A Kotakuite emailed us yesterday regarding problems he (an expat living in Beijing) is having connecting to non-Chinese World of Warcraft servers (and the US version of the WoW site) as of 14 December. I nosed around to see if there was any news, and only found some pretty pissed off expats at both official WoW forums and a board for Shanghai expats. I didn't manage to dig up anything pertinent in Chinese, so I'm curious what's going on here.
I admit my first reaction was "... Aren't there plenty of Chinese servers to play on?" and thought that perhaps this would provide a good testing ground for the theory that MMOs help language acquisition (joking, joking). In all honesty, this just seems like one of those things that happens when you live on the Mainland - the "great firewall of China" is nothing to sneeze at and it's amazing what gets blocked, what doesn't, what kind of gets blocked/kind of doesn't, etc. Welcome to the enigma that is modern China? I'm also not seeing the benefit of the government from blocking all access to US servers - the first thing that popped into my mind was RMT/gold farming, but that doesn't have much to do with the expat population that can't hack an MMORPG in Chinese. Any Kotakuites living in China who have experienced this (or not), feel free to drop us an email.