Online anti-corruption game crashes servers in China

Is this one of those “only in China moments”? I think it qualifies.

A Chinese online game aimed at curbing official corruption has been shut down just weeks after its launch after proving so popular that the number of users overloaded its server, state media reported on Tuesday. The government-sponsored “Incorruptible Warrior” taught anti-graft measures by requiring players to kill corrupt officials while avoiding attacks by their henchmen and bikini-clad mistresses.

…. Corruption has become rampant in China since market reforms were introduced in the 1980s, and the ruling Communist Party has warned the problem is so great it could threaten its hold on power if it is not curbed. The government has been trying various means to crack down on graft, from mass campaigns to handing down punishments as harsh as execution for top officials felled by corruption charges.

But the report said while “Incorruptible Warrior” was meant as a new way to target graft, it had been criticised by some users who suggested it was improper to encourage players to kill corrupt officials in violent ways.

Don’t worry, it isn’t shut down permanently – just long enough to beef up the servers. So you’ll still have a chance to kill a corrupt official, if only virtually.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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