I don’t think a very hard idea to grasp from Brownell’s book is that sports are important in China. Both individuals and the state use sports to further specific motivations, like upward social movement for the former and international competition for the latter. The level of dedication to ideals of the body and sport present in China are extreme to say the least, but what happens when China itself undercuts the health of many bodies.
The recent release of the documentary Under the Dome has brought about renewed scrutiny towards China’s pollution issue, and being again exposed to that kind of news has made me increasingly worried about the World’s future. However, it also got me wondering about what’s going to happen to China’s sports world. The air pollution in China is getting to the degree that only 1% of the population breathes fresh air on a daily basis, and those Chinese are exposed to over 40 times the amount of air borne pollutants than are considered unhealthy. It’s even estimated that around 300,000~500,000 people in China are dying each year due to pollution rated illnesses, like lung cancer. In another stroke that confounds youthful embrace of sports, last year there were 157 ‘smog days’ which meant that schools were closed almost half the year. This means that China is going to have a harder time than ever to produce viable athletes.
So, what is China going to do? Frankly I’m not sure, the Chinese state is going to have a hard time even finding people capable of becoming world class athletes, and even if they do they aren’t going to have much local competition to practice with. Either way, it’s going to see how China’s body and sports culture adapts to their current predicament.
For my topic I’m either going to write on Pokemon, and how it has managed to be so enduring and garner such a broad fanbase, OR Demon’s Souls, and why it’s so gosh darn good and why that quality is changing the way games are played/made.
For Pokemon I’d use Millenial Monsters and my own cultural knowledge and for Demon’s Souls I’d use different cultural knowledge, developer interviews, and game design books.