back to article Chinese state media describes gaming as 'spiritual opium' that stunts education and destroys families

China's government has again expressed its severe dislike of gaming, and one of the nation's major purveyors of such entertainment has reacted by limiting the time that can be spent on the pastime. Beijing has never been entirely comfortable with gaming. In 2013, China sought to define gaming addiction so it could be treated, …

  1. JDPower666

    Is "spiritual opium" supposed to sound like a BAD thing?

    1. Charles 9

      Heck yeah, to them. They have a baaaad history with the stuff. Recall the Opium Wars?

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge

        CCP vs Gaming

        So the Chinese Communist Party is against computer gaming are they...

        Fortunately, the real China (based in Taiwan) more than compensates for that loss.

        The more I read about the CCP abuses of human rights and freedoms I really don't give a flying fudge what they think.

        Free Tibet first and then we'll talk.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Yes, it is a very dangerous thing. But addicts are unaware of that.

  2. deadlockvictim


    To be fair to the Chinese government, they aren't actually wrong and I'm glad that they are pointing out an obvious elephant in the room.

    I also approve of the requirement to game with your real name. There is much to much nastiness hidden by anonymity.

    A lot of people simply spend too much time gaming and need help and I was no different when I discovered Civilization back in 1993. It didn't help my studies much either.

    If weren't for the fact that it was run by the Chinese government, I'd even welcome the idea of Internet detox camps.

    Unfortunately, given that it is the Chinese government, I can't say I'm happy with how it will be/is being implemented: permanent scars on your Personal Record (and all Chinese have one) which will live on to haunt long into your future, God knows what happens in the Internet detox camps given what happens at teh re-education centres. The article didn't explicitly state this, but we know how the Chinese government operates.

    1. Chris G

      Re: Gaming

      I came across a couple of RT documentries on youtube a while back, worth a watch.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Gaming

        I am amused when people cite RT, which has a very similar output as Fox.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: It didn't help my studies much either

      Back in 1984, my father brought me an IBM PC. It had the venerable 8086 CPU and 128KB of RAM. It also had the finest manuals I have ever read in my life to this day (I still have them).

      I learned how to program with that computer. I made my very own D&D random magic item generator.

      That didn't help my studies much at the time either, but now I am a professional programmer and have been for more than 25 years.

      It's not because something has impacted your studies that it was necessarily bad at the time.

      But go ahead and blame gaming. I'm sure that all those teenagers glued to their smartphones will suffer no consequences at all.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: It didn't help my studies much either

        Almost the same here, only I started with a ZX Spectrum - I started programming simple BASIC games and sharing them among my friends, then moved to assembler (making it probably the only academic subject I was interested in at the time - but my parents saw the positive in that, owing to an engineer uncle who told them that I was doing great). It allowed me to start making money writing small programmes and games, until it was enough to buy my first proper PC (a Schneider with - not one! - but two floppy disk drives!), rinse, repeat. And still going strong (although, through the years, it's less and less hands-on and more SW design)

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: It didn't help my studies much either

          OK, so all to do with programming and not thioe who endlessly play games, which is the toipc.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: so all to do with programming

            You missed the part where I was programming a D&D magic item generator, and the part where he was programming BASIC games.

      2. deadlockvictim

        Re: It didn't help my studies much either

        To be fair, you were a programmer who happened to make games rather than a gamer per se (well, as far as I can tell from post). Although D&D can be played with a computer, it is a game played with friends rather than a solitary game. That being said, I had to be told to stop playing AD&D when I was 15, my marks before the Inter Cert were beginning to suffer on account of the amount of time I was putting into it.

        Smartphones are incredibly addictive and should be treated as such. Children shouldn't have access to them and be allowed only to adults (and, even then, the populace as a whole needs a lot of education about them). Once you've given a child a smartphone, even with parental controls (that are often not so great although Apple's aren't bad), getting them off it is hard.

        You could try not giving them a smartphone and then they are the only teen in their class without one. Who wants to be the child in the class who isn't allowed to eat meat because their parents are strict vegetarians? Who wants to be the only child in the class not on Instagram, SnapChat & WhatsApp?

