Hierarchical lists of Chinese snob-appeal in products, services and technology

ChinaSmack has published a translation of "Hierarchies of Snobbery and Contempt by Chinese Netizens" from Southern Metropolis Daily‘s City Weekly which describe "the multi-layered prejudices amongst Chinese when it comes to how the products, brands, sports, media, academic disciplines, music, movies, fashion, etc." It's a fascinating look at the valence and subtext of the familiar in an unfamiliar context.

Video Games: console games > foreign PC games > foreign online games > domestic online games > browser games/QQ games

World of Warcraft: Mage > DK (Dark Knight) > Hunter > Rogue > Warlock > Priest > Soldier > Druid > Paladin > Shaman

Kaixin.com Games: Happy City > Happy Garden > Happy Farm > Happy Restaurant > Happy Life

Hierarchies of Snobbery and Contempt by Chinese Netizens (via Waxy)


  1. You’ll find lists like this on nearly every booru around, but typically labeled [god tier>legend tier>good tier>shit tier] or something like that.

  2. I think that Death Knights were renamed “Dark knights” in china because death-associated characters were frowned upon, or something.

    edit: reply fail. this was meant to be a reply to ever.

      1. apparently this is also a big cultural no-no.  Burning Crusade had all of the bones removed from it too, iirc. 

        the best i can find is that it’s “disrespectful” to one’s ancestors to display their bones or images of bones in general. They’d flip their lids over day of the dead celebrations.

        1. How much of this cultural taboo is real, and how much is propped up by  the state censorship regime?

          1. probably some of both, I’d imagine.  The taboo is probably real, but probably not as offensive as the response to the taboo would have you believe. 

            You’d have to ask someone from china for a better answer, though.

  3. Huh. The snobbery list for WoW would run backwards, in my circle. Although I can see it. Theirs prioritizes the ones that require the least skill; they look down on you if you choose to play the less overpowered class when a more powerful class is available. Whereas I hang out with people who look down on you if the only way you can make it to the end game is to play one of the character classes that requires no thought or effort at all.

    Mage? Seriously? You can defeat most enemies in WoW with a mage by walking up to them and then rolling your face across the keyboard a couple of times; what does winning with a Mage prove about you? Well, I guess if I were Chinese, I would say it proves that you’re smart enough to pick the overpowered class. Being American, I say instead that it proves that you don’t know how to play. Both are arguably defensible viewpoints.

    1. I haven’t played “World ofWarcraft”, so some of the subtleties of REAMDE were lost on me. Do you think that Stephenson’s interpretation of the Chinese psyche was accurate?

      1. Playing WoW doesn’t really give us any insight into the Chinese psyche, especially because US servers are separate, but I believe a lot of what Stephenson wrote was pretty accurate.

    2. Maybe, though that doesn’t explain why Warlock is so high up in the pack. Maybe I need to get a Chinese WoW player to teach me to play mine better.

      1. … or hunter. And mages OP? Somehow Brad’s rant sounds like he got repeatedly ganked by some mage, and now he is crying OP.

        There, there… have a conjured strudel.

        1. Actually, no, the other way around. Perhaps because I solo’ed so much, mage and hunter were the only characters I could stand to get anywhere into the higher levels of the game. But then, I never claimed to be any good at World of Warcraft, I’m a City of Heroes player at heart.

          1.  No shit? What’s your favorite AT? (I tend to favor defenders–rad/rad’s my perennial favorite–and scrappers or brutes because sometimes you just want to wail on a dude.)

  4. This list rings pretty true. I would’ve been really interested in seeing a list for beer/alcohol.

    I also like how “gold diggers” are 2nd, while “selfish girls” are last. I thought that was one and the same.

  5. I know several people in China via the internet and I’d say that the things near the bottom of most of the rankings of software/websites/hardware are what most people in China actually use (including the people I know), though not always (Taobao is both top-ranked and very popular). Which isn’t surprising.

    I also note though that some of the top-ranked stuff are things that are or were outright blocked in China (e.g. Twitter), or are simply not aimed at the Chinese market and may not have a Chinese-language version, so their “elite” ranking is basically the equivalent of liking something because it’s not what everybody else likes or uses (and something being difficult/illegal to use also makes it cool in the eyes of many).

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