Normally, playing video games at work in China is frowned upon. Unless you’re working in the games industry or covering the games industry, gaming at work can lead to trouble. However, for one branch of China’s military, video games are just a part of their daily training regimen.
Much like the armed forces in the US, the Chinese military is broken down into many different portions. The Chinese military consists of the navy, air force, and army, which are all part of the People’s Liberation Army. In China, however, there is one extra group; the People’s Armed Police. The main focus of the People’s Armed Police is vastly different from the other branches of the military — their job is to deal with internal issues. They’re also the first branch of the PLA that has openly stated that they use video games to enhance the lives of their troops.
Reported by Phoenix News online, the PAP recently put out a report about how they deal with troop morale in the 800,000 strong organisation. One morale boosting exercise involves creating walls called “smile walls”, where pictures of smiling and happy members of the PAP are hung up. However, the part that PAP members seem to be most excited about is the military recreation room.
According to Phoenix, the military recreation room is exactly as its name implies: a recreation room for the PAP members. Inside the room there are various “gaming” devices and computers that are loaded with video games. The PAP doesn’t exactly sound out what these gaming devices or games are but they do point out the genres. There are gunslinger games (probably arcade light gun games), battlefield games, console-grade first-person shooters, fighting game simulations, and co-operative games. According to the PAP, the troops have had a lot of fun since the opening of the military recreation room.
On top of the recreation room, the PAP says that their squadron training room also uses video games, such as Counter-Strike and domestically developed FPS The Glorious Mission, to help train soldiers for battle. This type of video game war training is similar to what is already being done in the United States and other parts of the world.
One member of the PAP, named Deng, said that playing games has helped him train his vision and reflexes. Deng says that playing games, both online and offline, improved his observation skills, adaptability and collaboration awareness, and even helped him in his everyday tasks.
[记武警特色文化活动 电脑游戏锻炼善战本领] [Phoenix News Online]