        To the critics above, personal responsibility is always the argument trotted out with dealing with dangerously addictive things. It is *your* fault, but not the industry's fault. In your opinion, the Food Industry shares none of the blame for the stuff it puts into the food that you can't help buying. The oil companies share no blame in destroying the climate because you chose to drive to work or you chose to heat your home. Too many regulations eh? You probably pine for the good old days when Reagan was president.

        Yes, personal responsibility has a role to play as does the role the government has to protect us from dangerously addictive substances as does the industry in question a duty of care towards its end-users. Think about Oxycontin and what should have been done to prevent all of those poor people becoming addicted to opioids.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: It didn't help my studies much either

          That you get downvotes simply proves people either don't understand or don't want to. Probably Trump supporters anyway.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: It didn't help my studies much either

        "I'm sure that all those teenagers glued to their smartphones will suffer no consequences at all."

        The pervasiveness of loot boxes, gambling and spending money in current games is an area where I beg to differ

        Gambling addictions are already a recognised problem and many of these things exploit our natural tendency to go for rewards, etc

        Translating this as "spiritual opium" doesn't even come close to describing how the Chinese government is portraying this

        'Opium' is more-or-less synonomous with "deadly poison" in Chinese society thanks to the opium wars and the Century of Humiliation. This kind of tag is tantamount to a western government calling games publishers crack or meth-pushers (and gamers, crackheads/tweakers)

        (Even comparing the kneejerk reaction to "opium" to our reaction to "crackheads" or "methheads" isn't close to how bad the connotations are for chinese, but it may give some idea)

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: It didn't help my studies much either

          Very few have even heard of the Opium Wars. If they had they may stop and think why the PRC is a tad anti the bs coming out of many Western politicians and their disciples.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It didn't help my studies much either

            Very few in the UK have heard of the Opium Wars. My understanding is that every schoolchild in China is taught about them.

          2. Ahab Returns

            Re: It didn't help my studies much either

            Studied at school 50 years ago, lots of people know about the opium wars - gandalfcn - are you a Chinese spam bot by any chance?

      4. Irongut

        Re: It didn't help my studies much either

        Similar story with the Spectrum. It definitely did help my understanding of Maths at the time (I wrote some programs to solve quadratic equations and similar things) and has lead to a 25 year career in IT so far.

        IMO social media is much more likely to stunt education and destroy families.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: It didn't help my studies much either


      5. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: It didn't help my studies much either

        Learning how to programme is not in any way comparable to gaming. That so many people don't know the difference speaks volumes.

    3. _LC_
      Thumb Up

      Re: Gaming

      Exactly, this doesn't come out of nowhere either. They can look down on Japan to see what is coming. There, parts of an entire generation are considered lost. They won't live, they won't procreate, they don't even go out the door.

      1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

        Re: Gaming

        Can’t say I blame them, real life = worst game ever

        Maybe these elders, and their brainfarts, could do with some improvement.

        Its just a suggestion at this point, but soon they’ll be dead so who cares what brain farts fall out of their arse / head

        1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: Gaming

          >Can’t say I blame them, real life = worst game ever

          Graphics are pretty good, though

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Gaming

          You mean the elders who created the tech and the games?

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Gaming

        Given the two lost decades in Japan and economic deprivation for many GenXers onwards due to economic contractions, I can't say I blame people for behaving like that

        Japan abruptly snapped from a society with guaranteed well-paid jobs for life to one where employment is uncertain and badly paid. The social contract was essentially torn up for anyone born after 1970 and yet demands for conformity continued to increase as economic conditions tightened

        I worked with a lot of "wayward japanese youth" in the 1990s who had been shipped out of the country by wealthy parents due to "being uncontrollable" and embarrassing to the parents. Most of them were perfectly ordinary teenagers who fitted in well in my country - and people like them are responsible for the new renaissance of Japanese creativity

        1. _LC_

          Re: Gaming

          But sitting in your little room, like a pig, isn't a solution. Instead of coming together and changing things, they managed to have them separated, unable to grasp that the others out there are just like you. They act like plants. This is desired. Fortunately, the Chinese don't seem to want their children that way.

          1. tekHedd

            Re: Gaming

            You realize you lost your entire audience at "like a pig," right? This happened before they even knew what your message was. I'll always wonder what the rest of the paragraph says.

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: Gaming

              Bless. Now I know what a snowflake is.

