China’s version of the Satanic Panic has the government regulating LARPs

Live-action role-playing is hot in China’s urban centers right now, according to reports from English-language state media website Sixth Tone. But following a surge in popularity in recent years, regulators are beginning to take notice of the genre’s mature content. A story published Wednesday indicates that municipal and provincial authorities have now begun regulating content and demanding that some retailers remove certain materials from sale. The situation seems far more serious than even the darkest days of the Satanic Panic in the 1980s, which saw conservatives and even some media organizations in the U.S. making unfounded claims about the safety of playing Dungeons & Dragons.

At issue are “script murder” games, where players don
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