Not being an avid gamer, this is something which I was completely unaware of and quite surprised about when I read it. China seems like such an obvious gaming market due to their adoration of foreign culture and mass consumerism, but instead consoles have been banned since 2000. Crazy, right? Fortunately, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the ban has now been lifted!
According to a statement from the Minister of Culture, the big dogs like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft will now be permitted to manufacture and sell their consoles in the country. This is a huge step forward for the country culturally, as it means that its citizens can become more immersed into the world of western video games, just like they have been with movies. It also means that these companies get to make even more money. Yay, capitalism!
On a moral note, this marks significant progress because it lines China up with the rest of the world and loosens their reputation as a cold, old-fashioned, draconian state. The consoles were originally banned due to fears that the games had a negative effect on the mental and physical development of children. Those fears have now obviously proven to be (relatively) unfounded, leaving them no option but to lift the ban.
This is, of course, a time for celebration. We at UTF are very happy for our Chinese cousins, who will now know the hours of pain which have been brought upon us thanks to video games, such as the ending of Mass Effect 3 and continuously failing at Rainbow Road on Mario Kart. Have fun!