Live in China? Thinking about buying the newest Metal Gear Solid game? I hear in this one Snake-NO BUYING VIDEO GAMES ALLOWED
Gamers in China might want to think twice before purchasing their next video game, as China’s new credit score system may dock citizens for activities the government deems worthless. Reports are coming out about the new system which may change the buying and social media tendencies of Chinese citizens. Jay Stanley of the American Civil Liberties has a particularly good piece on why this system might be cause for concern.\\
I’ll try and summarize the story
This past summer a new credit score system was introduced in China by the IT Giants who run the majority of China’s social media networks. They introduced it along side an App named “Sesame Credit”, which enables users to view their credit scores.The system seemed harmless, as credit score systems are programs that exist in many industrialized nations and, as of right now, the Sesame Credit app and system is optional; Chinese citizens don’t have to download the app or have a credit score assigned to them. However the Chinese government this week announced that a credit score system will be mandatory by the year 2020. It’s not yet know if it will be Sesame Credit (though it most likely will be) or a new program. That’s all fine and good, but what is being reported to affect your credit score is the real cause for concern:
China’s new credit score system will punish people for buying video games, posting anything political on social media, and even for having friends that post political things.
Hey…What? Even handheld games?
Obviously this issue is much bigger than just one that involves video games, and stems from a government that is imposing heinous lifestyle restrictions on its people..but still, what the hey? Historically China has had a restrictive history with video games, but things looked promising when they released their ban on console games earlier this year. Inevitably this condemnation of video games in the way of hurting one’s credit score will result in more piracy, which is already a considerable problem in China. How should we as the gaming community take such an act? It’s hard to say, as this strike against the hobby of video games is such a small problem in comparison to the bigger issue at hand. This new credit system looks to reinforce a strict class system, as credit scores will be used to determine one’s “opportunities in life”: if one is fit to serve in local politics, be hired for certain jobs, etc. What worse, is the system is reportedly going to dock users scores for things friends say on social media, meaning that the system will create a pseudo social pressure to not saying anything controversial for fear of it ruining, not only your own credit score, but your friends’ as well. Such a system will be detrimental to those seeking a change in politics and ideology in China.
We’ll have to keep an eye on this story as it progresses, as it could be pretty harmful to the burgeoning video game community in China.