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Online game hits back at official corruption

Updated: 2014-01-10 00:29
By Zhang Yue ( China Daily)

An online game named "Beating Corruption", released through the micro blog account of People's Daily Online, has drawn mixed reviews from netizens since it was launched on Thursday.

The Internet-based game, which is largely a virtual version of the Whac-A-Mole arcade game, presents two competing sets of characters: corrupt officials and police who fight against corruption.

The corrupt officials are divided into four types: those who spend money on illicit love affairs, those paying bribes, those accepting bribes, and those abusing their privileges.

Players can win hundreds of points by hitting corrupt officials who pop out quickly and randomly from the windows of a jailhouse. They lose points if they miss their targets or accidentally hit the police.

The game was released both on People's Daily Online (www.people.com.cn) and on its micro blog.

The micro blog briefly introduced the game, saying "fighting against corruption is never a game, but the ‘Beating Corruption' game will help people remember to fight against corruption".

The new game drew mixed responses from netizens who discussed it through Sina Weibo, with many official micro blogs posting game scores.

Some netizens enjoyed the game, leaving such comments as, "It's cool to hit corrupt officials hard while playing the game."

Some thought the game interesting and difficult.

"It's like you hit really fast, and the corrupt officials appear faster," wrote one player on a Sina Weibo account.

Others asked whether the fight against corruption should be regarded as just a game.

Both Chinese and overseas media, including the Wall Street Journal, quoted People's Daily Online as saying the characters in the game originated from an allegorical saying President Xi Jinping used when he was addressing a meeting of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, the nation's top discipline watchdog on Jan 22, 2013.

Xi used the metaphor of "tigers and flies" to refer to corrupt officials operating at different levels, all of whom should be hit hard by anti-corruption efforts.

At least 18 officials at provincial and ministerial level have been investigated since the meeting in January 2013.

An Baijie contributed to this story.