It is indispensable that video games are an essential part in present human society, the video game has a long development history that backs to the inception of using computers. The dawn of the 20th Century gave the world a significant face-lift in making life worthwhile and more fun. The use of computers in the modern world and the invention of video games gives the more dynamic citizens of the world a wonderful experience like never before. In China, most people, especially the parents of teenagers, still hold prejudice with it, though the video game has become a thriving industry, like the e-sport. Teenagers who love to play video games get regarded as sick and addict, even worse, to “heal” their sick or addiction, part of their parents use some extreme ways without any hesitation. Therefore, I want to discuss the history of the video game in China society and some phenomenon in present China society. The Chinese culture is generally a conservative one that deems Westernization as a threat to their way of life. Therefore, as compared to contemporary society, China is more reserved, and the video games are not entirely welcome in various quarters across China.
Besides that, it is critical to understand the evolution of and development of video games. In the birth of the 80s, Nintendo produced the Family computer, the FC, as the platform of TV video games. It is a tremendous milestone in the history of video games in the modern world, especially the liberal Western countries. Though the innovation was welcome in the rest of the world, in China, it is a different case altogether. The perception of video games is entirely different than it’s in America or Japan.
Despite the opposition, in the early 90s, the first generation of video games in China is on FC too. However, this FC is entirely different from the original device produced by Nintendo; it is an imitative device by some Chinese manufacturers. Since then, video games have come into Chinese life, and the Chinese industry of video games has started. There are several classic early games on FC in China. Super Mario, Battle city and Contra. These games get known by almost every people who were born between the 80s to the 90s. At that time, the video game was all the rage as a newly sprouted thing in Chinese society.
Furthermore, in the early 80s, after the appearance of FC, in China, there is another video game device that comes into people’s lives, which is the Arcade game. The difference between FC and Arcade is that children could go to independent stores to play Arcade. However, the Arcade game was much more popular than FC game in China, though the FC appeared earlier. Over the next decade, in the early 90s, the entertainment way was limited to Chinese teenagers. The Arcade game became the favorite of teenagers at that time, and the number of Arcade game players and game halls skyrocketed. In some developed cities, especially around schools, Arcade game halls were seen everywhere. Since then, the golden era of Chinese video games has initiated. There are lots of Arcade games became nationwide favorite classics to nowadays.
In the mid-1990s, Arcade game machines entered the heyday of development. At that time, the arcade baseboard CPS1 launched by CAPCOM improved the quality of games to a higher level, and a variety of more cool games kept emerging, such as the “top four of CAPCOM”(Knights of the Round Table, Captain Commando, Cadillac’s and Dinosaurs, Warring Empires), which strongly stimulated the players’ senses.
However, the prosperity of arcade games and FC games did not last too long, and by the late 1990s, it was in rapid decline. In the beginning, Chinese parents did not realize that this new creature will affect teenagers. As I said, the arcade game halls were mostly around schools, which induces that teenagers get attracted by video games. Consequently, some teenagers could not have good performance in schools, even worse, some teenagers may be addicted to video games. Hence, in 2000, the Chinese government began the strict management that aims at video games device and market in China. In this policy, it stipulates that “the production and sales of domestic video game equipment and their accessories shall cease as of the date of this guideline. No enterprise or individual may engage in the production or sales of domestic electronic game equipment and its accessories. At that time, the game console was regarded by the regulators and the public as the role that affected the healthy growth of teenagers to some extent. Since that time, the demand of Chinese players for console games entered 15 years of “repression.” Until 2014, the Chinese government finally abolish the policy of banning any console games in China.
After entering the new millennium, the industry of PC has developed rapidly. The popularization of the computer makes the online games begin to prevail. Gradually, those arcade game hall replaced by internet bar, which is a place for people to use computers and play computer games in China. Since then, the computer games have replaced Arcade games and become to the dominant sport.
Furthermore, in the late 1990s, Chinese players were already accessing computers. The government restricted any console games and devices, which provides computer games with a chance to develop and attract more players. From the 1980s to 2000s, China was an agricultural country under the planned economy entered the post-scarcity era directly. Due to the official policy, most Chinese players jumped to PC platform from FC or Arcade. There are some representative classic computer games entered China as pioneers. For example, Command & Conquer Red Alert, Age of Empires, Counter Strike 1.6, Trilogy of Blizzard. That aside, in the early 2000s, computer games gained flourishing development. The industry of PC games absorbed vast players from other console games.
Amidst the headway in accepting video games in China, strong opposition arose from various antagonists whose focus was to kill the dream. The key players in the industry thought that it is the time for PC games to develop, but most of the Chinese families against it. Chinese parents and the older generation believe that games are harmful to teenagers and it makes them addicted to it. The conventional narrative in China is that instead of wasting time, the teenagers should focus on studying and spend their time on constructive activities and not video games. The notion that video games is just a sign of laxity and wasting time that ought to get invested in building the future. At the same time, the government restricts that all of the internet bars cannot receive any customers who are under 18. The perception is due to the generation gap and failure of the old guard who is conservative to accept inevitable change in the constantly changing world.
Furthermore, there is a proponent who asserted that he could cure the addiction to the internet. He is Yongxin Yang, and people usually call him Professor Yang. He established a center which gets used for saving or rescuing those teenagers who are addicted to games. However, his medical treatments are extreme, horrible and inhuman. He uses electric shock periodically to make his “patient” feel pain. As time passes, teenagers will have conditional reflex, which is they no longer play games or use internet since they are afraid that parents send them into the medical center and receive treatment again. “Zhan Wang Mo” is believed documentary literature published in 2008. In this book, the author, Mingyin Liu, thinks that Internet addiction is emerged in recent years, a new kind of disease, and is developing rapidly. The computer game is like an invisible virus engulfed the human mind and consciousness, makes the person’s character cruel, and become like a monster in the game. The author in a first-person way to praise that cover up and shelter such criminal offenses, as well as other illegal detention, illegal use of electric shock treatment and other abusive behaviors.
However, the industry of Chinese e-sport has developed, though there were many people against computer games and prevent teenagers from playing it. In WCG, World Cyber Game, Chinese players win several champions in different games. In 2001 WCG, Chinese players MTY and Deep win the winner of 2v2 on StarCraft. In 2005, Chinese player Sky won the champion on Warcraft. In the same year, the Chinese team wins the champion on Counter-Strike. And last year, Chinese LOL team, Invictus Gaming, wins the Season 9 champion on League of Legends.
Looking back at history, although many people oppose the industry of computer game and e-sport to develop, it has already got established. Nowadays, in China, there are a series of regular competition on different games. When the first generation of video games appeared in China, it has already attracted vast players, and it indeed will become a thriving industry. No matter those previous games or modern games.
In conclusion, as one of the younger generation, I think that the definition of Internet addiction is ridiculous and barbaric. Yang’s medical treatment is horrible and without medical evidence. This medical center implements that a procedure comprising electric shocks, bondage, and restrictions on personal freedom. The actions are inhumane and against the statutes of international law. Since the word, “Internet Addiction,” appears in Chinese society, most Chinese parents think that any kinds of game are harmful with no benefits for teenagers. Based on Chinese history, the older Chinese generation feels that people should work on something with some return. Video games are an essential part of the modern world, and China should loosen the stifling restrictions and be a liberal and progressive society just like the West.