China Struggles to Evolve in the Age of Online Gaming

Worldofwarcraft_chinaChina is an interesting case, a society where strict cultural censorship gives way to a vibrant community of online gamers. But this online freedom only exists up to a point, as both Google and World of Warcraft can attest.

China's educated middle and upper classes are voracious online gamers, and many are unhappy with several proposed changes to the popular Chinese online game "Legend." This caps off a tumultuous few months for a Chinese government struggling to come to terms with the emergence of virtual worlds.

Let's take a look at why some Chinese gamers are staging virtual world protests, and why the Chinese government is moving to shut down offending servers in a bid to control the potential threat of unchained protest.

Continue reading China Struggles to Evolve in the Age of Online Gaming

The Iranian Opposition’s Second Life

Our piece on Iran's virtual protests kicked off Pixels and Policy, and in coordination with its syndication on Foreign Policy in Focus and Asia Chronicle, we're reposting it here.

Freeiran On July 22,
a week into Iran’s
foreign media reporting ban, a group of Iranian protesters gathered on a grassy
hill to speak out against Supreme Leader Khamenei’s continued support for
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iran’s security forces, however,
were absent. In a nation with a frighteningly effective intelligence service,
Supreme Leader Khamenei was entirely unaware of this protest because it took place in Second Life.

Continue reading The Iranian Opposition’s Second Life