          2. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Gaming

            Much of China is still family oriented rather than state oriented like the USA, and as such the overwhelming majority will approve of the measures. as with most things.

            Interesting that those who vehemently abuse and denigrate BLM support minor dissent in the PRC and claim it is a major problem.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Gaming

              "the overwhelming majority will approve of the measures. as with most things."

              It's amazing what killing and torturing does to people, isn't it? Oh, but it's supposed to be the democracies which are "state oriented". Yeah, you might not know what that means. We're allowed to disagree with our governments. It's nice.

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Gaming

          That was the result of an economy relying too much on over production and over consumption domestically and internationally, overtaken by the RoK & then the PRC. They still produce good kit and excellent ships though.

      3. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Gaming

        And they marry Wifus.

    4. reGOTCHA

      Re: Gaming

      Next in line TV series and movies, binge watching something is basically the same as smoking another one because the previous felt good. Then comes books, god forbid people throwing away half a day reading childish comic books, holding the pee because they have to turn another page. After that is music, you learn nothing from it and most current music is garbage anyways.

    5. tekHedd

      Authoritarianism is really hot right now

      "If weren't for the fact that it was run by the Chinese government, I'd even welcome the idea of Internet detox camps."

      Trust your government much? At this point, I'm wondering what, exactly you *wouldn't* approve of as long as it isn't "run by the Chinese government?" Drone strikes? Extradition to secret torture prisons? Bulk data slurping? Archiving all phone conversations in a searchable database? This sort of "it's OK because we're the ones doing it" attitude is the root of many of our current day problems in the western world.

      "...but we know how the Chinese government operates."

      We know how all governments operate, the second you turn your back.

      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Re: Authoritarianism is really hot right now

        "This sort of "it's OK because we're the ones doing it"", and are by far the major player but wrong if others do it attitude.

  3. lglethal Silver badge

    So it's the games fault for the child's education suffering. Nothing at all to do with the bad parenting that allowed the kid to spend ridiculous hours playing and not making them do their homework, go to bed at reasonable hours, etc.?

    Yep all Tencent's fault. Totally.

    I was (and still am) a gamer. I played a lot as a kid, but it never caused any problems with my education, because my parents made sure I went to bed at a reasonable time, made sure I came to the table for meals, made sure that my homework was finished before I was allowed to play. Also not having the PC in my room, meant I couldnt sneakily get up and play in the night (well I probably could have, but the temptation wasnt there).

    Gaming is no different to any other past time - done to excess, anything can be bad for you. And like most things that kids to do excess, bad parenting in allowing it to be done to excess is usually the main cause. So maybe China, if it really cared about the effect of gaming on kids, should be looking into the problem of bad parenting first, rather than just blaming the games...

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge
      Big Brother

      I'll agree with your general point, I had a similar balanced upbringing.

      There is of course the long hours spent at work by many parents in China when they can't exercise control over their teen sprogs and this will be shown as a helping hand from a caring leadership.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Surely then the helping hand of a caring leadership would be then working towards reducing the long hours spent working by the parents so that they can watch over and control their teens.

        No? Didnt think so...

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          mandating fewer working hours would go a long way towards solving the issue

          It would likely improve China's economy too - working more than 35-40 hours/week usually results in DECREASED productivity (something USA employers seem to have forgotten in their rush to the bottom)

          1. Charles 9

            Nah. They're well aware of it but because of a worker glut can just throw the next cheap cog at the problem. The ultimate goal of the capital holders, of course, is to make labor obsolete.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              "The ultimate goal of the capital holders, of course, is to make labor obsolete."

              The moment you do that, it doesn't matter where your production facilities are and logistics dominates

              In general at that point the production of finished product is best carried out close to the point of consumption

              this _is_ slowly happening but whilst politicians - on ALL sides - like to claim "jobs are coming back", the reality is that at every step along the way, employment numbers decrease

              The Detroit car factory employing 12,000 people didn't go to Mexico to reduce worker pay, but worker NUMBERS - there are only 1500 people working on the equivalent site in Sonora and if forced to move back to the USA it would likely be a total staff of 400 including the gardeners

              "relocating production" to save money has almost never been about paying individuals less, but about employing far fewer of them - an older example being that a single very well-paid japanese welder using automated equipment was able to outproduce several teams of burly Glasgow shipyard welders working shifts - AND at higher consistent quality. Efforts to "save jobs" at any given site by preserving uncompetitive behaviour invariably end up killing the entire site or company instead.

