A city in East China’s Shandong Province is now using VR technology to test the qualifications of its communist party members.
If you’ve been paying even a little bit of attention to the news lately, odds are you’ve probably heard about China’s insane idea to rate its citizens via a Social Credit System. Kicking off as soon as 2020, the system, reminiscent to one that could be found in a dystopian future, will monitor the daily activities of Chinese citizens from the purchases they make, to the activities they participate during their free time. Boosting your local economy by making purchases for instance will increase your score, or “trustworthiness,” while performing unproductive activities, such as playing video games, will lower it.
Unfortunately, it appears as though this was just the tip of the iceberg for the growing world super power, as it’s now being confirmed that the countries largest and most influential political party has officially begun using VR technology in its efforts to quiz the knowledge of its active members. Currently being employed in Qingyang Town, Binzhou City in East China’s Shandong Province, the process involves participants donning a VR headset and entering a virtual classroom where they’re then tested on their commitment to party values via a set of 30 in-depth, multiple choice questions.
Questions such as, “Do you agree that if you are not corrupt you will be marginalized?” Spoiler alert: the answer is apparently, “no.”
Incorporated as part of the test of dangxing, or “party spirit,” the examination is designed to determine the qualifications of current party members, which include everything from loyalty to the CPC, their willingness to add to the people and its party, as well as become a moral role model. Throughout the process a members primary weaknesses are exposed, allowing party officials to narrow-down the specific areas which are in need of re-education, which they can then administer via face-to-face and/or remote counseling from experts of the Party schools of Binzhou and Qingyang.
The CPC VR training facility officially opened April 2018 at a cost of $110,082 USD.
This isn’t the first time the governing party has dabbled in VR. The CPC previously partnered with a Shenzhen-based company in 2017 to develop a VR museum designed to spotlight various videos, news pieces, photos and other media pertaining to the party’s history.
Image Credit: Counsel on Foreign Relations / All3DP