FW: the way to graft-free paradise

Chinese go online to torture, kill corrupt officials

Thu Aug 2, 2:15 AM ET

An online game in which players can torture and kill corrupt officials
that a Chinese local government set up to teach people about the perils
of graft is proving a roaring success, state media said Thursday.

"Incorruptible Fighter", developed by the government of east China's
Zhejiang province, was launched just over a week ago and is already so
popular that it is being redesigned to accommodate more players, the
China Daily said.

"I feel a great sense of achievement when I punish lots of evil
officials," one gamer surnamed Sun was quoted as saying.

The game, which lets players get ahead by killing officials by means of
"weapons, magic or torture," has been downloaded more than 100,000
times, the Southern Metropolitan Daily said.

The different game scenarios are based on well-known incidents taken
from Chinese history, but the parallels in modern China of people
struggling against seemingly insurmountable corruption are clear.

In order to advance to a new level, the player must enter into an
"Anti-Corruption College" to be lectured in more detail about ancient
cases, the Southeast Business newspaper said.

Along the way Internet vigilantes are rewarded for the capture, torture
and killing of not just corrupt officials, but also their sons and
daughters.

Once the player has punished enough corrupt officials, graduating
through successive layers of vice, he or she enters into a graft-free
paradise.

"We want game players to have fun but also to learn about fighting
corruption, folklore and history," said Qiu Yi, a local official in
Ningbo, one of Zhejiang's most prosperous cities.

Some experts have questioned, however, if the game is targetted at the
right people.

"Government officials should be the ones getting anti-corruption
education, not local youngsters," Peking University professor Wang
Xiongjun told the China Daily.

Corruption is a source of immense and growing anger among ordinary
Chinese.

President Hu Jintao has identified corruption within the Communist Party
as one the greatest threats to its legitimacy as rulers of the country,
and the government regularly authorises the real-life killing of people
for graft.

The former head of China's food and drug watchdog, Zheng Xiaoyu, was
executed last month for corruption, with his killing hailed by the
state-run press as a warning to other corrupt party members.