CHINA / MILITARY
Chinese political advisor urges domestic development of military-themed video games
Published: Mar 08, 2021 12:47 AM
The guided-missile frigate Baise (Hull 585) attached to a frigate flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steams in waters of the South China Sea during a combat-readiness maritime patrol mission on February 16, 2021.Photo:China Military

The guided-missile frigate Baise (Hull 585) attached to a frigate flotilla with the navy under the PLA Southern Theater Command steams in waters of the South China Sea during a combat-readiness maritime patrol mission on February 16, 2021. Photo:China Military


China should develop military-themed video games that reflect features of the Chinese military and use them for supplementary training for the People's Liberation Army (PLA), according to a national political advisor during the current two sessions.

Li Xiang, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body and professor at the National Defense University of the PLA in Beijing, presented the recommendation to this year's CPPCC. His research over the past year shows that many young Chinese officers and soldiers are playing war computer games made mainly by foreign companies that could convey wrong values, the PLA Daily reported on Thursday.

Military-themed video games have become popular among young officers and soldiers, and are replacing traditional entertainment activities like cards and chess in military camps, Li said.

Li believes that video games are a vehicle of military culture that spreads ideologies, shapes images, entertains players and can also function as training tool.

Many military-themed video games developed by Western countries proclaim Western ideologies of so-called "democracy" and "liberty," and their content, values and military concepts are vastly different from those of the PLA and may mislead the Chinese troops, Li warned.

This means that military-themed video games are a frontier of ideology struggle that China should stand for, Li said, urging the country to boost funding and policy support to the domestic video game industry and develop high quality games that reflect the spirit of the Chinese military, including integrating the Chinese history, introducing the current situation on war preparedness and displaying the good image of the Chinese military.

Foreign armies have long been using video games to help train their troops and this resource should also be considered in China, Li said. "We need to push forward to develop independent and regulated military-themed video games and explore how to use them scientifically in assisting military training, while also avoiding their harmful effects."

Domestically developed military-themed video games will help to promote national defense education, not only among officers and soldiers, but also to the rest of the people, as they spark interest of players on military affairs, a Beijing-based video game industry insider, who is also moderator of a video game forum, told the Global Times.

By playing video games, players could potentially learn about military history, concepts and values, as well as basic knowledge on weapons and equipment, tactics and strategies, the analyst said, noting that in competitive multiplayer games, participants can hone their tactical awareness and teamwork intentionally or unconsciously, which could be applied in real life scenarios.


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