A Beijing lawyer is attempting to sue two overseas video game companies for insulting the dignity of all Chinese.
Liu Lin, a lawyer from Beijing Shuangli Law Firm, filed the suit at Daxing District People's Court of Beijing Tuesday. He is requesting 10,000 yuan ($1,585.36) in compensation from the two video game companies, which are based in Japan and Denmark.
Liu says the two companies have violated the Chinese people's rights. The court has not yet decided if it will hear the case.
Liu acknowledges that many foreigners come to know China from films, TV and other means, including video games. He says the game that has offended him so much presents a China in ruins and negatively portrays its people.
"I can't bear it, especially the vicious vilifying of our people. They must be taught a lesson," he told the Global Times Tuesday.
The game, named Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, was developed by IO Interactive in Denmark and purchased by Square Enix, a Japanese video gaming company.
IGN, an American entertainment website that rates video games, films and music, gave the game a rating of 7.0. Sales have reached 950,000 copies worldwide.
The game is set in Shanghai, and depicts the city as a slum with shabby and sordid streets. Chinese people in the game are characterized as cowardly and timid, and a player's objective is to kill them.
"As a Chinese lawyer, I have the obligation to protect the rights of all Chinese," Liu noted.
Daxing court has accepted Liu's papers Tuesday, but couldn't be reached for comment.
"My worry is not whether I can win the case but whether the court will put it on record," Liu Lin told the Global Times.
According to the Beijing-based newspaper Legal Mirror, video game machines and video games are forbidden to enter the Chinese mainland, but many can be found on the black market.
"Video games have become an important channel to export cultural values, and players are the audience. This game distorts the facts and may mislead its players," Wang Jiahang, associate professor with the College of Journalism and Communications at China University of Political Science and Law, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
However, some law professionals are not optimistic about the case.
"Civil law is used to protect an individual's rights, so 'Chinese People' don't fall under the law. In my opinion, it's difficult to succeed in a lawsuit from the angle of personal rights," Wang Xiaoming, an associate professor of economic law at Beijing Union University, told the Global Times Tuesday.