The Uzbekistan government has officially turned 34 video game titles into digital contraband within its borders.
The list of banned games includes everything from international blockbusters from the Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto franchises, to shock-value garbage like Destructive Creations’ Hatred. Some better-known pornographic titles like Bone Town are there, but so are The Sims 3 and 4, humorous simulators famous for their light-hearted depictions of modern life.
Both import and distribution of these titles has been outlawed, in an effort to ensure the do not “propagate violence, pornography, threaten security and social and political stability,” as well as disrupt “civil peace and inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony.” According to the ban, these “destructive” games threaten a “distribution of false information about Uzbekistan and the distortion of its historic, cultural and spiritual values.”
Reactions have been many and varied. Some merely state the obvious: in a country that needs to “cultivate patriotism” in their youth, “the ban will only make things worse.” Or, more pointedly, that this is a waste of time and resources when considered against the very real challenges facing the third-world country.
A few, however, agree. One Facebook user adamantly supported an effort to keep Uzbekistan’s people from “filling [their] minds with violence.” Another, more bluntly: “it is high time! Those who do not like it can go to those countries where all this … is normal!”
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