August 19th, 2008
In a week I shall be leaving my comfortable life in Australia and stepping out into one of the busiest and most insane cities on the planet; Shanghai (China). Shanghai has a population of approximately 20 million people and is the epicenter of China’s economic and trading boom.
My reasoning for traveling abroad is language acquisition. I’ve been studying Chinese for 7 years now and much of that has been a waste of time due to the hold-your-hand approach of Western language education. I realized how frustrated I was with the this early on last year and have since gone to considerable efforts to amend my wasted time, the exchange represents a large part of this.
I’ll be away for at least half a year, possibly a year and a half depending of if I can combine a second scholarship that I won for the same time slot. While I am over in China, I would like to use the time I have to extend my understanding of the impact of video games in the country. This is all part of an upcoming direction that I’d like to steer the blog in, where I begin to analyze games from a world perspective and not just an American perspective, as usually tends to be the case. Being interested in both games and Chinese culture, I am already familiar with some nuances in the country’s gaming landscape so I would like to investigate:
-the underground piracy economy
-the rampid success of online gaming
-opinion from older/parent demographic
-gaming and Internet Cafe Culture
-Chinese/English gaming language
Among other issues. ShangHai also hosts a number of game developers including the Ubisoft branch whom are working on the new voice controlled RTS EndWar.
The reason why I am writing about my travels is because I want to hear your opinions, I want to know if there is anything about Chinese games and gaming culture that you wish to learn more about. I’m hoping to do mountains of research by talking to locals, testing these online games, browsing through pirated goods posting my finding on the blog. So let me know if there is anything that interests you about this side of the gaming market and I’ll try and snuff it up.