In a move that sounds like something from a cyberpunk novel, China’s ruling Communist party have begun to use virtual reality (VR) to check on the loyalty of its members and see if they have what it takes to move up through the ranks.
According to official media in Beijing, members of the CPC in Qingyang Town, Binzhou City, in East China’s Shandong Province have been required to submit to loyalty tests conducted using VR technology.
The ‘Test of Dangxing’ or Test of Party Spirit, was taken by party members in Qingyang, who were required to wear VR headsets and enter a virtual room, where they were quizzed on a variety of subjects, including party theory, members’ daily lives and how they understood the ‘pioneering role’ of the party.
The test facility was installed in April 2018 at a local Party service centre, as a cost of 7,00,000 yuan, which is the equivilent of roughly $110,000 (USD).
The test is aimed at measuring certain essential qualities that a party member must have, such as loyalty to the CPC, willingness to contribute to the people and the Party and being a role model. Questions included things such as ‘Do you agree that if you are not corrupt you will be marginalised?’
Cai Zhiqiang, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing, told the Global Times that further data would be needed to confirm the reliability of the test results. “Dangxing tests should be used to find out how to enhance CPC members’ political quality and their capabilities to serve the people, and also how to promote local development.” Cai said.
The tests results are said to be used to determine which characteristics need to be improved upon, with members receiving consultations from experts of the party schools in Binzhou ad Qingyang who would provide guidance on how to improve.
Further news on new applications of VR technology around the world will be reported on here on VRFocus.