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China Boasts of Using Video Game Addiction for Communist Indoctrination

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Chinese youth have become “addicted” to learning about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) history through smartphone app games promoted by the Chinese government, the state mouthpiece Global Times claimed Thursday.

A 22-year-old Chinese college graduate named Zhou Ying told the Global Times this week she “never thought she would one day become addicted” to learning about the CCP’s history through a government-sponsored mobile app but has “enjoyed the process of exploration” the app’s video game employs to engage its users.

The game challenges players to “find five objects hidden in a painting of Shanghai in the 1910s shown in the game, including a portrait of Karl Marx and a poster of the May Fourth Movement in 1919. Each time Zhou successfully finds an item, the game shows her a brief introduction of the person or event related to the item,” according to the Global Times.

The May Fourth Movement of 1919 began in China’s national capital, Beijing, as a student-led protest against certain clauses of the Treaty of Versailles — which established peace terms ending World War I — that handed over China’s Shandong province to Japan. Roughly 3,000 student protesters from around Beijing gathered in the city’s Tiananmen Square to denounce the Chinese government’s decision to concede territory to China’s longtime rival Japan. The demonstration eventually turned violent, with some students attacking a Chinese government official and setting fire to the home of another official. The protests in Beijing sparked nationwide unrest across China and two of the leaders of the 1919 demonstration in Tiananmen Square — Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao — went on to help found the CCP in July 1921.

China will mark the 100th anniversary of the CCP’s founding on July 1, 2021. Chinese government officials have encouraged the nation’s younger generations to engage with the anniversary by learning more about the Communist Party’s history through interactive events and activities, such as the video game the Global Times promoted Thursday.

“Literally named ‘a [revolutionary] spark in Shanghai,’ the game that Zhou plays has attracted many young people since its beta version was released in May. It is one of the dozens of recent mobile games that reportedly center on introducing the history and development of the [Chinese Communist] Party and targeting Generation Z,” according to the newspaper.

“The emergence of the CPC history-learning mobile games, as well as some other forms including talk shows and board games, cater to the Chinese youths’ enthusiasm of learning about the history of the [Chinese Communist] Party, which has enjoyed a major milestone this year — the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC,” the Global Times noted.

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