Online game lets Chinese youths fight Japan over disputed islands “Glorious Mission Online”.
Is a Chinese nationalistic online game co-developed by the People’s Liberation Army that allows players to join the fight against China’s enemies.
Originally developed by the army as a training and recruitment tool, the game mostly focused on Chinese soldiers fighting American forces. But it gained nationwide popularity because of one level, where Chinese troops take on the Japanese over the disputed Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan.
Both China and Japan claim the remote islands, which are near rich fishing grounds, possible mineral deposits, and important shipping lanes.
Though Japan currently administers the islands, China mounted a campaign last year to try and change the situation.
The game was so successful in stroking nationalistic feelings in China at a time of growing tension between the two nations over the islands that the name of the island mission level was changed to “Defending the Diaoyu Islands.”
But game developer Gu Kai says it was not the original intention of the game to focus on the territorial issue, though it has become its most well-known feature.
Gu, whose Giant Interactive Group, Inc. co-developed the game with the Nanjing Military Area Command, says the game has been somewhat misinterpreted. The company never specified the game’s island area as the Diaoyu Islands originally, and it was only later labelled as such due to widespread public interest over the topic.
China is not the first country to use a military-themed online game in an effort to train or recruit soldiers. The United States military has a similar game called “America’s Army” where players go on training missions and fight each other.
Gu says “Glorious Mission” targets nationalistic young people who like online games.
Giant Interactive Group issued a press release urging Chinese youths to join the military, defend their nation, and strengthen the “Chinese Dream.” Image/CNN