The latest version of the Chinese army’s video game slash recruiting tool Glorious Mission has been released, with the BBC reporting that the update gives players a chance to invade the Senkaku Islands – a disputed territory claimed by both China and Japan.
Military fervour in both countries has increased in recent months, with the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe declaring earlier this month that his country would “not give an inch” in the dispute with China.
The update will be released on Armed Forces day in China to coincide with the 86th anniversary of the formation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), who funded the title.
In appearance the game is extremely similar to popular Western shooters such as Call of Duty, allowing gamers to make their way through basic training before being deployed in a number of combat missions.
Using videogames as military propaganda is a well-established trope, with the US military leading the charge with the 2002 title America’s Army. First released in 2002 the game is used to recruit potential soldiers as well as train and educate current combat troops.
Like its US counterpart, Glorious Mission faithfully recreates the details of guns, uniforms and vehicles used by the Chinese Army. It also leaves itself open to criticism that it trivializes the damage of combat and targets the most impressionable section of society.
A report on the game from the PLA (via ChinaMil) describes the game as “divided into three parts including basic training, individual soldier's task and squad/team confrontation.”
China Daily cited soldiers who had played the game as “saying that it is "quite fun" and just like a simple military textbook that features professional combat skills and command passwords.”