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

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.