So the latest game from the mysterious Orient isn’t “Dead or Alive 5: Can YOU Get Into Kasumi’s Hotpants” or even “Final Fantasy 12: We’re Not Even Trying Any More, Gaijin Suckers. Now Buy More Damned Moogles”. No… now, you get to “Learn From Lei Feng Online”.
No. Really. Not making this up at all.
This -> is Lei Feng. He’s a Hero of the Socialist Chinese Revolution who died at the age of 22 after a short career as a soldier of the People’s Liberation Army helping old ladies cross streets. We know this because Mao Zedong ordered his people to “Learn From Lei Feng”, and since this was the Cultural Revolution, this was not phrased in the form of a question. To this day, Lei Feng is the equivalent of… well, I don’t think there is any Western equivalent. We don’t tell our kids to learn from any icon, except maybe Puff Daddy.
And now we have the online MMO version, “Learn From Lei Feng Online”, which allows you to… mend socks.
Again – not making any of this up. To quote from the original Xinhua story:
“For beginners, sewing and mending socks is the only way to increase experience and to upgrade,” said Jiao Jian, a six-grade pupil in Yuexiu District, quoted by the newspaper.
He then continues.
“Every time you are promoted to a higher level, your clothes will become more average,” he said.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t a translation screw up. The longer you grind, the more you look like everyone else. I guess new users wear designer pastels or something.
And I bet right now you’re asking what the end game is in “Learn From Lei Feng Online.” I’m glad you asked!
He also said he likes to battle against the secret agents mainly. “Sometimes the enemy was very strong. The fight almost exhausted me, so I would go to talk with the Party secretary to replenish my vitality at once.”
“As long as my experience, reputation, skill and loyalty satisfy the game’s criteria, I will win and meet Chairman Mao,” Jiao noted. “I still have several tasks to go through. I will ‘work hard’ and strive to obtain the Chairman’s autograph as soon as I can.”
Yes… if you finally work through all the raids… you can MEET MAO ZEDONG. (No guarantees on what may happen to you then if your avatar is a young female – in real life, Mao believed that deflowering virgins would help him live longer.) But what is Mao like in “Learn From Lei Feng Online”? Is he the godlike Sun King of the cultural revolution?
Or perhaps, being dead for several decades, he has now returned as LICH KING MAO, ready to wreak unholy vengeance on the capitalist warlords!
Or maybe, taking a cue from Japanese anime, it’s not just Mao – it’s MECHA MAO! Fight, Mecha Mao! Fight for Peace and Revolutionary Justice!
I trust, now, you have all learned from Lei Feng. Learned TO DEATH.