Video game violence never fails to garner more attention than it deserves, but a new title called Glorious Mission has become something of a controversy. The game comes from PLA, which is not an acronym for a development firm but instead the People’s Liberation Army of China. The PLA collaborated with Wuxi Giant Interactive Group to create the game which pits Chinese soldiers against their main opposition, the US military.
Glorious Mission (also known as Mission of Honor) is being used a training tool for PLA recruits treads on some dangerous territory by piquing U.S. concerns of nationalism and anti-American sentiments. Using video games for military training methods is nothing new; in 2008 the U.S. Army invested $50 million to develop games for combat preparation. What’s raising eyebrows with Glorious Mission is the choice to focus on American troops as China’s primary enemy.
“The game, with a soldier’s personal story in the military camp as the background and participating in a large-scale actual-troop confrontation drill code-named ‘Glorious Mission’ as the main line, is divided into three parts including basic training, individual soldier’s task and squad/team confrontation. In squad/team confrontation part, 32 soldiers can log on at the same time to start confrontation combat according to the rules in selected scenes,” says the PLA Daily [translation via ChinaMil and China Daily].
According to the report, the Chinese military has made use of training via video games before, but the software was often developed by companies outside of the country. The PLA wanted to create a game closer to home in order to instill Chinese values and avoid any elements that could “mislead Chinese army officers and soldiers.”
Military games of this variety have been accused of being tinted with propaganda, something America’s Army was not immune to. The game, introduced in 2002, was said to further the US military agenda and has been called the best recruitment tool for our armed forces. Many have criticized such games for capitalizing on the “Xbox mindset,” which claims that these cause potential and current soldiers to distort the very harrowing reality of war as if it were a video game.
And now Glorious Mission is subject to these same criticisms, except that it specifically focuses on an enemy, versus similar games that feature various opponents. But will this unsubtle hint have any effect? The saturation of first person shooters might make gamers immune to developing ill-will toward any particular adversary.
Check out a video of Glorious Mission to see the game in action.