China’s gaming sub-cultures

At a recent tweet up in Shanghai, I met up with PhD candidate Marcella Szablewicz who is currently doing research into the gaming communities in China. Based out of Shanghai, she is doing qualitative research with gamers from different communities and has gathered some interesting insights.

For one thing, gamers in China are very much defined by the type of game they play and there is much hidden snobbery.

The intellectual snobs prefer Warcraft — a traditional role playing game (RPG) with few graphics — while others prefer World of Warcraft the wildly popular and graphic game.

Some domestic games are chosen out of pure nationalistic feel, while others are preferred for their easy and relaxed feel. Others are considered electronic (mind) athletics, but each game type has a label.

Marcella also does research beyond the gaming industry and into youth culture and the Internet.

There is a whole new discourse now when people are starting to talk about the fear of loosing their kids to the Internet. Internet addiction is a common worrying trend in China, Marcella said.

Find Marcella Szablewixz on LinkedIn