January 30, 2023

Game Over


Game Over
People playing video games in Russia.  Kommersant, Telegram

The prosecutor's office has been tasked with creating a list of banned video games on Russian territory.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine last February, the government's fear of losing legitimacy has led to censorship. According to Kommersant, the latest target is video games.

The director of the government's information technology department, Yevgeny Komar, sent a letter to multiple branches of government, including the Ministry of Education, stressing that video games have a negative influence on kids (here's one example).

According to government officials, some popular video games have "hidden inserts" and are "a mode of information propagation, because they influence one's mind and subconscious." According to the Russian website Anketolog, western games such as "FIFA," "Grand Theft Auto," and "The Sims" are some of Russia's most popular banned games. 

Komar proposed creation of a list of permitted and banned games and asked that any online game be accessed "through a Russian system of identification and authentication." If the measure is approved, computers sold in Russia would have a pre-installed parental control program.

 

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