              FWIW: Chinese workers now cost slightly more than American ones and about the same as European ones. China's win is in tighly integrated LOGISTICS and whilst they've been oursourcing work to other asian countries with cheaper labour, that outsourcing has been going with heavy production automation, resulting in those outsourced sites employing even fewer people overall

              1. Charles 9

                But at some point, you end up with the what I call the "Henry Ford" problem. Without laborers, where will your customers come from? Or has it reached the point that the haves can just close the walled garden and hash it out amongst themselves?

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  If you can run things in an automated method without many workers, then the people you used to employ would have to find new jobs. This gives you several options which cover most of the range from utopian (the cheapness of things produced by automated methods allows everybody to achieve basic consumption, so they can now spend their time on the things at which they are most skilled or enthusiastic) to dystopian (only those with money can buy things, only those with money uninvested will keep it, a dictatorship of the wealthy, cue civil war). The truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

          2. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Most of these parents are in office jobs which very often entail long commuting times. Very few factory workers have to travel very far, nor do agricultural ones.

            Then there are the children of migrant workers who are left at home to be looked after by doting grandparents.

            The PRC is still pretty 3rd. World in may things

        2. gandalfcn Silver badge

          You mean like in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the USA, the UK and so on?

          Rather than slagging off other countries why don't you sort out your own countries massive problems.

          No? Didn't think so.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            "Rather than slagging off other countries why don't you sort out your own countries massive problems."

            Two reasons come to mind. First, because the other country's problems are worse than my country's problems. Second, because that country was the point of the article we're all talking about, so of course we're talking about their problems and how they're solving them and how they could do better.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's all well and good, but just how many parents are aware of the need to do this, and if they are, how many have the energy to fight this battle along with all of the others? I really hope that public perception about kids' relationship with technology has radically changed by the time my little ones go to school, because seeing the hoards of schoolkids walking to school all staring at their phones makes me very sad. It also makes it even harder to do things "right", because as well as the intrinsically addictive nature of games (and other online baubles), my kids will also be the odd ones out.

    3. FeepingCreature Bronze badge

      Yeah, it's terrible. I remember when I was a kid, I used to be so tired in school all the time, cause I stayed up late until midnight ruining my eyes ... reading books in the light of the streetlamp in front of my bedroom window.

      Kids will do as kids do.

      1. First Light

        Books don't give quite that opiate receptor hit that gaming does . . .

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          That's quite speculative. You can read and enjoy doing so for a long time and you can easily spend your time reading to your detriment. The same is true of games. Studies have tried to prove a long-lasting mental degradation as a result and frequently failed to do so. You might be able to prove that games are more easily addictive than books, but I don't know that and you would have to present some good data to that effect before it could logically be used in regulation.

          1. Charles 9

            Anything can be addictive if taken to extreme levels. Many of us are wired to go nuts at different things. That's why there are disorders such as hoarding and OCD. The trick is figuring out the limits before we're sucked in and take others with us.

      2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        I remember being so tired in school, because most teachers were rubbish. Many classes were like watching paint dry and you had to pretend you pay attention.

        On the other hand, that teaches you how to deal with corporate meetings...

        1. Irongut

          I was rebuked several times in English classes because I didn't know where my semi-lliterate classmate had got up to when reading a book aloud. I didn't know because to stave off boredom I was half the book ahead. Pointing that out didn't mollify the teacher but did get some nods from the others who were similarly reading ahead.

    4. FlamingDeath Silver badge

      Dude, these people literally walk over dead baby girls bodies without an ounce of compassion

      Don’t get your hopes up

    5. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Most pastimes do not involve the hours spent on gaming though, it is beyond a pastime and is an addiction, i.e. like opium.

