League of Legends is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) video game by Riot Games. Millions of people from around the globe play this game and it has been a very in-demand game since the early 2010s.
It was recently shown that some words (such as “Uyghur”) aren’t allowed to be said in the game, prompting Riot Games to respond and issue an update.
Some words are censored
Riot Games is the company that operates League of Legends and they are a Western company, based in California.
However, as of 2011, Tencent, one of China's largest companies, has had a majority stake in the company.
It was for this reason that it was believed that some words aren’t allowed to be said in the game. It’s as if they were automatically coded not to display the words as these words can somehow be sensitive – especially to the Communist Chinese Government.
Over on the League of Legends subreddit, user ResplenddentShade wrote:
“Try changing your status message to Uyghur. You can’t. It’s a legitimate name of a legitimate ethnic group, but Tencent-owned League is so sensitive about covering up the ongoing genocide of the Uyghur people that they won’t even let you use the word. I’ve enjoyed this game for almost 10 years, but garbage like this makes me want to never play again.
“Are there any good MOBAs that aren’t owned and operated by companies that bow down to genocidal regimes? Because I’m not sure if I can continue to support this company in good conscience.”
China has increasingly been accused of human rights violations of the Uyghur community and has been caught spying on them several times in the past.
It appears that some of these banned words include: UltraSurf, Tiananmen, Falun, Uyghur, and Falungong. It appears that these words are banned on both the European servers and on the North American servers, as well as on the Taiwanese servers.
Word-modification to avoid censorship
While players reported that the word Uyghur is blocked, interestingly, the word “uyghur’s” isn’t, meaning that there are several ways in which users can try and work around the censorship.
Users have accused League of Legends, one of the most famous MOBA games on the planet, of banning the term Uyghur in order to appeal to the Communist Chinese Government.
On the Reddit thread, a moderator by the name of The_Cactopus later appeared and said:
“Gonna go look into this right now. Sometimes our system bans really weird words for no good reason. That said it would be compete bullshit to intentionally ban the name of any ethnic group. Will update when I find out more.”
The user updated a while later and said:
“UPDATE: Effective immediately this is fixed on live in all Riot Regions. We'll be spending the next few weeks triaging with our global teams to review our “disallowed words/phrases” lists and update accordingly.”