The recent WW2 Anti-Japanese Chinese video game

An article recently came up to me here about a video game being developed by the Chinese where the player works to help Chinese troops defeat the Japanese invaders (more information at ). It is noted that this game is designed with the express hope of spurring patriotism and national pride in the Chinese people.

Now, on a gut level, I find myself slapping my forehead at the sort of provocation to the Japanese this game will almost certainly be, especially given that relations between the two countries are at rock bottom these days. China seems to be intent on making it as clear as possible that they have no desire to discuss the issue in good faith, and I suspect that’s part of the reason behind Japan’s own indefensible behavior with regards to the issue.

On the other hand, rationally, I cannot put my finger on why this disturbs me so much. We’ve seen countless games depicting the same period, some of which probably put one in control of the Chinese-side (especially strategy games). We’ve seen games about Iraq, a conflict who’s wounds haven’t even begun to heal in the eyes of many. We’ve even seen games developed expressly by the American government to portray the military. So how is this game tangibly different than any of these? The only answer I can come up with is context of some sort, a remarkably slipper word.

So, I ask the members of the SDMB – Is this game, in comparison to all the games mentioned above, palpably “worse” or different, in a way that makes it more deserving of condemnation?

I once pitched a shooter concept to a Korean publisher that revolved around war between North and South Korea. They said absolutely not … not only would it not sell but it would be censored by the government.

However, they added, if we would turn it into a game about defending Korea against an invasion by the Japanese … they’d sell millions.

(We ultimately passed because we didn’t think there would be a U.S. market for such a game.)

As long as there was nothing overtly racist about the game, I don’t see anything wrong, particularly since it takes place during WWII. How is this any different than the numerous American WWII shooters that let you kill Nazis?

I honestly can’t see why there would any problem with this game. As you mentionned yourself, there are thousands of WWII related games. How is this one different?

I’m Chinese and this gives me a sinking feeling.

Context, I think, is definitely important. America may be fighting Iraq but there aren’t a lot of Americans who actively hate Iraqis. There are plenty of Chinese who hate the Japanese, including young people like my cousins who were born decades after the fighting stopped. Argh.

Um, I want to add that my point is, this won’t be just another game about WWII. The publishers won’t see it as such, and neither will the gamers, and that’s what matters.

American WWII themed games tend to show war against an ideology – Nazis and Japanese soldiers fighting for their emperor, not against a particular ethnic group. In addition, Germany and Japan were defeated and in the Western view maybe paid enough for the war. There’s distance from the past. It’s history now. Japan, Germany and the US for all practical purposes are friends.

As far as the Chinese are concerned, there’s still a score to settle with Japan… So this may not come across as simple entertainment.


While I agree that the game is somewhat creepy in that it seems to be stirring up antagonism, I also have to ask how is it any different from stuff like America’s Army or the Rainbow Six series?

I think the main factor is that in America such a game (and they certainly exist) would just be done for commercial purposes. In China, a game like this wouldn’t get published unless there is a political agenda.

Uh, you do know who backed America’s Army, don’t you?

I can assure you that many Europeans think of Germany exactly the same way the Chinese think of Japan. Should these American WW2II games not be sold in these countries?

You underestimate the Chinese feelings towards Japan.

Well, I allways play as the Germans…

And you underestimate Slavic feelings toward Germany.

China has money, troops, deep-rooted cultural xenophobia/contempt for other cultures (dating back thousands of years), and a grudge against Japan.

This cannot be good. :smack: :eek: :smack: :eek:

I think the reason it makes us uncomfortable is that China is a rising power feeling its oats and looking for something to focus on.

No one thinks Belgium might actually attack Germany these days, no matter how much lingering bitterness there might be. China’s growing military might, coupled with the bad judgment shown by its ruling gerontocracy, just MIGHT be used against Japan some day. So we see this video game and are worried about possibilities.


It should also be mentioned, 'boat, that China has been asserting territorial claims in Indonesia, the Philippines, and even islands controlled by Australia, merely because Chinese-speaking people live there.

“Territorial claims” is an ugly, often sinister, term in Internation Affairs.

[hijack]Honest questions here: do Slavic governments whip up anti-German rallies? Do politicians demagogue anti-German sentiment to gain political advantage? Is there anti-German propaganda that is commonly issued in Slavic countries? is the anti-German sentiment shared across all generations, not just the older ones that may remember WW2? Can you give examples?

I have been to China, and found the sentiment against Japan, shared by virtually all average people and readily evident in government policy, to be a use of history to justify a long-held racist notion. Yes, Japan did horrible things to China, but I strongly doubt that the Chinese state controlled media have ever mentioned Japan’s various apologies over the years, lest the government lose a way to stir passons against something other than the Chinese Communist Party.

I have not been to Eastern Europe, and I can certainly understand that there is remaining hatred for what happened in WW2, but I’d be surprised if there is such a mainstream, organized campaign of hatred against another country (putting aside, of course, extremist groups who are always looking for someone to hate). Since you said the level of hatred is the same, I’m very curious to hear more.

You’re pretty much right. I was referring mainly to a grass-roots level attitude towards Germany, not any organized political propeganda. From that point of view, the Chinese attitude towards Japan is far more worriying than the Eastern European attitude towards Germany.

However, my impression is that Slavic - especially Russian - fear and hatred towards Germany and the Germans is (with one exception) as strong as any in the world . Furthermore, it predates WW2 by centuries, and it shows no sign of abating.

Rock bottom? I thought that took place around 1942.

Sorry, you’re right. I meant “rock-bottom relative to the last few decades or so”.