Chinese Online Game Lets Players Fight Japan over Disputed Islands

October 3, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. disputed [dih-SPYOOT-ed] (adj.) – strongly argued about 
Example Claire filed a case against her neighbor over the disputed property.

2. pit against [pit uh-GENSTuh-GEYNST] (v. phrase) – to make someone or something fight against another person or thing
Example The commanding officer pitted Nathan against Matt in the training.

3. sovereignty [SOV-rin-tee, SUHV-] (n.) – power and authority over a country or territory
Example The US has sovereignty over its territories such as Guam and Puerto Rico.

4. misinterpret [mis-in-TUR-prit] (v.) – to understand something incorrectly
Example Peter lost the game because he misinterpreted the directions. 

5. nationalistic [nash-uh-nl-IS-tik] (adj.) – having strong feelings of love and pride for one's own country
Example The nationalistic youth joined the army to defend his country against enemies.


Read the text below.
A Chinese online game, in which players have to defend a disputed island group against Japan, is gaining attention throughout China.

The game, called "Glorious Mission Online," was co-developed by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Giant Interactive Group, Inc. It was originally a training and recruitment tool until it has been released to the public.

Players control the Chinese military forces to fight against American soldiers. In one level, however, the game asks the players to defend the Diaoyu Islands. The Chinese soldiers are then pitted against Japanese forces.

Both China and Japan claim sovereignty over the island chain, known in Japan as Senkaku Islands and is located in the East China Sea.

The level, officially dubbed "Defending the Diaoyu Islands," has fuelled public interest, especially among the youth. Young Chinese players describe the particular game mission as “fun” and “cool.”

However, according to Gu Kai, one of the developers of Glorious Mission Online, people have slightly misinterpreted the game. He says the company did not originally specify the location of the level as the disputed territory. The label was only given later, due to people's growing interest on the issue.

Gu says the game aims to get nationalistic youths interested in joining the army. He adds that the game enables young people to learn about the PLA and its military operations.

In a press release on the game, Giant Interactive Group calls on the youth to defend the country and strengthen the "Chinese Dream."

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the effects of having a game like “Glorious Mission Online”? (On the players, on people depicted as “opponents” in the game, etc.)
·         Do you think such game can be an effective tool in encouraging young people to join the army? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Should games have a political message? Why do you say so?
·         Do you think people who play violent games become violent in real life too? Why is that so?


October 3, 2013