As the year 2000 dawned, game enthusiasts were still enthralled by the then-new Sega Dreamcast and the aging PlayStation and Nintendo 64. But while America's players have enjoyed one new system after another since, Chinese players have spent the intervening years getting as much life out of Resident Evil 2 and PaRappa the Rapper as possible, thanks to a nationwide ban on video game consoles that's spanned our young century.
Claiming console games were "injurious for health," the government cracked down on the machines, and—as first hinted at last summer—it's only now lifting the 14-year ban. During that time, the Chinese have missed out on the Xbox, the Wii, the Nintendo 3DS, and all but the first PlayStation. Denied games like Call Of Duty and the Grand Theft Auto series, Chinese teenagers have instead had to fritter away their time on things like beating us at math and science, and slowly destroying our country's economy.
However, Beijing finally decided enough was enough, and that perhaps their citizens' health wasn't imperiled by access to Mario Kart. Starting this year, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony will be able to manufacture and sell their platforms in the People's Republic. While this will no doubt be a boon to China's growing consumer economy, the decision may have primarily been motivated by fear that, without access to the Wii U tablet controller, their children would fall behind in crucial trying-to-figure-out-what-the-hell-screen-you're-supposed-to-be-looking-at-when skills.
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