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Old 02-02-2005, 01:43 AM   #1
the_logos
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So Iron Realms has apparently been banned by those asshats in China. We don't have a lot (barely any) Chinese players so this isn't a big issue but it's weird that they'd bother banning us. We don't even reference anything Chinese or real-world in terms of political entities in our games (they've banned games before for portraying China or Chinese territories in ways they don't like). All I can think of is that either they've just banned MUDs generally (Chinese users can apparently get to our forums, but not our games) or maybe they read a roundtable I was on for IGN, in which I implied the Chinese government are fully of crazies.

So has anyone else had this kind of thing reported from any Chinese users? It's a bit odd China would bother with banning a company so small.

--matt
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:21 AM   #2
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logos, I was kind of waiting for this. How could IRE -not- have anything to do with the downfall of communism? Best be careful.
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:35 AM   #3
 
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Repressive communist dictatorships like the PRC require no reason or justification to ban or delete anyone or anything. You might consider writing a bad review of the PRC somewhere. *snicker*
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Old 02-02-2005, 03:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Tyche @ Feb. 02 2005,02:35)
Repressive communist dictatorships like the PRC require no reason or justification to ban or delete anyone or anything.   You might consider writing a bad review of the PRC somewhere.  *snicker*
I tried the PRC and I have to tell you, it is the worst game I've ever played. It's extremely unfriendly to newbies, going so far as to ban more than one newbie per family, for instance. What if I want to try out multiple classes? I can only have one character? That's SO lame.

The administration, whose fault the crapness of the game is, makes the current admins of America look good (not an easy task). It's unbelievable. I mean, after a protest about the sadly underpowered Democracy class in the Tianamen Square area, the admins not only IGNORED the issue, they banned a bunch of the protestors from all games, permanently!

And don't even get me started on their crafting skills. They're all buggy and give you shoddy products.

Still, they're really REALLY popular but I guess it goes to show that the masses don't know sh*t about good games. STAY AWAY FROM THIS GAME UNLESS YOU LIKE CROOKED ADMINS, LOW-TECH GRAPHICS, AND AN EXTREMELY NEWBIE-UNFRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT.

--matt
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Old 02-02-2005, 03:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (WarHound @ Feb. 02 2005,02:21)
logos, I was kind of waiting for this. How could IRE -not- have anything to do with the downfall of communism? Best be careful.
Careful? They just made their worst enemy. I'm going to start by nerfing the rice-making skill in ALL of our games. That'll f*cking show them.

--matt
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:45 AM   #6
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Perhaps it's your company's pro-capitalist propaganda? Oh wait, China is capitalist too. Hmmmm....





I'd consider being banned from China a sign of success They only ban the really, really popular doods
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:30 AM   #7
 
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:44 AM   #8
Yui Unifex
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Question

You really should have rethought the new independent region, Tai'Wan.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:15 AM   #9
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As entertaining as it may be to make fun of the Chinese government (which I am sure few of us love) it would be more interesting to learn about the nature of the 'ban'.

Is it directed specifically against Iron Realms, or against all commercial games, or against all on line games?

Or is it just one of those firewalls  that many companies and schools have, to stop their employees/pupils from mudding  at work? (Those are common enough in the 'free world' too).

Since you apparently still can communicate with your players,  perhaps you could ask them?
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:00 PM   #10
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Wow. What a weird situation.

If you get any more details about this please share them.
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Old 02-02-2005, 01:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Molly O'Hara @ Feb. 02 2005,11:15)
Is it directed specifically against Iron Realms, or against all commercial games, or against all on line games?

Or is it just one of those firewalls  that many companies and schools have, to stop their employees/pupils from mudding  at work? (Those are common enough in the 'free world' too).

Since you apparently still can communicate with your players,  perhaps you could ask them?
Yeah, that's why I posted. It's definitely not against all commercial games or all online games. China has a huge, thriving market for them and will be the largest market in the world for online games by 2007.

It's also definitely not a firewall issue, as the player who brought this up on the forums (which are not banned, perhahps because the censors aren't aware of the forum locations, all at ire-community.com) has tried from multiple locations in three provinces over the last couple of months (apparently we've been banned for a couple months at least).

Said player is also able to get to some other MUDs she tested so it appears to be specifically against Iron Realms. I'm just wondering if maybe anyone else knows they've been targetted too.

I wish there was some way I could get a shell account to bounce through in China so I could test this out myself.

It's just a good thing we only run text games and so don't have to care. Relatively few Chinese speak English well enough to want to put up with an English text-based interface. If we were running graphical games I'd probably be kind of ****ed given the size of the Chinese game-playing population.

--matt
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:47 PM   #12
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Incidentally, the comments I made are here:
http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/539/539073p3.html

They don't seem any more inflammatory than a lot of things a lot of people say about the whackjobs running China, but maybe because it was on a high-profile games site with at least one guy from a Chinese company someone noticed. No idea really.

