A Cure for Chinese Population Control: Video Games?

According to a report from the All-China Women’s Organization yesterday, officials in China are trying to tackle the country’s overpopulation in a new way: using video games.

The “Happy” game, as it is called, was developed and launched by the Yuexiu District of Guangzhou City. It’s a first-person interactive game that tests the players on their knowledge of contraceptive options, and rewards them based on their performance. (Women receive cyber-flowers and get to spend their husband’s cyber-money, while men are punished with cyber-housework. Go figure.)

The game cost about 60,000 yuan, or about $8,800, to develop, and the first batch of 10,000 games will be distributed for free by the government—though there are plans to release the game online as well. While it’s primarily targeted at newlyweds, the website reports that Chinese officials seem optimistic that younger audiences might benefit from the material as well. “‘We expect more people to play this game, even the youth, to whom computer interactions can give a fundamental sex education,’ local population and family planning authorities said.”

However, while the “Happy” game is the first of its kind in China, there is already an English-language counterpart on the market. In the U.K., “Contraception: The Board Game” is a similar interactive game based on the players’ knowledge of how to react to sexual situations—though there are no cyber-credit cards to shop with.

In England, the game was created “to encourage responsible decision making, reduce unplanned pregnancies, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases or unintended sex,” while in China, the goal seems to be an aim to control the population of their communities in a safe and healthy matter. Either way, play on.

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  • invalid-0

    My understanding is that China’s population explosion hasn’t involved the young generation for a loonngg time. Like us, they have giant baby boomer and elderly populations but unlike us they have very few children in comparision. The average Chinese child now has one mother one father and no sisters, brothers or first cousins to help him care for four aging grandparents. That’s got to be very difficult on everyone.

  • progo35

    China wants to control it’s population “in a safe and healthy manner”? I think not. China doesn’t deserve any credit in that area, ever, because they have a one child policy and force women to have abortions. It’s horrible.

    "Well behaved women seldom make history."-Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

  • invalid-0

    Yes, and they also force abortions in Tibet and Tibet doesn’t have an overpopulation problem at all. What they really want to do is wipe out so many Tibetans that eventually the Han Chinese population will outnumber Tibetan people even in Tibet. Most Chinese people are not anxious to move to Tibet but one of the reasons more and more have lately is that as Han Chinese they are often given the rare opportunity to have a second child legally.

  • http://popnewsdaily.com invalid-0

    China is in the middle of a economic growth. There’s no way to stop its population from exploding other than brute force. Video games will not work.

  • http://www.mangahunter.com/ invalid-0

    Well when I read the headline, thought they found something very unique, like PS2 to contorl missiles when it was rolled out. This issue stays as awareness alone, whether they put it as an adv, video game, or UFO it ain’t gonna happen if they don’t make prizes on that matter, like a competition and prizes ppl won’t care a bit, not all but the majorty.

    Thanks for posting.

  • http://www.bulwarkpestcontrol.com/austinpestcontrol.php invalid-0

    Yes, China is very overpopulated and has been for years but it is nothing new. Would it help if they practiced birth control…probably. They need to work on the issues in their country and our country has issues of its own. Let’s work on those.

  • http://verytogether.com/love/sex/contraception-myths-and-urban-legends.html invalid-0

    Surveys show that Americans are also woefully ignorant about reproduction – and not just teens. Sixty percent of American woman in their twenties don’t know the facts about conception and birth control. And they are the most sexually active group. Maybe this game would work here, too.