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胡泳  

胡泳,北京大学新闻与传播学院副教授,博士。价值中国网(www.chinavalue.net)总编辑。中国传播学会常务理事。著有《网络为王》、《众声喧哗》等,译有《数字化生存》、《未来是湿的》等。

北京大学新闻与传播学院副教授,博士。价值中国网(www.chinavalue.net)总编辑。中国传播学会常务理事。著有《网络为王》、《众声喧哗》等,译有《数字化生存》、《未来是湿的》等。

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game depicting fight with demolition becomes hit  

2010-09-19 22:15:28|  分类: expect |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/16/china-game-family-fight-demolition

China embraces web game depicting family's fight with demolition crew

Online game inspired by real-life cases of violence between residents and wrecking gang becomes huge hit

A 'nail house' in Chongqing, China. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

It may lack the sophistication and addictive power of Farmville or World of Warcraft. But an online game in which a family fights off a demolition crew with slippers and bullets has hooked Chinese internet users.

The Big Battle: Nail House Versus Demolition Team has triumphed not through playability, but by tapping into widespread anger about forced relocations. "Nail houses" are the last homes left standing in areas slated for clearance, so called because they stick out when all around them have been demolished.

Owners resist because they do not want to move at all or think that compensation is unfairly low, but wrecking crews often retaliate with tactics ranging from cutting off power and water to physical violence.

Cases such as that of Tang Fuzhen, who died last year after setting fire to herself as an eviction crew beat her family, have caused outrage. Amid a growing clamour, the government issued draft rules designed to curb the worst abuses.

But the issue remains potent. Only last week, three people in Fuzhou, eastern China, were rushed to hospital in serious condition after setting fire to themselves in protest at what they said was inadequate compensation.

"This is our society. It is tiring. It is not easy to live. I don't know how many people are like the Ding family in real life. So sad," wrote one player.

Another added: "The game is just for entertainment, but the reality is cruel."

In the game, Mrs Ding [Nail], still in her curlers, hurls slippers as the men approach, while Grandpa Ding prefers to fire his shotgun. It might sound improbable, but one real life farmer in Hubei province fought off workers with a homemade cannon.

Popular online gaming site 17173 said the nail-house game ranked third among last month's top games and had been played more than 1.8m times since its launch two weeks ago. The real figure is likely to be higher since that is based on a tally of popular sites and the game has quickly been replicated across the web.

Professor Hu Yong, of Peking University's School of Journalism and Communications, said forced demolitions had long been a hot topic, with dramatic and horrifying stories circulating in the media or online.

He added: "Forced demolition is about the conflict between governmental power and the individual's ownership of property. Although China has a property ownership law, it has never been implemented well. People care a lot when governmental power violates an individual's ownership because it simply can happen to anyone.

"As social conflicts increase, governmental power is getting stronger and stronger as well and a lot of people are resentful about it. That's why such a little game can resonate among so many people."

Players pointed out that it appeared to be impossible to win the game, because so many thugs swarm the house in the final level – a realistic touch, they thought.

"I have already got 70,000 [points] in the game but my house was still demolished. It tells us that the demolition team is not defeatable ... The only thing we can do is to wait and die," concluded one.

Additional reporting by Lin Yi

 

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