Well, those three things don’t really scream video games, but in China they are an important part of China’s video gaming history. Chairman Mao and his vision of China a red China has influenced a genre of video games in China called the “red game”.
Within China this special genre of game often called the “patriotic” or red game. The point of these red games is to entertain, educate, and in more ways than one indoctrinate the players about the virtues of China and the communist party.
Characteristically a red game usually takes place from the World War II era to the Korean War. There are very few that are based on the modern era. The player usually takes control of a cadre in the Chinese army; said character would never be seen bleeding or dying. In fact, in red games the character can never lose, especially to American and Japanese forces. The Japanese are often times painted as villains in red games, especially ones that deal with World War II.
According to Yu Yi, an analyst with Analysys International, red games are a historical part of video gaming in China, but they only makes up a small per cent of Chinese games in general.
“The Chinese gaming market is made up of three major categories: the martial arts fantasy, historical fantasy and red games,” said Yu. “However with more and more multiplayer online games now, red games are seeing a decline in popularity.”
Yu says that the average age of red game players tend to be older than conventional gamers and are more conservative.
“These types of games, just like historical dramas about the revolution, give these older players a sense of nostalgia,” said Yu. “It allows them to think back into a simpler time when everyone had a purpose good or bad.”
While red games are popular with a small demographic of gamers, the truth is that red games now are mostly kitschy and meant as parody. Companies making iPhone and Android apps use cute versions of the red guard as characters to make their games more China-centric. Yu says that these types of games often lack substance and are looking to just draw the eye.
One of the most high profile red games announced in recent memory is the Glorious Mission, China’s own home made FPS. In the Glorious Mission, the players will play as the Chinese army and conduct modern missions, kind of like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare .