Xinhua reports that Power Net Technology, a leading Chinese online gaming company, in cooperation with the Chinese Communist Youth League (CCYL) is developing a massive multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) called Anti-Japan War Online, where players take the Chinese side in simulated battles from the 1937-1945 Japanese invasion of China.
“The game will allow players, especially younger players, to learn from history. They will get a patriotic feeling when fighting invaders to safeguard their motherland,” a Power Net project manager surnamed Liu said.
Of course, no one wants patriotic feelings to get out of hand. Thus, you can only take the Chinese side, and players cannot kill each other (awww, but friendly fire is one of the most fun aspects of online games).
According to the report, the game is currently being internally tested and will be released sometime in 2005. The tireless CCYL is working on more projects in this vein. Should their persistence pay off, a new generation of patriotic internet addicts will keep China safe from harm. But wait — pale, near-sighted teenagers crouched in front of computers doesn’t seem like a good idea, which is why the government, in conjunction with major online gaming developers, has developed an “Online Gaming Addiction Warning System” (网游防沉迷系统). This system will allow the gamer to play for three hours without penalty, but from three to five hours, the gamer will be penalized by a reduction of their experience points (gained by winning battles in role-playing games) or special weapons, and after five hours, all your dedication will have been for nought, as experience points and everything else will turn back to zero.
What’s important in the battle for young hearts and minds is that the “correct” version of historical events be portrayed. The CCYL assures us that no distortions of history will be found in these games. Hurry kids, the search for historical Truth has never been easier! This morning, Shanghaiist’s favorite Chinese newspaper, Southern Weekend (南方周末), published every Thursday, has a special Anti-Japanese War special edition. The editorial comment beneath the fold on the front page is an exercise in just how many Chinese cliches about the resilience and fortitude of the Chinese people you can fit in a two column essay. In other pages, there are stories about the heroic sacrifices of the Chinese Communist Party in the war against Japan. Don’t you just love it when everything is “correct”?