Game Dream

简体中文China2008 / 59min / DV
Director:Tan Tan

One morning in Beijing, a group of young people in their early 20's are crammed in a flat in Tiantongyuan Community. They are just started their battle of the day, a battle of online games. Here is neither an internet café nor home to anyone of them. This place is a private studio that makes a profit by winning for others the golden coins and profits in computer games.

They don’t know much about each other, and can't be bothered to know. Their bosses are about the same age as them. For them, this is the place where they can make money while   playing games without excuses. These young people work day and night in the virtual world; however in reality, their life couldn’t be simpler. When it is time to eat, they eat take-away food in front of their computers and finish their dinner while playing games. After work or on weekends, the bosses just relax inside their rooms and play games, while the staff use their own account names to play games in an internet café for 2 to 3 days nonstop.

On the eve of Chinese New Year, the bosses had to go home, reluctantly, while most of their staff stayed in a dormitory. They just ate some dumplings which is one of the traditions for Chinese New Year, and they couldn’t wait to go out – to celebrate Chinese New Year in an internet café. Tonight, most of the Chinese people reunite with their families, except these young people wandering between the high buildings across this large community. Everywhere else is festival with decorated windows, loud firecrackers and beautiful fireworks, but this has nothing to do with them, as if they don't belong to this world.

Half a year later, the studio had to close down due to plunge of coin prices and lack of regulation in their “market”. The bosses transformed the studio into a dormitory and decided to continue renting the place until they all find a real job. As for the staff, some had gone home, while some stayed in Beijing to find other jobs and most of them try to work in other game studios - simply because in the real world, they feel at a loss, but in the game world, they are superheroes…


Director: Tan Tan

An independent filmmaker of documentary and experimental films;

also an independent musician and a college teacher.

 She has made many documentary and experimental films, and won many prizes internationally. She currently lives and works in Beijing, China.



From the Director

Maybe everyone has a “game time” when he/she is young. There is no specific age in this period of time, just a transitional state. It slides in between adolescence and maturity. It seems worry-free but is in fact knowing-free. It also seems easy-peasy but actually full of worries.

This documentary focuses on the extreme figures representing such time – a group of young people who live on online games. We try to demonstrate this period of time through every  second they spent in the games, while reflecting the mental state of a large proportion of the young people in China at the present time and also depicting the social background.

In the fast-growing China during the past 30 years, people are pursue the extreme materialism, whereas the spiritual aspect has been gradually abandoned. The young people grew up under the “money talks” input by the Examination-oriented Education System can easily lose themselves. However, in the world of online games, they can easily find selfness and friends, and have a feeling of fulfillment, for which it is even worth giving up the real world.

There may be an ultimate “game time” like this, but it is still not possible to defy the influence of the real world. They still need to repeat boring moves in the games for a living in the real life. Eventually, they will have to walk out from this period, take off their magnificent armor and stride into the muddy world of reality…



Film Festival

※The 2nd Vancouver New Asia Film Festival, 2009
※The 3rd Beijing Independent Film Form, 2008