Shanda Entertainment - one of Mainland China's heavy hitters in the gaming industry - announced that their subsidiary, Aurora Technology, has frozen accounts of male players who have elected to play as female characters in the King of the World MMORPG. Apparently there are no bans on women playing male characters, but women (and men-wanting-to-play-as-women) will be required to prove their gender via webcam. How exactly is this all going to work? And is it going to last? Who knows - but it certainly seems very odd and not prone to lasting long:
Shanda (Nasdaq: SNDA) subsidiary Aurora Technology has frozen game accounts of male players who chose to play female in-game characters in its in-house developed MMORPG King of the World, reports 17173. Aurora stipulates that only female gamers can play female characters in the game, and it requires gamers who chose female characters to prove their biological sex with a webcam, according to the report.
PlayNoEvil's commentary points out that this doesn't seem like it will last long: a webcam gender verification system seems to be fraught with potential problems and headaches, and Aurora is trying to remove at least one aspect that attracts some people to online, fantasy-based games: the chance to be someone or something else.