“网瘾战争 War of Internet Addiction” — Are World of Warcraft’s Travails In China Much More Interesting Than Google’s?
- Posted by bbishop
- on January 24th, 2010
Google’s recent moves in China have captured global attention about censorship and Internet controls in China, eliciting protests from inside and outside China.
But there is a much more entertaining protest about China’s web controls circulating on the Internet–”网瘾战争 War of Internet Addiction”. It is an hour long video, “shot” almost entirely with in-game video from World of Warcraft, satirizing the government’s attempt to “harmonize” China’s Internet with forced installations of “Green Dam Youth Escort” and the travails of Chinese World of Warcraft players over the last several months. It is quite brilliant.
You can watch the original Chinese on Tudou here or an English subtitled version on Youtube: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 (part 6 starting around minute 7 has the most obvious speech against Internet controls) Part 7
The background material, including the script, is available here (in Chinese). UPDATE: the background material on Google Docs now includes English annotations for all the references at the end of the document. The team has been busy adding to this living project.
The film tracks the fight between The9 ($NCTY) and Netease ($NTES) over the renewal rights to Activision Blizzard’s ($ATVI) World of Warcraft, the requirement that skulls be removed from World of Warcraft (hence the Skull Party), the bureaucratic battles between GAPP and the Ministry of Culture over the re-approval of WoW in China, the money-obsessed Uncle Yang and his Internet addiction camps and electro-shock therapy (see this forthcoming Feb 2010 Wired article on China’s Internet addiction camps), and the attempts to impose “Green Dam Youth Escort” software on Chinese web users. The movie concludes with an impassioned speech calling for Chinese World of Warcraft players to end their silence and raise their hands in protest to fight attempts to harmonize China’s Internet and keep them away from World of Warcraft, followed by an agreement between the warring bureaucracies-GAPP and MOC–to put aside their dispute and go after Netease for more money.
I think this more effectively challenges and potentially undermines the powers behind Internet controls than anything Google has done; many more Chinese likely care about censorship that affects WoW and other online games than care whether or not Google.cn stays online in China.
I doubt this video is good for Netease and its ongoing issues with GAPP over World of Warcraft. The company that may end up laughing the hardest is The9, in spite of the cutting portrayals of its Chairman Zhu Jun and CEO Chen Xiaowei.
“War of Internet Addiction” is a great look into the push and pull between Internet regulators and netizens in China, and the very legitimate cynicism so many Chinese embrace.
He made the film with 100 volunteers and they spent no money other than WoW fees.
He no longer plays on the China WoW servers, in spite of the discrimination against Chinese players overseas and the lack of rights he has playing on WoW servers outside his own region.
He makes the point that even though the film takes place in WoW it is about much more than just a game:
这个影片，让不懂游戏的人流泪，是因为大家的互联网处境都一样-The film makes people who dont understand games shed tears because all of us on China’s Internet are in the same boat.
“War of Internet Addiction” is a much more eloquent, and likely impactful, protest against Internet censorship in China than Google’s moves.
What do you think? Please let me know in the comments.
The information in this blog post represents my own opinions and does not contain a recommendation for any particular security or investment. I or my affiliates may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Blog, please see my Disclaimer page for my full disclaimer.blog comments powered by Disqus
Bill Bishop is an American living in Beijing. He is bilingual and has experience working in both US and China. In 1997 he co-founded CBS MarketWatch and stayed until the sale in 2004 to Dow Jones. He was never a journalist, and instead worked in several business roles over the years, the last as head of the MarketWatch consumer Internet business. More »
- Sinocism China Newsletter For 08.30.12
- The Sinocism China Newsletter
- Today’s China Readings July 18, 2012
- Sina Sell-Side Still Searching For Muppets
- China Daily Readings
- Sina Admits It Has Not Complied With Weibo Real Name Registration Rules
- Groupon’s China Firesale
- Apologies For The Hiatus
- Tweeting The Sina Q4 2011 Earnings Call
- Quick Thoughts Ahead Of Sina Earnings
- August 2012
- July 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- Inside Sina Weibo
- Authorities Removing Apple iPads From Chinese Store Shelves? (Updated)
- Reuters: China VIE Company Structure Under Threat
- If Sina Is Cooking Its Books I'll Eat This Blog
- China's Internet: The Invisible Birdcage
- Is Tencent The Wrong Partner For Groupon In China?
- New Report On China's Online Game Industry-$3.6B in 2009 Revenue, $9.2B By 2014
- Do You Know Where Your China Stock CFO Lives?
- CCTV Attacks Baidu, Again
- Why Did Sina Shares Plunge 15% Tuesday?
TagsAdvertising Alibaba Apple Baidu Beijing cctv Censorship china China Mobile Corruption Cyberwar DangDang eCommerce Facebook Fraud Gaming GFW Google Group Buying groupon Internet Investing IPO Media Mobile Music Netease PerfectWorld Piracy Policy Readings Regulations Search Shanda Sina SNS Social Games Tencent Twitter US-China Virtual Items Web Video Weibo WoW WVAS
- Group Buying
- Internet Security
- Listed Firms
- Online Games
- Online Memes
- Online Payments
- Online Trends
- Perfect World
- Public Relations
- Renewable Energy
- Social Gaming
- Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM
- Web Advertising
- Web Video
- World of Warcraft
StockTwits - All Updates