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China Promotes 'Patriotic' Online Games

Chinese online publisher PowerNet Technology has announced a new game created in co-operation with the government-affiliated China Communist Youth League (CCYL), and name...
Chinese online publisher PowerNet Technology has announced a new game created in co-operation with the government-affiliated China Communist Youth League (CCYL), and named Anti-Japan War Online. Speaking to the Chinese Interfax news agency, a PowerNet Project Manager said, "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." The new massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) is set during the Japanese occupation of China from 1937 to 1945, and will not include an option to play as the Japanese army. In the light of current Chinese government restrictions over violence in online games, players will not be allowed to kill other players in the game and combat will be shown in miniature, so as to reduce the level of illustrated violence in the game. Chinese national relations with Japan have been strained in recent years, as China has voiced concerns that Japan has still not fully acknowledged or apologized for atrocities committed during the World War II occupation. This has led to protests and even riots against Japanese owned companies in China, although the game makers claim, in this case: "We will pay close attention to the authenticity of historical facts in the game." According to Interfax, last year the CCYL partnered with Guangdong Data Communication Network to develop a 3D MMORPG named Guohun Online (National Spirit Online), which currently has a budget of RMB 50 million ($6.17m) and is scheduled for release later this year. The CCYL is also working with Beijing Magical Digit to develop three other online games: Sim Battle: Long March, Sim Battle: Blue Helmet China and Sim Battle: Sky Dragon. The CCLY said in a statement that Anti-Japan War Online was a response to a lack of educational titles that generate “a national spirit” and that it would work with other online publishers to developer more “patriotic” titles. Government-related actions in the online game industry have sharply increased in recent months with the latest agreement to limit online play time in MMOs the most notable example of a continuing crackdown.

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