      Yes, bad parenting is partly to blame, everywhere not just in the PRC, and Beijing recognises the problem so it is facing up to it. Implicit in the action is a rebuke of the parents, isn't it. Also, the problem is not "the games" it is the excessive playing of them. There is a difference you know.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        No, that's not necessarily true. Children have always spent their leisure time on things and could do so for long periods. Whether it's playing games, watching television, reading books, or playing outdoors, they are capable of spending hours at it if they find it enjoyable. I'm guessing you're not thinking of the other possibilities because you view the last two as productive and may know a child who is more into videogames than television. While I was never much into gaming, I spent whole days during my childhood reading, swimming, or bicycling, and yet I wasn't addicted to any of those. For that matter, my family managed to spend an entire weekend playing monopoly, which I also did, and I soon realized how deterministic it was and stopped playing. It's not unusual to spend a lot of time doing something, especially if, as with many children, you have few responsibilities to occupy you and don't have the freedom to add other options.

        You can be addicted to playing games, but it doesn't follow that someone who spends a long time with them is addicted. Nor is it true that all children who play games do so for a long time. If we assume that anything that's done for a long time is addictive, I'm terribly addicted to working for my employer--I do it for eight hours at a stretch and longer on some days. People have tried to prove that gaming is worse than television just as they tried to prove that television was worse than books (and yes, people also complained about the kids spending all their time reading books when those were newer). That doesn't make it true.

  4. Wellyboot Silver badge

    A first gentle rebuke

    Coming from a Goverment known to swing sledgehammers at perceived problems, nothing else is needed.

  5. macjules

    gaming as 'spiritual opium'

    Phew. At least they didn't mention who got them all addicted to opium in the first place.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: gaming as 'spiritual opium'

      They don't need to. It's drilled into chinese citizens who did it to the point that all you need to do is mention the word and everything associated with it is conjoured up in the minds of the recipient

      Imagine the UK government stating that game publishers are a bunch of predatory Jimmy Savilles

  6. vektorweg

    You know its not about health when the classic spirits stay unprohibited. /whataboutism

  7. Allan George Dyer

    Lifeskill training?

    It can be argued that gaming is training many of the skills necessary for success in the modern world. There are basic keyboard/mouse skills, planing and working towards long-term objectives, co-operation in teams etc. Games like Civilisation give some background historic information and may lead to insight into the development of societies.

    In comparison, most, if not all, of the sports included at the Olympics are obsolete and/or rarely used elsewhere. While it is most impressive to see a person lift 200kg, that is a fraction of what I can lift with a small forklift. A Mauser rifle is more effective than a javelin, and so on, if you will permit the patter. Yet many young people, to varying degrees in different countries, are pressured into intense training that can lead to long-term physical and mental health issues.

    A balanced lifestyle is important... how encouraging diversity with a centalthalon, where, alongside traditional sports and gaming, there are compulsory disciplines of "hanging out with friends" and "chilling by the pool"?

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Lifeskill training?

      What we need in schools are following things:

      - budgeting skills

      - recognising traps of instant gratification

      - principles of critical thinking

      - how to recognise propaganda, manipulation techniques

      - how to search for information and assess its reliability

      - how modern economy works, taxation, models of working

      - sales tricks

      - how to start a small business

      - how to find your skills and how to make a living out of them

      - how emotions work, patterns of addiction, how to become aware of oneself

      - how to relax, meditate

      Most schools train people to become mindless factory or service workers. Schools are incompatible with people looking for more.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Lifeskill training?

        "Most schools train people to become mindless factory or service workers."

        That IS the point of schools, starting with the rigid hours

        19th century employers needed pliable, obedient workers who could read and follow instructions without too much self-initiative

  8. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    The cattle

    The cattle does not work the field, but enjoy itself? They can't have that!

    You cannot build communism without the forced labour.

    1. _LC_

      Re: The cattle

      Careful with those stones! Here's an article from today in a Swiss publication:

      "USA: The limits of labor ...

      During the pandemic, working conditions in the U.S. low-wage segment have become inhumane in many companies. …"

      To be honest, this didn't start with "the pandemic". Having three jobs, just so you can afford a roof and some pellets for eating is just another form of slavery.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: The cattle

        The difference between capitalism and communism is that in capitalism, if you don't want to work - there is your bridge and a blanket, there is your dealer, have fun - whereas in communism, you get loaded on a bus and dropped at a mine and you get whipped every time you think about taking a break.

        1. GrumpenKraut

          Re: The cattle

          In capitalism people exploit people. In communism it's the other way round.

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: The cattle

            Capitalism is a system of equal chances, communism is a system of equal chances ending up in Gulag.

