StarCraft 2 in China: “We Gamers Really Suffer”

China may be [insert phrase about economic development here], but in terms of video gaming, it is very much still a third world country, from an official standpoint. A mix of protectionist import regulations and overzealous self-censorship on the part of some gaming companies has given the outside world the impression that Chinese gamers exist in some kind of bizarre gaming hell.

In fact, as anyone who has set foot on the mainland knows, anything available outside China is available here too, and thanks to intellectual property theft, it’s probably cheaper, too. Consoles may be technically illegal, but in actuality, they’re everywhere. The summer’s hottest release, StarCraft 2, was available in China the same day it was available everywhere else, even if it wasn’t officially released here. (In fact, it was even possible to legally purchase the game and download a digital copy from China, which is how I got mine).

Of course, the lack of official support certainly causes frustration. And the perceptions of Chinese gamers outside of China has led to strong prejudices, especially in Taiwan, whose servers are often populated with large numbers of Mainland players looking to get in on the action. One of our commenters was kind enough to point me in the direction of a few BBS posts that discuss these issues; I have translated selected comments below.

Prejudice against Mainland gamers

[A word of explanation: since games are online, Mainland Chinese gamers are usually identified by Taiwanese gamers because they use simplified rather than traditional characters to communicate.]

Original post: “I was cursed at by Taiwanese players for no reason at all! How many others have had similar experiences? For example, being called ‘Mainland dog’ or ‘communist [agongzi] ((阿共仔, which is apparently rude slang for “communist” in this context.))’? And I used to really like Taiwanese people…”

“This happens quite often. Just ignore them, there’s no point in arguing with the brain-damaged. I’ve heard things like ‘Mainland dog’ hundreds of times.”

“There are extremists everywhere; just ignore them, there’s no need to implicate everyone from the same place as the extremist.”

“We go to Taiwanese servers to play games, not to look for people to curse us. And when we get into the games, we don’t talk, because it’s not easy to communicate as you [Taiwanese people] don’t recognize some simplified character forms. PS: I have also been cursed before [on Taiwanese servers].”

“If you’re playing WoW and you go to Taiwanese servers you will definitely be cursed at.”

“As soon as someone Taiwanese spots a simplified character, they just yell ‘Mainland dog’ over and over.”

“Yes, but in someone else’s territory you must swallow your anger, it’s all because we don’t have our own”

“Just use the Sougou pinyin input method to type in traditional characters.”

Many posters also pointed out that most Taiwanese are not so prejudiced, and urged the original poster not to lump them all together with the bad eggs.

Frustration over censorship and slow official releases

Original post: “Starcraft 2 is out. When will Netease release the official version? They won’t make us wait too long, right? Anyway, already requires a monthly fee, so how could they see such a big cake and not feel hungry? [i.e., doesn’t Netease want to make money from people playing Starcraft?]”

“Don’t bother waiting. Even if you manage to wait for it, it will just be river-crabbed [censored].”

“Netease: Don’t ask us, we want to put it up online tonight, please go ask the relevant government departments!”

“This user’s post has already been deleted.”

“In the year 3000-something.”

“[Riffing on the official patch that removed all skeletons from WoW] Look at the zerg and their zombies, our goal is to keep there from being any bones at all in the game, so just imagine the Queen of Blades in the background with two meaty wings [in the game, the Queen of Blades has bones for wings].”

“[The official Chinese version] will be out when Starcraft 3 is released.”

“Don’t even hold out hope, if you want to buy it just buy [an unofficial version].”

“In addition to waiting, we will also have to wait some more. We gamers really suffer.”

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0 thoughts on “StarCraft 2 in China: “We Gamers Really Suffer””

  1. Discrimination against players of another country is nothing new in the lawless online gaming world, and in ‘internet humour’ in general. In Europe its commonly Russia that gets it, ‘kick him he’s Russian’, ‘Russ n00b’, etc.. This mainly because of ‘lag’ issues in connectivity. If little things like this cause such animosity I’m not surprised at all the China-Taiwan 60 year rift results in some.


  2. it’s the TAIWANese server…they have the rights to hate whoever they wish to.
    the comment about the Chinese liking Taiwanese is a bunch of bollocks, the chinese wants to bomb tw and take over the country… how would u feel if another country wants to kill and own you?


  3. It’s not prejudice against Chinese players on Taiwan servers. It’s BACKLASH against Chinese players because of China’s imperialistic ambition to take over Taiwan. How would you feel if Japan wants to take over China? Do you think Chinese players would be so friendly toward Japanese players?

    You call Taiwanese players racists. Does this mean that you recognize the people on Taiwan a difference race? Because Chinese people claim that Taiwanese people are of the same blood as them.


  4. You guys don’t have any clues about how they ( Chinese Players ) are getting along with us , you guys even haven’t ever played or talked with Chinese players , they ( Chinese )are always used to be rude and ignore to us, it doesn’t matter the way they are trying to occupy or dominate our land , it’s not the main reason , we don’t like to play with them because they are rude ‘ willful and discourteous


  5. Because stereotyping >obviously< helps your cause.

    At least some of the Chinese players recognize that not all of "you" Taiwanese players are dicks. I'm sure you can do the same?


  6. The anti-mainland prejudices in Taiwan is understated. Hopefully someone will write something about this one day. Western media definitely does not want to touch these points and the Chinese media always want to tell its people that Taiwanese folks love China.

    I am quite happy that mainlanders can finally see the truth here: you have tons of Taiwanese people hating you not for anything which these mainlander gamers have done, but simply out of pure prejudice and bigotry. The good news is like the Americans who blame “illegals” for everything, the biggest Taiwan bigots are also your average underachievers and losers.

    From a gaming point of view, Taiwanese gamers don’t OWN the blizzard servers. They are owned by blizzard. Anyone who paid blizzard for the game should be able to use blizzard’s online services.

    Finally SC2 is awesome. Multiplayer is where the real fun is at though.


  7. @saprydion

    “It’s BACKLASH against Chinese players because of China’s imperialistic ambition to take over Taiwan. How would you feel if Japan wants to take over China?”

    The irony here is that Japan is actually the one country which actually annexed Taiwan. Judging from how much the average Taiwanese love Japan, I would say that Taiwanese don’t mind being taken over by another country at all. In fact, there are political movements in Taiwan where people want to petition Taiwan to be part of Japan.

    The real reason for many Taiwan folks’ animosity towards the mainland is because they and their families have lived under anti-mainland propaganda for decades. For the petty and ignorant, bashing others also make them feel a little about themselves.


  8. Custer you play Starcraft??!?

    No wonder you deleted my post about the Pugster/lolz/Anti-CNN types being a bunch of zerg controlled by the CCP Overmind. I was hoping that reference would slip under your radar heh heh 😉

    By the way, in Multiplayer mode you can play cooperative versus the AI. That way you can play with human players but not worry about getting destroyed. I think it’s more popular than human vs human right now actually.


  9. Mainlanders, Taiwanese and Singaporeans share Chinese-language servers on many games. Sure there’s some political friction, but it’s not worth the rage some commenters here are showing. Most of the time, people get along just fine.


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