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Chinese State Press Promotes Anti-Corruption Video Game

Corruption Video Game China H
The "Fight Corruption" video game

Showing an uncharacteristically light touch for Party messaging, the Communist mouthpiece "People's Daily" tweeted links to a game that challenges players to tase corrupt officials.

As celebrated Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke told The Hollywood Reporter at the Cannes film festival last year, "Corruption is the most talked-about issue in China."

China's president Xi Jinping has been waging a crackdown on corrupt officials for more than a year, but now ordinary Chinese citizens have a chance to join the fight.

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On Monday, the Communist Party's official mouthpiece, People’s Daily, introduced an online video game called “Fight Corruption” via its official Weibo account (China's version of Twitter).

The challenge of the game is to tase corrupt officials as they poke their heads out from the windows of a prison.

As People's Daily puts it: “Click on your mouse to activate the electric prod and get yourself on the anti-corruption high-score list!”

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Players can take satisfaction in zapping four types of corrupt officials. There's one with hearts for eyes and a lascivious mouth, representing the string of bureaucrats who have been caught in sex scandals over the past year. Another mischievously wields a red stamp, used in China to approve documents, likely symbolizing abuse of power. The third stealthily passes a bag of cash, while the last grasps for money -- giving and receiving bribes.

The game represents an uncharacteristically light touch for the Party's anti-corruption messaging.

As People's Daily says in its message to players: “Everyone has a responsibility to fight corruption and embezzlement!"