Monday, 13 January 2014
COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA DEVELOP ONLINE GAME TO FIGHT CORRUPTION
The website of People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, has released “Beat Corruption,” an online game that allows players to fight graft by zapping greedy officials. Players win points by using their mouse to blast bad guys with a Taser and lose points by targeting virtuous police officers.
The launch of the game this week comes as Xi Jinping, who was elevated to party leader in November 2012, has made controlling official extravagance and corruption one of his top priorities. In 2013, the party’s antigraft commission disciplined more than 180,000 officials, an increase of 13 percent over the previous year, the state-run news agency Xinhua reportedon Friday.
Officials in Beijing and in a handful of provinces said overwhelmingly that over the past year they no longer received the sorts of gifts that they had enjoyed previously, according to a survey released on Thursday by Beijing News, a commercial newspaper in the Chinese capital. Among the officials surveyed, 79 percent said that last year they received none of the gift cards, cigarettes or alcohol that they had been given in the past, and 96 percent said they thought that the latest austerity drive was truly strict.
A columnist for the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper wrote on Friday that Chinese citizens widely detest official corruption, and an online game is hardly needed to reinforce that belief.
“When it comes to fighting corruption, what’s lacking is not talk but application, not slogans but improving the system,” wrote the columnist, Yu Ge. “Defeating 10,000 corrupt officials in a game isn’t as good as taking out one in reality.”
Mr. Yu added that the game might also send an unintended message about fighting corruption in real life. As the game proceeds, the corrupt officials multiply. The more you blast, the more appear.
“It becomes harder to beat corruption,” he wrote. “How can this be good?”