Learning With: ‘In China, This Video Game Lets You Be a Tiger Mom or a Driven Dad’

Learning With: ‘In China, This Video Game Lets You Be a Tiger Mom or a Driven Dad’

Before reading the article:

Have you ever wanted to switch roles with your parents? Did you ever think that you could do a better job than your own parents?

Do you think being a parent is easy? Why or why not?

Now, read the article, “In China, This Video Game Lets You Be a Tiger Mom or a Driven Dad,” and answer the following questions:

1. Some of the most popular role-playing games involve witches, monsters and dangerous robots. Why do Carolyn Zhang and Raymond Zhong, the authors, describe playing the roles of mom and dad as “the most fearsome of characters”?

2. The authors write that the video game Chinese Parents is a hit, even though there are no official numbers on its sales. What evidence do they provide to support their claim?

3. What have players learned about their parents, and parenting in general, by playing the game?

4. What are some of the joys and trials of raising children included in the game? Which were most interesting, true to life or surprising to you?

5. What are some of the defining characteristics of parent-children relationships in China, according to the article? What is a Tiger Mom?

6. How does the game reflect or reinforce gender roles? Give one example from the article to support your answer.

7. Kong Qingxun describes the experience of playing Chinese Parents:

“At the beginning, you think it’s just a 100-meter run,” he said, referring to life. “Then you realize it’s a marathon. And finally you understand it’s a relay race that never ends.”

How does the game end or, more precisely, not end? How does that explain Mr. Kong’s statement?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

Would you want to play Chinese Parents? Why or why not? Which aspects of gameplay are most interesting or intriguing to you?

— Do you engage in role-playing video games? If yes, which is your favorite and why? What life lessons, if any, have your learned from playing it?

— Do you think Chinese Parents would be successful with American consumers? What aspects of the game do you think American audiences would relate to? Imagine you are hired by Moyuwan Games, the independent studio that developed Chinese Parents, to redesign it for an American audience. What changes might you make?

— Chinese Parents reflects many of the unique attitudes, beliefs and recent history of China. Select a role-playing or other video game and explain how it reflects the culture of its origin.