Russia reportedly bans many games, including Apex Legends and The last of us. This comes in light of reports that the Russian government has begun cracking down on “prohibited content” in various media, including video games.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the gaming industry in both countries was greatly affected. Gaming giants such as Ubisoft, EA and Epic have suspended sales in Russia in response. Esports teams that compete in games like brave and Apex Legends they were also affected by Ukrainian players having to skip tournaments or most Russian teams being renamed to distance themselves from their government’s actions. Now, there have been reports that Russia has expanded its video game censorship.
In his tweet Apex Legends The alphaINTEL news account in Russia is said to be considering banning games that include “LGBT propaganda”, meaning those that promote “non-traditional relationships”. They attached a list of games, which included popular titles such as Apex Legends, Life Is Strange, The Last of Us, The Sims 3, and more.
The account did not provide further details on the alleged decision. In addition to Russia’s reported censorship of video games, this also followed news that Russian lawmakers supported a bill that would ban media promoting so-called “LGBT propaganda” across all ages. This covered books, movies, advertisements and online content. Citizens found guilty could be fined up to 400,000 rubles (about $6,500), and foreigners would be deported from Russia. This is similar to China’s video game censorship rules.
Many gamers reacted to the news with outrage, calling Russia “homophobic” and questioning their decision to implement the ban. Some have expressed concern about LGBTQ+ people in Russia having to experience harsh government repression and censorship. Meanwhile, Russian gamers were saddened by the news and said goodbye to their favorite games. Regardless of whether one is LGBTQ+ or not, it’s clear that many of the games on the list have passionate fans who love the gameplay and story.
LGBTQ+ stories in video games are not uncommon. Apex Legends recently confirmed that Bloodhound, who is non-binary, and Fuse, who is pansexual, were in a relationship. Titles like Life Is Strange and The last of us it also did not shy away from presenting same-sex relationships. Meanwhile, players were able to create queer couples and families The Sims. Many players resonate with these characters and their stories. Additionally, depicting these experiences in mainstream games opens up more discussion about inclusion and diversity. Whatever the Russian government’s reasons, the fact that it is reportedly considering banning video games for having LGBTQ+ themes could be seen as suppressing free speech and promoting homophobia among citizens.
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