Thailand's Military Junta Bans Online Dictator Game 'Tropico 5' as Threat to Security

10:53 AM PST 08/05/2014 by Clifford Coonan

Military rulers feared the game could undermine stability, developers said.

Thailand's ruling military junta has banned the PC strategy game Tropico 5, in which a country is run by an army dictator following a coup, saying it could pose a threat to the Southeast Asian country.

The country's 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 told the Associated Press.

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The multiplayer online role-playing game (MORPG) allows participants to run a tropical island as "El Presidente," to draft a constitution and manage the country. They also can choose to crack down on media and rule as a dictator. Alternatively, participants can play the role of a female rebel leader.

After a long period of street protests and outbreaks of violence, Thailand's military staged a coup d'etat against the democratically elected civilian government on May 22 and has ruled the country via a group called the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) since then.

The junta has taken a firm line on dissenting voices and what it sees as radical views since then. 

Sahavattanapong  said the game was banned by a section of the Thai Culture Ministry's cultural promotion department, and no explanation had been given despite written requests.

Tropico 5 was developed by Haemimont Games of Bulgaria and released by U.S. publishers Kalypso Media. It works on many platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, XBox 360 and PlayStation 4.

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