The mainland's blockbuster answer to Avatar, a biopic about the Great Sage, Confucius, was a box-office flop. But the online community flocked by the thousands - and before too long, millions - to see an online movie that its makers claim was made with a budget no bigger than the electricity bill for running their computers for three months. War of Internet Addiction was released by volunteer filmmakers Oil Tiger Machinima Team on January 21. It was initially blocked. But, when it reappeared on popular mainland video site Youku.com days later, it immediately started to generate traffic. Conservative estimates say it has been viewed several million times - some sources state more than 10 million. The 64-minute movie is a 'machinima' - a movie made using the graphics engine of an existing game. If a game has a function that allows gamers to record their own game-play, it is also possible to creatively produce a movie. In this case, the moviemakers used Blizzard's World of Warcraft (WoW), the world's most popular pay-to-play Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. Anywhere from four million to half of the game's worldwide 11.5 million players are thought to be on the mainland - and many of them are frustrated by shutdowns of the game and the failure of authorities to approve expansion packs, among other problems. War of Internet Addiction speaks to gamers by parodying the dispute between government agencies over who gets to regulate WoW, the requirement that graphics of skulls be removed from the game, internet addiction camps and the 'Green Dam Youth Escort' software that the government wanted to install on all mainland computers. But the movie has also struck a chord with non-gamers who feel frustrated with internet censorship. Blogger@niubi, writing on the website DigiCha, argued that he thought the movie 'more effectively challenges and potentially undermines the powers behind internet controls than anything Google has done'. The movie's key - and most moving - point comes at the end. An impassioned, blue minotaur called Kannimei calls on mainland gamers not to stay silent as powerful interests fight for control of their game, while at the same time demonising them as addicts. Director, script writer and co-ordinator, Corndog, says the core team consisted of eight people, but more than 30 worked on dubbing the dialogue, while about 100 people contributed in one way or another over the three months it took to make the film. In a transcript of an interview with Corndog posted in a Google documents guide to the movie, the movie's creator said the cost of the 64-minute movie was 'zero' - other than electricity bills for computer use. 'WoW is a great game, and it's not expensive,' Corndog said, adding it was a practical way of dealing with the frustrations of modern high-pressure life. In an interview with Phoenix TV, Corndog said: 'The film makes people who don't understand games shed tears because all of us on China's internet are in the same boat.'