Sexist “harem-building” game from China now has an English version
We tried it, and it's as bad as we expected
A few months ago, we told you about a sexist “harem-building” game from China that was gaining traction.
Since then it had been banned in the country for being “inappropriate” -- but now it’s back. And guess what? It’s even making a push into the West: An English version called Be The King came out in August. At one point, it was the 11th most popular role-playing game in the US, according to App Annie.
First off, a little context. In this game, you play as a government official controlling a noble family in feudal China. You’re trying to gain power and influence to attain the status of lordship or even kingship. And a major way to do that is to build a harem: A large group of wives and concubines who can give you children.
(I guess it’s a little like the Immortan Joe in Mad Max?)
We decided to stream this game on Friday, fully aware of all the difficulties we might get ourselves into. As expected, the game is unapologetically salacious, true to its risqué advertisement.
Part of the game involves me “summoning” my wife into my chamber. She would then strip. And the next thing you know, we have a baby.
You can summon your wife multiple times in one go. But every time I entered the bedroom, she would say the same line, “Seeing you work so hard makes me worry, you know?”
The more, uh, interactions you have with your wife, the more “intimacy points” and babies you’ll have.
If you don’t find this ridiculous, let me add this: My wife was sent as a gift from her father to me because our dads are old friends.
And worse yet, after I marry the poor girl, the game encourages me to acquire more “confidantes” -- concubines, in other words.
That said, apart from building a harem, there are actually plenty of other tasks I have to complete, such as harvesting the fields, arresting bandits and bullies on the streets, and fighting off a Mongolian in the “dungeon”.
But none of them actually involves any skills to speak of, other than tapping your thumb over and over again. I imagine this is similar to how some gamblers mindlessly play slot machines in a casino.
I do understand why some people might like games like this though. After a long day of work, perhaps all you want is just some form of passive entertainment. While my experience tells me this genre is generally not popular in the West, it’s the exact opposite in China. Many people even stream these sort of games on sites like Bilibili.
It’s important to note that feudalism reigned in China for thousands of years, leaving a mark on Chinese culture. Ancient harems are a popular source for modern entertainment in the country. Plenty of TV viewers enjoy lengthy dramas featuring back-stabbing imperial concubines feuding with one another.