            1. Anonymous Coward

              Re: The cattle

              In communism the government exploits the masses.

              In capitalism the corporations exploit the masses.

              In neither do the masses have much of a say.

              1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

                Re: The cattle

                There is a huge difference:

                In communism the government exploits the masses.

                In both systems government has monopoly on violence. In communism, if you don't want to work they can force you or whack you and your entire family.

                In capitalism if you don't want to work for someone, you can start your own business and work for yourself.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The cattle

                  But in capitalism the government is for sale...

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The cattle

                  in capitalism, if you don't want to work, you die of hunger.

            2. Irongut

              Re: The cattle

              Tell that to the employees of Activision Blizzard.

      2. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: The cattle

        "Having three jobs, just so you can afford a roof and some pellets for eating is just another form of slavery."

        I think not. Slave owners need to worry about feeding slaves, housing slaves, providing medical care, etc. Fail to do those things and you'll likely be burying a capital asset.

        Capitalists, on the other hand, just need an HR department of sorts in order to hire replacements. If the workers starve or get sick, somebody else will handle funeral costs and such.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The cattle

          That being said, that upkeep tended to take the place of wages. Plus one had to consider the initial outlay, particularly for those slaves not acquired on the market.

  9. First Light

    Star Trek episode!

    I still remember the TNG episode where Riker stupidly brought personal gaming devices onboard the Enterprise after a vacation. Dr. Crusher figured out that the game triggered opiate receptors. This resulted in a stultifying addiction and mind control by the aliens who were using it to take over the ship (and ultimately Starfleet). It was up to the valiant Wesley and a young Ashley Judd to save the day!

    I watched a fictional Chinese TV series on Netflix about gaming called The King's War. It was a surprisingly enjoyable show but the heavy hand of the censor was all over the script with exhortations about working hard, the importance of teamwork, etc etc. If it wasn't censored beforehand it definitely came across as written to appeal to the PTB.

    I can't imagine Chinese teens will be happy about this . . .

  10. Plest Silver badge

    They've never played EvE Online!

    If you thinking gaming is not cerebral, try playing EvE Online without 8 spreadsheets open, 17 metadata websites and some databases with custom made apps just to manage your gaming account.

    For those who've never played EvE Online, imagine the old micro computer game Elite but redesigned by a team developers who only write firmware code and have a mate who does game graphics in his spare time!

    1. Irongut

      Re: They've never played EvE Online!

      Although in reality EVE Online's current devs are more like a bunch of Javascript devs who have been told to rewrite the firmware for the Shuttle.

      And tbh the original EO devs weren't much better, as evidence I cite the boot.ini incident.

  11. Tron Silver badge


    Even dictatorships have to be careful about antagonising too great a percentage of their citizens.

    Taking down stocks and sectors is costing ordinary Chinese people their assets. They aren't just ordering them to clap on demand, they are taking money out of their pockets. Now this, which will not lead to the younger generation embracing Communism.

    How would you have felt as a teenager if your gaming had been cut back to one hour a day by the government with an extra hour on the Queen's birthday?

    Western governments are careful about taking down sectors like tourism. They get the media on side and stir up support. They restrict imports on the sly using tax laws and restrict migrant labour with fees. All very back door. The Chinese have always believed that their control was solid enough not to bother with this sort of thing. That may be riskier than they think.

    1. Charles 9

      Re: Risky

      "Western governments are careful about taking down sectors like tourism. They get the media on side and stir up support. They restrict imports on the sly using tax laws and restrict migrant labour with fees. All very back door. The Chinese have always believed that their control was solid enough not to bother with this sort of thing. That may be riskier than they think."

      Well, that depends on how far each side is willing to go to make their point. For a good example of how far China will go, consider Tienanmen Square. There's something to be said about a state that shows a considerable lack of mercy when defied.

  12. RLWatkins

    Granted, for a fraction of gamers they're right...

    ... in asserting that some seek the consequence-free world of gaming, which is in some respects like real life, but less difficult and less threatening.

    I've met people like that.

    But they constitute a tiny fraction of people who play video games. The rest of them are just fine.

    Isn't it just like the CCP to pick out a corner case, then use it to condemn an entire population? You'd almost think they were Republicans.

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