Improving what we have in the Chinese game industry requires a combined effort from three ends: the government, the game developers and the gamers. while as gamers we can only hope the government to loosen the restrictions and the game developers to make quality games. As gamers we can also contribute to improve the gaming environment in China. Here are my thoughts:
Be proud of your gamers identities.
Gaming is a entertaining activity. despite all the negative issues that gaming has involved in, there is nothing to be ashamed of If you’re a gamer. It’s just as normal as, or should I say, as cool as a basketball fan or what else you have on your mind.
Don’t be a game snob.
You are a gamer, the games you play does not define who you are. you should not let other gamers judge you by your gaming preference and more importantly, you should not judge other people by the games they play either. Playing games like Halo does not make you worse than others and playing World of Warcraft certainly does not make you better than others. Respect other’s gaming preferences.
Give substantial advises to game developers when given the chance.
Support our game developers, encourage them to make high-quality games for us to enjoy.If the game is considered distasteful by you, try to be nice, tell the developers what you expect in a decent game, don’t curse them, they( at least most of them) work very hard to deliver the game to you and they deserve your appreciations.
Have leisure activities other than gaming
So that gaming would not be the thing that consume all your time. Or in other cases, If the situation won’t allow you to play games, you have some other ways to enjoy your spare time. Which I think, would be a solution to reduce gaming -related crimes in China.
Pay for your games, to the right person.
I can’t stress this enough – the copyright issue in China. Like I mentioned above, the developers worked very hard to deliver those great games to us, they deserve to be rewarded, both mentally and materially. After all, it’s what they do for a living. Paying for the game you like means a lot to them. And remember, give your money to the authorized retailers.
If you can recall from one of my past posts. I gave a brief explanation of why Chinese gamers won’t pay for the copyrighted video games.
Today I seeks to find out more factors that keeps Chinese gamers from buying the games and here they are:
1. Uncertainty about the game quality
You’ve seen the trailers, you’ve seen the promo ads and you’ve seen the celebrities endorsing the games. Now, imagine that you buy the game and you realize that it sucks or not your thing by the first 10 minutes of playing. in the meantime, you realized that the $59.99 (or the equivalent value in Chinese currency) you just spent is in vain. Will you be having second thoughts when you see another new game being promoted?
2. Uncertainty about the games’ hardware requirements
Given the situation in China, most gamers play video games on their PCs, therefore their gaming experiences are solely depending on their computers’ performances. Now Imagine this, you brought a game, you installed it, and what’s ahead of you is the numerous time of lagging and freezing due to your outdated hardware. Or even worth, your computer won’t even let you finish the installing process, now you don’t even have an opportunity to find out whether the game you bought sucks or not.
3. No demos
If a demo version of the games were provided (like they used to, ages ago), gamers would have the opportunity to find out if the games match their tastes or if their computers are capable of running the game, without paying the seemingly high prices. However, game developers/distributors/retailers decided that releasing demo versions for the gamers is a waste of both their time and money. Then what happened? Please refer back to the last two bullets.
4. Geographical restrictions
This one might have been one of the chicken and egg dilemma. Which started first? The piracy or the restrictions? All I know is that big companies like EA and Activition Blizzard are not considering China as their market segments when it comes to PC games, which in a sense encouraged piracy of gaming in China: with the power if Internet, Chinese gamers are also being updated about new games, they want to play the games as well but there is no place to buy the games in China, thus it seems like there is no better alternatives for them to download the games illegally.
5. Pirated games are free for most of the time
Instead of trying out the demo for a limited time, pirated games allows Chinese gamers to play the whole games without paying. Again, who doesn’t like free stuff? Moreover, there is a trending mentality among Chinese gamers that, big gaming companies couldn’t care less about the so called “loss” caused by pirated games in China because they are just filthy rich. Well, this might be true to the big names, but in the meantime, small studio suffers, due to the cost of developing the games and the lacking of generated revenue.
Those are the major reasons that I concluded with my friends (Thank you!). If there is anything that’s left out, let me know in the comment.
It All Began with A Fire
“A fire engulfed the unlicensed “Lanjisu” Internet cafe in the university district of Beijing in the early hours of June 16, 2002. (read more at: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jun2002/chin-j22.shtml) 25 college students died, and 12 injured because of the fire.
How did the fire started?
Two teenager attempted to rob another student who they considered “rich” in the Internet cafe, and were kicked out by the cafe manager. The two then set the cafe on fire.
How was this tragedy related to the demonizing of games? Let me break it down for you
- The tragedy took place in a Internet cafe, where most of the frequent patrons were high school/college students, who when there for LAN games of that time (Counter-Strike, Starcraft, etc)
- The two suspects were frequent Internet cafe visitors before they started all this
- After the two were arrested, they confessed that their purpose of robbing the “rich kid” was to play game the Internet cafe (Investigation revealed that these two where from families of below-average economical situations, visiting Internet cafe was considered pricey for them).
From the points stated above, did you find anything overlapping from point to point? Yes. Internet and games.
The Internet and the games lured all the students to a place like an Internet Cafe; the Internet and the games kept attracting people like the two teenagers to visit; and of course, the Internet and the game cause the death of 25 young people.
The Vicious Cycle
After this tragedy, Beijing banned entrance of Internet cafe to anyone under 18. Thus as a 8th grader, I could not get into an Internet cafe after school back then. However, I had other options, I could either go back home and play games or stayed on campus to play some basketball. I wasn’t either frustrated or desperate, but not anyone were sharing the same mentality as I was: students began to forge fake IDs to get into Internet Cafe and started to skip class for that. As one can predict, for most of the times, they get busted by the entrance of Internet cafe or on the way out of school.
Shortly after that, nearly all domestic media were scapegoating the Internet and games for being such addictive substances for the teenagers/students, while the fact that students don’t really have a life outside the campuses was ignored. You wonder why Internet and games were so “addictive”? Go find out how many students’ spare time was taken for excessive study sessions in China.
Again, this is nowhere close from the time when sh*t really hits the fan.
The Altar That Never Worked
Two years after the “Lanjisu” tragedy, an 8th grader committed suicide by jumping off from a 21 story building (read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195236,00.html).
The 8th grader’s dairy revealed that he was a big fan of Warcraft 3, and considered himself as a warden. More importantly, it is suggested that he considered his suicidal behavior as ritual of resurrection and the top floor of the building he lived in was his”altar”. Before the death, the kid’s parents did not oppose him when it comes to games, however things change, and gathered the public’s attention. As you could predict, games are there to take the blame.
The domestic media once again led the public to focus on how “games are confusing the under-aged citizens when they are trying to distinguish fantasy from reality.” Isn’t helping the children to distinguish the differences a job for the parents? where were they while they son was leading a group of Night-Elves to fight the Orcs in both the game and the reality?
Apparently it is easy to blame something that doesn’t talk back, in this case. The gaming industry did not talk back, and do you know why?
Disregarding where the games were developed/made, when they were imported to China, they would be distributed and sold by Chinese, who were sharing the same mentality as the angry parents did. They felt guilty for what happened to the unfortunate youths when the tragedies were related to gaming. However, should they bear such burden?