520 Netbar, Beijing
Reporting from an up-scale netbar (520数码天地) in Chaoyang, Beijing.
Here, seats are grouped into single-computer cocoons & round-table group-play canopies on top of the usual cluster-rows. The Saturday-afternoon clientele includes expatriate youth.
Below are the top 10 shows watched, all free once you pay the hourly computer usage fee:
They are, in order:
- a wuxia serial (Taiwan)
- a wuxia serial (Mainland), see this post about it being mocked on BBSs.
- cgi shorts (N.Amer)
- a gangster movie (HK)
- sanguo Flash shorts (Taiwan)
- an occult movie (HK)
- a sci-fi 美女 movie (HK)
- an action movie (N.Amer)
- a sci-fi action movie (N.Amer)
- a gangster comedy (I’m guessing here) movie (HK)
They are thumbnailed, in order:
What surprised me most was that people were still watching Replacement Killers, Chow Yun Fat’s (80s HK movie star) first foray into Hollywood during 1998. After all, there are better guns movies (his older HK-based ones), and, despite the leggy poster, there are “leggier” movies (the movies on its left and right may be candidates for that category). So why is it still so popular?
2 comments on “520 Netbar, Beijing”
Jason — great stuff! Is the information you highlight above–the top movies–available to everyone at the netbar so that users know what everyone else is watching in real-time?
I forgot to check what time period it refers to, but it is on the netbar’s start page for “free TV” or something like that 🙂