Being old fuddy-duddies, at RPS we generally frown upon fathers’ hiring hitmen to kill their sons. Political health and safety correctness gone mad, we know, but we’re stuck in our ways. But as Kotaku spotted while we were still curled up hibernating within the warm furry fuzzle of Horace’s infinite tummy, when it comes to Mr Feng of China, we are totally down with it. Because he did it online. In pretend land.
His son, Xiao Feng aged 23, spends rather a lot of time playing online games. His dad believes it’s the reason he did badly at school, and can’t hold down a job, so decided he wanted to do something about it. But rather than misdiagnosing his son with some media-invented sickness, he took the far more sensible route: he decided to grief his son on a very elaborate level.
Finding players who were significantly better than Xiao Feng at the games he played, he hired them to kill his son’s characters whenever they started playing. He hired assassins to make the games no fun for his offsprung. Which seems to have at the very least succeeding in pissing his son off.
Kotaku takes a pretty optimistic angle on the ambiguous status of this venture. They report that Feng said he was “relieved” to hear his son give a quote that doesn’t really seem to say anything:
“I can play or I can not play, it doesn’t bother me. I’m not looking for any job — I want to take some time to find one that suits me.”
This sounds to my ears to be a roughly rephrased, “Shut up and leave me alone to play games.” I’m not sure why the father finds this relieving, nor why Kotaku calls it an “earnest plea”, but then I also don’t care all that much. I’m too pleased by how brilliant the initial idea was, whether it’s been effective yet or not. Mr Feng is some sort of griefing hero, and deserves to be high-fived by everyone he encounters for the rest of his life.