War of Internet Addiction 网瘾战争
At the World Craft: The Business and Culture of Gaming in East Asia conference we were shown a machinima made by Chinese World of Warcraft players entitled ‘War of Internet Addiction’ 网瘾战争’ (see the full video here with translation). The drama/documentary covers a number of issues facing WoW players in China over the past couple of years including the fight between The9 and Netease for control of the rights to host WoW in China as well as the government’s attempt to forcibly install ‘Green Dam Youth Escort‘ content control software on all new computers in China. Of particular interest is the final speech in the movie which covers a swath of issues affecting WoW players in China including being discriminated against as gold farmers in foreign servers to broader social concerns including poor wages, chemicals in food, and the household registration (hukou) system.
For further reading on a number of the topics above check out my bibliography of online games in China.