Chinese Gamers Hunt Corrupt Officials Online
A Chinese game, "Incorruptible Fighter," that lets users hunt down and punish corrupt government officials, has been taken offline for a system upgrade needed to keep pace with demand from users.
"The enthusiastic response from Internet users to the trial of 'Incorruptible Fighter' overwhelmed the server's limits," read a notice posted on the game's Web site (in Chinese), adding that the game's hardware and software are now being upgraded to cope with demand.
Developed by the Ningbo city government, in China's eastern Zhejiang Province, "Incorruptible Fighter" is part of an official effort aimed at rooting out corruption, a widespread problem in the country's government and business circles.
Unveiled on July 29, the game is set against two-dimensional computer images of Ningbo and is aimed at children.
"Players fight their way through one level after another, overcoming all obstacles to eliminate corrupt officials and enter a spring-like paradise filled with birdsong and the scent of flowers, a peaceful world where people live in love, harmony and national prosperity," the Ningbo city government said in a statement.
This isn't the first time that computer games have been used to send a political message to the country's youth.
In 2004, Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd. released a game called "Learn from Lei Feng," (in Chinese) where users do good deeds and collect points. The game is named after Lei Feng, a Chinese soldier became a symbol of altruism in government propaganda after his death in an accident in 1962.