At a meeting with hundreds of writers, directors and other literature and art practitioners held last week, Xi Jinping warned that creation of literature and art works should not be enslaved by the market.
Xi’ speech raised great attention of Zhao Benshan, one of the greatest comedy stars in China, called as “King of Short Sketches”, who was, however, not invited to the meeting. Zhao Benshan called his disciples together, to carefully study Xi’s speech, soon enough after Xi’s talk.
Zhao’s action is universally deemed as an expression of loyalty to China’s new administration led by Xi. His motive of doing this is possibly because of his past complicated relationship with Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun, high-ranking officials purged in 2012.
Also, Zhao and his disciples’ performances, especially Couple Dance Opera, a local performance item of Northeast China, are usually deemed as being vulgar and sometimes erotic, Zhao’s statement is some kind of guarantee in this sense.
However, another important species in the so-called “literature and art field” (usually equivalent to entertainment) – online game seems to be totally unconcerned. Not a person in the industry has talked publicly about Xi’s speech, and not a related article has appeared on any mainstream media sites.
But hidden troubles exist though people put their heads in the sand. Compared to other entertainment forms like films, books and TV shows in China, online games are relatively minor in most people’s lives and in public opinions, but it has long been a severely afflicted area of vulgarity, eroticism and venality, much more serious than literature or art.
The Chinese government recognized harms of games long time ago, and thus banned console games, but for unclear reasons, it leaves the much more harmful online games alone.
The mercenary online games in China have addicted millions of teenagers, who often thus neglect studies and some even committed suicide for lack of money or being afraid to face the reality.
Such phenomena are largely due to mean design of the games, which make full use of human weaknesses and take all possible measures to ensure addiction and payment. Zhengtu (征途) is typical of them, condemned by not only parents, but many game designers.
Moreover, another main cause of indulgence in games is spiritual emptiness, which is severe in the Chinese society; reasons for this may include the empty Chinese-style education and moral decline of the society, as well as poor quality of other forms of literature, art and entertainment, which are usually unattractive to young people.
Just take a look at the Chinese book market or the domestic films and you’d know what I mean. This situation is sadly more or less attributable to inflexible governmental regulations.