Thailand Bans Computer Game Fearing Threat

The film and video censorship office of Thailand has blocked sales of a city-building simulation computer game “Tropico 5″ fearing that some might of its content might affect peace and order in the country. The censor is controlled by Thailand’s military junta.

Sources said the censor office, part of the Culture Ministry’s cultural promotion department, did not provide any further explanation in a written statement received by the distributor.

“Tropico 5″ is the latest version of a game released by Kalypso Media. The game allowed players to play the role of a president of a tropical island, draft a constitution and manage the country, with the option of controlling the media and ruling as an iron-fisted dictator.

As we all know, Thailand has been under a military dictatorship since May 22, when soldiers overthrew a civilian government in a coup. The junta has issued several edicts that critics say infringe on media freedom and free speech.

Many, however, support the game and have expressed anguish over the ban. Critics say, its  a good game with positive reviews. The story has been developed further from the earlier editions. In the fifth edition there might be some part of it that’s not appropriate in the current situation. The company officials have made it clear that they would not appeal the decision.
Thailand’s censors target a wide range of political and social issues. They blur out cigarettes and alcohol on television and crack down on scenes deemed immoral, pornographic, or critical of the monarchy.

It may be noted that the film board last year banned a documentary about the country’s long-running border dispute with neighboring Cambodia as a threat to national security. In 2012, it banned a Thai adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” saying it could cause divisiveness among the people.

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