Genshin Impact Censors Words like "Hong Kong" and "Tibet"

Genshin Impact Censors Words like "Hong Kong" and "Tibet"

It's a chinese-based game, though, so it makes sense.

pocru by pocru on Oct 07, 2020 @ 04:27 AM (Staff Bios)
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One of the more popular games to emerge this season has been Genshin Impact, a Chinese-developed game that's something of a mix of Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. People have more or less been enjoying this weird hybrid, largely because it's free-to-play, and while its monetization schemes are obnoxious, they're apparently not intrusive enough to ruin the experience.

What might ruin the experience for some, however, is the recent realization that this is a Chinese-developed game, and thus, subject to Chinese censorship. Somehow, people are surprised by this.

But yes, it's only recently been discovered that the game's chat filter automatically censors words that China doesn't like, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Genshin Impact isn't unique for banning these words -- every Chinese-based game has to do the same -- but since so few Chinese games actually make it to the west, it might come as a shock to people who are used to more expressive freedom in their games.

For what it's worth, Genshin Impact does have a few other quirks in its banned word list: “words” and “enemies”, for example, are banned as well. But this shouldn't be treated as a sign that censoring Tibet or Hong Kong is some of glitch. It's almost certainly very intentional.

Word of this censorship has spread across the net, and caused a few high-profile players to stop playing and or streaming the title. It'd be interesting to see if the developer, miHoYo, comments on the issue, but I very much doubt they'd ever change it. All things considered, they probably view a few indignant streamers a small price to pay to not wind up on some Communist shortlist.

In any case, we have yet to see if Chinese censorship will extend beyond simply what words people are allowed to type.

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