Technology Advances in China – With the Exception of Arcade Games
China is well known for making advances in technology as well as being the pioneer of dirt cheap manufacturing. While news stories often cover the dire living conditions of factory workers and China’s newest innovations, they often fail to take the average person into account. While Metal Gear Solid and Duke Nuke ‘Em may appeal to the sensibilities of Americans, many Chinese much prefer the Ms Pacman arcade machine.
The Chinese gaming movement has been going on for years, hidden in the shadow of Japan. Diplomatic ties between Japan and China have much improved lately, but there are still tensions. When it comes to gaming, some Chinese have been able to put aside their personal feelings and enjoy what Japan has to offer. Others would rather only play titles that were developed in other countries.
A great deal of the most popular and cutting edge video game titles emerge from Japan. As China only recently transitioned from a complete communist state to a country that still gives its citizens limited freedoms, game development has never been a priority. Because of this, Chinese game developers have mainly stuck to computer games and mobile titles.
While Chinese video games are by no means inferior to those made in any other country, they do lack in international attention. Part of the draw of modern Japanese video games is that everyone is talking about them. The same goes for many European and North American titles. By contrast, Chinese arcade and video games rarely ever go beyond the country’s borders. Their titles are hardly ever ported, and language options tend to be in Mandarin and Cantonese only.
The Chinese government’s stance on foreign media and entertainment influences has not helped the gaming market either. Xbox had numerous issues with the Chinese government due to the fact that Xbox Live connects directly to the Internet. Chinese release dates for the most popular gaming consoles have either been heavily delayed or simply never come. The Ms Pacman arcade machine continues to garner much interest from gamers in China not only because of accessibility issues, but because it also represents fewer controversies that have come with other technologies.