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Game Dream

Tan Tan

Release year: 2008

Run time: 60 mins

Film type: Documentary


An examination of the younger generation in China and how they take shelter in the virtual world in the face of the barrenness in reality. 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 learn. Their bosses are about the same age as them. For them, this is where they can make money while playing games. These young people work day and night in the virtual world; however, their lives couldn’t be simpler in reality. When it is time to eat, they eat takeaway food in front of their computers and finish their dinner while playing games. After work or on weekends, the bosses relax inside their rooms and play games, while the staff uses their own accounts to play games in an internet café for 2 to 3 days nonstop. On the eve of Chinese New Year, the bosses go home, reluctantly, while most of their staff stay in a dormitory. They eat 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 Chinese people reunite with their families, except these young people wandering through the high buildings across this large neighborhood. Everyone is celebrating 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 a plunge in coin prices and lack of regulation in their “market.” The bosses transform the studio into a dormitory and continue renting it until they all find real jobs. As for the staff, some have gone home, while some stay in Beijing to find other jobs, and most of them try to work in other game studios - simply because they feel at a loss in the real world, but in the game world, they are superheroes…


Director biography

Tan Tan graduated from the Department of Drama, Film, and Television Literature at the Communication University of China. Later, I studied at the Department of Film and Experimental Image at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. I am an artist working in the field of visual arts, an independent musician, and a teacher. Currently, I work and live in Beijing. I have directed several experimental and documentary films. Among them, my experimental film "Passing By" won the Best Experimental Film Award in the Professional Group of the 8th Beijing Student Film Festival, and my film "One Minute with 60 People" was shortlisted for the Concept Art Festival. I also served as the cinematographer for the documentary film "In Front of Qianmen Gate," which won the Silver Award at the 2008 French Real Cinema Festival.