--matt
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:06 PM   #13
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Arrow

I dunno, I would be angry if I wsa the chinese government. Not to defend them or anything. Personally, I find this rather humerous, from either perspective. But thats just me

And if being banned from countries truely is a measurement of success, then you have beaten out maddox. Your country was much bigger then the one he got banned from. And everyone knows size matters.
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:12 PM   #14
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For several years we had a player from China who played the game for which I programmed. She was a 'visitor' to the area, and had a handler to escort her outside of her compound. She was there when the US airplane was forced to land there after being hit by the Chinese fighter, and had no idea it was happening until we asked her about it.

That's when I found out there was a lot of censoring of information available to them (even the visiting class) by the government. I remarked at the time that I was surprised that MUDs (in general) were not banned, and figured that it was simply because we were so small, it was barely a blip on a log somewhere.

I'd be willing to bet that the majority of MUDs are not blocked, because it would be akin to plugging a leaky sieve to effectively prohibit the traffic while not impacting anything else.

Matt, you've achieved Nation-Notice status. You are entitled to more hit points now, and will find that you can set some low-level wizard values now. Congratulations. Don't forget to save. I'd say it says something about how effective you are as an industry entity, to be singled out by that country.....

I think that your being so highly advertised now (comparatively speaking, in relation to other MUDs) is probably the source of the whole situation. You could talk to Mr Ma at Alibaba.com and try to pass IRE off as a B2B supplier - let small startup entities in China itself provide local connectivity to your site through their systems.... it could work, I say!
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Old 02-02-2005, 11:29 PM   #15
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6-->
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Gemini @ Feb. 02 2005,23[img
http://www.topmudsites.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]6)]Personally, I find this rather humerous, from either perspective. But thats just me.
I find it pretty humorous myself. Humorous and weird. I guess I'll just take it as a compliment that the Chinese government cares enough to ban us. *big hug to Premier Wen Jiabao*

--matt
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:44 PM   #16
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Wow. That's scary, and also highly amusing. But mostly sad.

How did they specifically manage to ban you anyway? Has anyone tried using a proxy to connect? If so, it's hard to imagine the amount of control required to make that work. O.o
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Old 02-04-2005, 12:40 PM   #17
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Just FYI, here's what a player from China sent me via a yahoo account.
--------------------
I did some checking just to make sure it wasn't all muds or just port 23 for telnet, Aardwolf, MateriaMagica, etc all work fine.

It's not just connecting to the muds which is an issue, it's everything to do with IRE it seems, all the websites are blocked, including the corporate website. It seems to be the same type of block that I get when I try to read the BBC News website out here, coming straight from the ISP.

Tried connecting out in Dongying, Haerbin and Dalian each city is in a different province and I get no joy anywhere, the page just doesn't want to load.

I can probably use a program like your-freedom to route my connection to the websites/muds via america, haven't tried that yet, on the road.

I saw the comments on IGN, if there was a Chinese software developer involved and an official from the government heard about it, then they'll probably have checked it out saw you call the government crazies (i've lived here six months, crazy doesn't even begin to cover the f*cking government in this place) and shut you guys down.
---------------------------


--matt
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:44 PM   #18
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I dunno, it sounds to me like you're jumping the gun a bit in this case.

Instantly coming to the conclusion that the Chinese government would target a relatively small, online company for the reasons given is a rather self-important reaction. A more feasible explanation, as touched upon by your player in China, might be that they did a broad ISP ban on another website carrying objectionable material (pornography, etc.) and Iron Realms simply got caught up in the net as well.

Heavy-handed, perhaps, but a far cry from the crazed government that goes around banning online gaming companies out of spite that's being portrayed here.

Not a flame, just an observation.
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Old 02-04-2005, 11:41 PM   #19
 
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Originally Posted by (HaiWolfe @ Feb. 04 2005,22:44)
I dunno, it sounds to me like you're jumping the gun a bit in this case.
The most likely explanation is that it is in retaliation for me banning all of China from my web services, and subsequent posts I've made comparing mud admins to the PRC government. Needless to say they were offended by it, responding... Hey we're not that bad! Achaea is simply collateral damage in this war.
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (HaiWolfe @ Feb. 04 2005,22:44)
I dunno, it sounds to me like you're jumping the gun a bit in this case.

Instantly coming to the conclusion that the Chinese government would target a relatively small, online company for the reasons given is a rather self-important reaction. A more feasible explanation, as touched upon by your player in China, might be that they did a broad ISP ban on another website carrying objectionable material (pornography, etc.) and Iron Realms simply got caught up in the net as well.

Heavy-handed, perhaps, but a far cry from the crazed government that goes around banning online gaming companies out of spite that's being portrayed here.

Not a flame, just an observation.
Good point. I'll have the player check up on it by checking other sites hosted by our hosting company as well as sites hosted by the data center they're in.

From talking to some people who have done business in China though, it's fairly likely that they read my comments (they have government people whose job it is to simply track coverage of China in the press apparently, and they have a national department of online games, believe it or not...they're even making, I believe, a state-developed games engine to assist Chinese online games companhies) and would have reacted badly.

Still, who knows, you could be right. I'll have people check.
--matt
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