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Satirical game Chinese Parents now allows you to have a daughter

Daughter Edition teaches you to prepare your girl for math, sexism and the jealousy of distant cousins

Video gaming
This article originally appeared on ABACUS

“No more yoga, no more babbling with friends!”

My coworker Masha shouted that at our daughter in the game Chinese Parents, after she flunked her first exam at the age of 6.
We decided that, in the coming months, the schedule of our daughter Xinmei (not this Xinmei, to be clear) should consist entirely of study sessions.

Initially, I was even more single-minded, suggesting that Xinmei should only study science. But as ever, Masha was the voice of reason.

“[She’s] also bad at English,” said Masha. “Her math is also bad.”

So yeah... our daughter in this simulation game wound up having no play time for a few months. And so her stress level shot up exponentially.


To be clear, Masha and I are not married, I don’t have a daughter, and if I did I wouldn’t torture her like this. (Well, depending on her exam results, I guess…)

It’s part of a new update for the game Chinese Parents, dubbed the Daughter Edition. The game knowingly positions itself as a satire to the current state of childrearing and education in China.

And while we role-played as tiger parents during the stream, strictly speaking, you’re playing as the child. But you also get to make all the parenting decisions and even get to play as parents in some scenarios. The game takes 48 rounds, and by the end, the child has to be ready for China’s notorious college entrance exam.

We had a lot of fun streaming this game, although it was taxing for me to verbally translate everything because the game is still only available in Chinese. But we felt compelled to cover Chinese Parents, since it’s sold over 1.25 million copies on Steam in the last year.

I played the game as it first came out as a demo last year, during which I was only allowed to have a son. But with the recent patch, Chinese Parents allows you to have a daughter.

The game creates a number of interesting scenarios for us to interact with. It started by gifting us this potato-looking baby (cute, but very disturbing). Each round, you have a certain number of points to allocate to the child’s various stats, including physical performance, intelligence, emotional intelligence and artistic talents.

With these stats, you can learn different specialities, like being able to play the piano or recite poetry backward. Why do you need them? Because kids from other families -- be they distant relatives or neighbors -- will challenge you every now and again.

Yup, when you’re challenged, it’s combat time! You enter a vanity shouting match, yelling boasts at other parents in an effort to show that your kid is better than theirs.

For instance, if your child has learned to walk sooner than other kids, you earn the speciality for walking -- and then you can use that in combat, delivering a line to devastate your opponent like, “When my daughter became able to walk, the other kids had just learned how to roll over.”

Doing so causes damage to the other family’s “face”, or respect, which here essentially functions as a health bar.

Sounds creative and also highly satirical, right? Yeah, that’s basically the ethos of the game.


But you also can’t just torture the kid by making him or her study nonstop. There’s a gauge that measures your kid’s stress level. If that gauge goes over, your kid will then develop a darker personality, which is unhealthy.

All in all, Chinese Parents is a very fun and addictive game to play. The crude, scrappy artwork and sardonic writing gives the game an endearing style.

If you want to learn more about Chinese Parents, check out our full stream here!

Game forces you to balance love with China’s notorious college entrance exam

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.