Thailand's censors ban 'Tropico 5' computer game (Update)

August 4, 2014

Censors under Thailand's military junta have banned a city-building simulation computer game, saying it could hurt the country's security, a video game distributor said Monday.

The film and video censorship office blocked sales of "Tropico 5" because they feared "some part of its content might affect peace and order in the country," New Era Thailand marketing manager Nonglak Sahavattanapong said.

She said the office, part of the Culture Ministry's cultural promotion department, did not provide any further explanation in a written statement received by the distributor on Monday.

The office did not immediately reply to a request from The Associated Press for comment.

"Tropico 5" is the latest version of a game released by Kalypso Media. It allows 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.

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.

"Actually it's a good game with positive reviews. We've had licenses to distribute Tropico 3 and 4 before, but in the fifth installment, the story line has developed further and there might be some part of it that's not appropriate in the current situation" in Thailand, Nonglak said.

She said the company will 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.

Last year, the film board 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.

Explore further: BBC to launch online Thai news service after coup

Related Stories

BBC to launch online Thai news service after coup

July 9, 2014

The BBC said Wednesday it will launch a new social media service in Thailand to offer people another source of information at a time when the junta has imposed widespread censorship over domestic media.

Thai Facebook users get censorship scare

May 28, 2014

Thailand's new military rulers said that a sudden interruption of access to Facebook on Wednesday was not part of a censorship policy, but due instead to a technical hitch.

Thailand welcomes Twitter censorship tool

January 30, 2012

Thailand, which regularly cracks down on Internet content deemed critical of its revered monarchy, on Monday welcomed social media giant Twitter's controversial new censorship policy.

Recommended for you

'Droneboarding' takes off in Latvia

January 22, 2017

Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia's remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ...

Singapore 2G switchoff highlights digital divide

January 22, 2017

When Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal—digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

January 19, 2017

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand ...

Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source

January 18, 2017

Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gasses that lead to global warming.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.