Online games and society in China: an exploration of key issues and challenges

Authored by: Matthew M. Chew

Routledge Handbook of New Media in Asia

Print publication date:  November  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138026001
eBook ISBN: 9781315774626
Adobe ISBN: 9781317684985


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It is well known that the market size, revenue, profits, and production volume of the Chinese online games industry is impressive, rivalling global market leaders including the US (Chung and Fung 2013). The small but growing field of Chinese game studies has already provided much information on the business and industrial aspects of Chinese online games (Chen 2009; Chung and Yuan 2009; Kshetri 2009; MacInnes and Hu 2007). However studies into the social aspects of Chinese online games still remains a relatively underdeveloped subfield. What are the social impacts of online games in China? What are the socio-political contexts of online gaming in China? How do online gaming culture and gamer communities interact with Chinese society? Do online games generate implications for class, race and gender in China? Broad questions such as these surely cannot be comprehensively answered here. Answers for these questions require us to consolidate the large number of empirical studies that examine various socially relevant aspects and problematics of online gaming in China. This chapter identifies and briefly explores some of these issues raised in the various literature. It is meant to serve as an invitation to further research and inquiry.

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