As a Singaporean, I’ve been incredibly astounded at the schizophrenic attitude the Singapore government has to gaming.
Back in the day, the censorship board arbitrarily banned Counterstrike for “excessive violence” – and banned Mass Effect because a blue skinned alien woman could kiss another woman (homophobic much?). Fortunately both bans were lifted after much outcry from the gamers – but hey, if they weren’t, think about how some of the biggest games in the world would’ve been banned in Singapore.
On the other hand, the government extols how it wants to support the gaming industry and cultivate creativity in the country. Newsflash: No one’s going to be creative in a place where you’re going to arbitrarily ban games because it offends some of your sensitivities because you’re still living in the 19th century.
In case you missed it, gaming is an artform, it’s also now the biggest medium for creative expression – far outstripping movies and music. And try as you might, you’re not going to get very far censoring and banning games willy-nilly because gamers, will always find a way – to game (ba-dum-tss) the system.
Today, I read about how the government is going to “monitor the impact of Pokemon Go on society” (http://str.sg/4SUu ) and “will definitely decide on what are the things we can do best, if the game is really needed here…” Right – from my perspective, that’s just Singapore government-speak for – “we are going to do something and here’s a heads up for you”.
Hey – just a tip from a Singaporean who knows a little about gaming, stop being a Jon Snow and learn to keep an open mind – there’s no point over-regulating in an industry you know nothing about. So slowly put down the pitchfork and walk away, learn from the past mistakes made with Half Life and Mass Effect – there’s really nothing to regulate here.
Here’s to Pokemon Go for Singapore! #pogosg