China Promises Crackdown on Unwholesome Gaming

The Great Firewall of China just keeps piling on the bricks: China already runs the world’s largest and most comprehensive Internet censorship operation on the planet, and recently riled up privacy rights activists by attempting to mandate the controversial “Green Dam” content filter be installed on all new PCs sold in the country. Now, the Chinese government is clamping down on online games, announcing a new probe designed to root out “unhealthy” content in online games. The Chinese government also issued a new edict barring foreign investment in domestic online gaming, including operating through joint ventures with Chinese businesses.

WOW Cataclyms Worgen Concept Art

Under the new regulations, businesses operating online games in China must apply for a government license for each game; titles will be reviewed by state censors, who will be able to order objectionable content be removed from the games. The Chinese government says the new regulations are aimed at reducing the amount of violence and adult material children are exposed to through online games, but in the past concerns over sexual and violent material has also entailed suppression of political content critical of the Chinese government.

The online gaming market in China is among the fastest-growing in the world, with estimated revenues for 2009 ranging from $3.5 to $4 billion. Chinese officials are increasingly concerned with teenagers and other youth seemingly obsessed with online games like World of Warcraft—China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) cites online games as the leading cause of Internet addiction in the country. The Chinese state-run news agency says over 200 games have already been investigated, and some 45 games shut down.

Chinese game developer NetEase.com earlier this year announced a partnership with Blizzard to operate World of Warcraft in China; the proposed tie-up ran into trouble with regulators, and would now apparently be prohibited under the new regulations.

Gaming

Blizzard’s latest hiring spree is likely for the unannounced ‘Diablo 4’

Activision Blizzard is hiring for more than a dozen positions on unannounced Diablo projects. Some of the roles are likely for the unannounced Diablo 4, the next mainline entry in the series.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

Everything we know about 'Red Dead Online', including the new mode Gun Rush

Red Dead Online will gradually rolled out to Red Dead Redemption 2 players via a beta. We've got all the details about the beta's suite of competitive and cooperative modes, as well as what to expect going forward.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Gaming

Console wars are so last-gen. Check out all the games that support crossplay

Crossplay is still in its infancy, but a growing number of games support online multiplayer between competing platforms. Here's a list of all games that support console crossplay.
Gaming

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Fortnite V-Bucks being used by criminals for money laundering on dark web

Criminals are using Fortnite's V-Bucks for money laundering schemes on the dark web. Epic Games, apparently, is not doing enough to prevent the game from being used for the illegal activity.
Gaming

Relive the 8-bit gaming era with the best NES emulators for Android and PC

For years prior to the release of the NES Classic, emulators have offered a means to every NES game ever created without needing the console. Here are the best NES emulators for Android and PC.
Gaming

Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector’s Edition comes with a life-size Scorpion mask

The Mortal Kombat 11 Kollector's Edition will come with a human-sized replica of the mask of Scorpion, one of the most iconic fighters of the series. NetherRealm Studios has also announced the game's preorder bonuses.
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Gaming

Goodbye, Machinima: YouTube gaming channel pulls the plug after 13 years

Machinima, a YouTube gaming channel that was launched in 2006, has suddenly shut down, with all of its videos set to private. The #RIPMachinima hashtag is now making the rounds in social media to reminisce about the channel's content.