From Wangba Back to Wangka: Ruination and Renewal of the Chinese Internet Café

in Asiascape: Digital Asia
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

This paper takes a particular angle that begins with the drastic decline of internet cafés in China and their receding yet still evolving presence. This project aims at delineating the history of internet cafés as urban spaces in relation to the different roles they played in various stages of Chinese modernity. The particularities of local development, as directed by trajectories of Chinese modernization, has led to a contempt for the ‘low quality’ of internet cafés, on the one hand, and a nostalgic sentimentalization of its ruination, on the other. Internet cafés are situated in the present moment of transition as a reflection of larger transformations of urban renewals and ideals of modernity. Drawn from both ethnographic research and existing literature on internet cafés, this paper theorizes the space that Chinese internet cafés have produced in the past 25 years.

From Wangba Back to Wangka: Ruination and Renewal of the Chinese Internet Café

in Asiascape: Digital Asia

Sections

References

BakkenBørge Crime Punishment and Policing in China 2005 Lanham, MD Rowman & Littlefield

BarméGeremie R. BarméGeremie R.GoldkornJeremy ‘Introduction: Engineering Chinese Civilisation’ China Story Yearbook 2013: Civilising China 2013 Canberra Australian National University i xxvii

BenjaminWalter The Arcade Project 1999 Cambridge, MA Harvard University Press

Buck-MorssSusan The Dialectics of Seeing 1989 Cambridge, MA MIT Press

CheeFlorence ‘The Games we Play Online and Offline: Making Wang-tta in Korea’ Popular Communication 2006 4 3 225 239

cnnic A Report of the Studies on Chinese Netizens’ Gaming Behaviours: 2013 2014 China Internet Network Information Centre. Retrieved January 2014 from https://www.cnnic.net.cn/hlwfzyj/hlwxzbg/201409/P020140901332967921309.pdf

CockainAlex Young Chinese in Urban China 2012 London Routledge

DongJialin ‘Pandian wangba zai Zhongguo de xinsheng he shuailuo’ 2014 (Looking Back at the Rise and Fall of Internet Cafés in China). Retrieved 27 May 2014 from http://www.guancha.cn/Science/2014_04_20_223564.shtml

EdensorTim ‘Waste Matter – The Debris of Industrial Ruins and the Disordering of the Material World’ Journal of Material Culture 2005 10 3 311 332

EldenStuart Understanding Henri Lefebvre 2004 London Bloomsbury Academic

FarquharJudithZhangQicheng ‘Biopolitical Beijing: Pleasure, Sovereignty, and Self-Cultivation in China’s Capital’ Cultural Anthropology 2005 20 3 303 327

FoucaultMichel LeachNeil ‘Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias’ Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory 1997 New York Routledge 330 336

GardinerMichael E. ‘Henri Lefebvre and the “Sociology of Boredom”’ Theory Culture & Society 2012 29 2 37 62

HighmoreBen Everyday Life and Cultural Theory – An Introduction 2002 London Routledge

JinDal Yong Korea’s Online Gaming Empire 2010 Boston, MA MIT Press

LefebvreHenri Production of Space 1991 Oxford Blackwell

LefebvreHenri Introduction to Modernity 1995 London Verso

LindtnerSilviaSzablewiczMarcella HeroldDavid KurtMaroltPeter ‘China’s Many Internets: Participation and Sites of Game Play Across a Changing Technology Landscape’ Online Society in China 2011 New York Routledge 89 105

LiuFengshu ‘It Is Not Merely about Life on the Screen: Urban Chinese Youth and the Internet Café’ Journal of Youth Studies 2009 12 2 167 184

MoranJoe ‘Benjamin and Boredom’ Critical Quarterly 2003 45 1-2 168 181

OldenburgRay The Great Good Place: Cafés Coffee Shops Bookstores Bars Hair Salons and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community 1999 Washington, DC Marlowe & Company

QiuJack Linchuan Working-Class Network Society 2009 Cambridge, MA MIT Press

RobinsonSarah Nesting: Body Dwelling Mind 2011 Richmond, CA William Stout

RolandsenUnn Målfrid H. Leisure and Power in Urban China 2011 New York Routledge

SolingerDorothy J. ‘Streets as Suspect’ Critical Asian Studies 2013 45 1 3 26

SzablewiczMarcella Therese A Space to Be Your (Virtual) Self – An Introduction to the World of Internet Gaming in the Urban Chinese 2004 Durham NC Duke University Asian Pacific Studies Institute Master Thesis

WangTricia ‘Slides/Notes for my sxsw talk on my research in China & some reflections about sxsw 2011 Retrieved 13 May 2015 from http://triciawang.com/updates/2011/3/21/slidesnotes-for-my-sxsw-talk-on-my-research-in-china-some-re.html

WatsonDiane BennetTonyWatsonDiane ‘“Home from Home”: The Pub and Everyday Life’ Understanding Everyday Life 2002 Oxford Blackwell 183 228

ZhangLin ‘Productive vs. Pathological: The Contested Space of Video Games in Post-Reform China (1980s-2012)’ International Journal of Communication 2013 7 2391 2411 Retrieved January 2014 from http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/2066

Figures

  • View in gallery
    The immediate vicinity of the internet café Xinyue Wangba.
  • View in gallery
    Over the course of one year, from 2013 to 2014, the name of this internet café in Shanghai changed from “Wangba” (Internet Bar 网吧) to “Wangka” (Internet Café 网咖).

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 45 45 30
Full Text Views 9 9 9
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0