Barrage Culture: From a Chinese Internet Phenomenon to a Global Interactive Trend

Thursday, May 23, 2024

When you watch videos or binge-watch shows, do you usually enable the barrage comments to fill the screen with real-time feedback? In China, barrages have become an indispensable part of the video-watching experience. Without them, people feel like something essential is missing. Nowadays, the barrage has gradually evolved from a mere internet trend to a unique cultural form. This article will introduce you to this fascinating phenomenon!

Popularity of Barrages in China

In this digital age, barrages have transcended simple viewing habits and have become a distinctive new form of social interaction in contemporary Chinese society. Imagine, in thousands of households, viewers are no longer merely passively consuming video content but actively engaging in real-time communication with netizens from all over the country. They exchange views, joke around, and even collectively explore every subtle detail in videos through sending barrages. Moreover, barrages offer everyone the opportunity to participate in content creation, whether expressing opinions, sharing experiences, or making humorous comments. Such equal treatment deepens users' understanding of content and helps build a vibrant online 在线的 (zài xiàn de) platform.

在线的 (zài xiàn de), adjective, online

Examples:

  1. You can chat to other people who are online.
    你可以与其他在线的人聊天。
    nǐ ké yǐ yǔ qí tā zài xiàn de rén liáo tiān 。
  2. Online news is very important.
    在线的新闻是非常重要的。
    zài xiàn de xīn wén shì fēi chánɡ zhònɡ yào de 。 

This innovative mode of communication acts as a virtual living room, where everyone can feel the resonance and joy of 'watching together, chatting together.' It transforms the once solitary scene of quietly watching videos into a lively and inclusive online feast where everyone participates and thrives.

Why do Barrages remain popular in China?

Cultural Resonance

Barrages often contain various internet memes, catchphrases, and cultural references that can elicit hearty laughter or deep reflection. This not only fosters resonance among people but also makes videos视频(shì pín)more rich and engaging!

视频 (shì pín), noun, video

Examples:

  1. This video is very interesting.
    这个视频非常有趣。
    zhè ɡe shì pín fēi chánɡ yǒu qù 。
  2. The school made a short promotional video.
    学校录制了一个宣传视频。
    xué xiào lù zhì le yí ɡè xuān chuán shì pín 。 

Two common internet memes in China:

  • "一身班味" (yì shēn bān wèi)
    The term "classy with a touch of work" vividly summarizes the common daily life state of contemporary working individuals, such as a plain appearance, lack of mental focus, loose clothing, and occasional signs of fatigue in their eyes. This trending meme reflects young professionals' attempt to relieve work pressure through self-deprecation and communal resonance.
  • "偷感很重" (tōu ɡǎn hěn zhònɡ)
    Initially used to describe uncomfortable shapes akin to a thief's stealthy movements, it later extended to mean doing something discreetly without wanting others to know, causing significant pressure once discovered. It also pertains to behaviors that cannot withstand the scrutiny of others, such as secretly learning a skill or pulling off a major feat.

Adaptation to China's fast-paced life

The concise and distinctive language in barrages is quickly understood and resonated by many, without the need for lengthy explanations, making communication both fast and efficient. For fast-paced and efficiency-seeking Chinese people, this communication style is highly appealing, making it a significant reason for its enduring popularity.

Maintaining a harmonious viewing environment

As barrage culture continues to grow, a set of specific viewing and interaction rules has emerged, including refraining from spoilers and personal attacks in barrages. These rules act as safeguards, ensuring a friendly and harmonious barrage space, making viewers' experiences smooth and enjoyable while upholding China's harmonious online environment.

As Chinese internet culture spreads globally, the distinctive barrage feature has been adopted by international video platforms. For instance, YouTube has implemented similar barrage-like functions, allowing users worldwide to enjoy real-time interaction. This change represents not only a technical sharing but also a testament to the transmission of Chinese cultural characteristics worldwide, showcasing China's innovative prowess in the field of online culture and its broad global influence!"

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