by Ryan Munt
Tropico 5, a game in which players “create a social utopia where every citizen is heard and accounted for or forge your own tyrannical grip over the nation and turn it into a gold mine for your Swiss bank account,” has been banned by Thailand’s new military rulers as a threat to national security.
Only speculations can be made about why this is, as all we’ve heard from Thailand’s board of Film and Video Censors is that “some contents of the game are not appropriate for the current situation.” No comments were made on what exact contents of the game are raising concern, however it is assumed that the Junta feels threatened by some of the ideologies in the game, particularly the fact that it’s based on a democratic society, and Thailand has been under a military dictatorship since May.
“Actually It’s a good game with positive reviews,” says Nonglak Sahavattanapong, New Era Thailand’s Marketing Manager. “We’ve had licenses to distribute Tropico 3 and 4 before, but in the fifth installment, the storyline has developed further and there might be some part of it that’s not appropriate in the current situation.” She also stated that the company will not appeal the decision.
This isn’t all the Thailand censors have been up to. Since the military government seized control in May, censors have been targeting cigarettes and alcohol on television, pornography, and a wide range of political and social issues. So it’s not surprising that they have targeted a game where players get a feeling of taking control of and managing a society.
However, what can be said about a government that feels threatened by a video game?
Ryan Munt is a Freelance Writer at B-TEN.
I enjoy gaming, I enjoy reading, and I enjoy nerding.
“Open your mind son, or someone will open it for you.”
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