing to comply are relatively modest, at around 30,000 yuan ($4,350: £3,370), people in China will know that there are likely to be further repercussions.

The latest regulations further emphasise the ongoing clampdown on online freedoms which have been implemented by the current President and leader of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping.

Accessing the internet freely in China is utterly impossible these days without a VPN. Despite government efforts to crackdown on VPN usage as well, they are still growing in popularity as young Chinese citizens seek to learn the truth about the world beyond their state-controlled media outlets.

This is no doubt why ‘The Wall’ looks likely to be such a popular game. But it is also why the Communist regime is likely to ensure that it never sees the light of day.

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