Piracy is a huge issue in China. Enterprising lawbreakers have loads of ways to make money off piracy, one of which is selling pirated DVDs of movies or games. So it always surprises me when I talk to purveyors of pirated video game hardware and software who tell me that they, the pirates, want to go legit.
This last Saturday, my good friend Frank received a new Xbox 360 from his girlfriend Chan. The 360 was an American import that Chan had laying around the apartment. Wanting to play games with his girlfriend, Frank suggested we get his system modded. Frank, a fixture in Beijing's tech industry, recommended that we hit up Beijing's historical Gulou district, a location that was once famous for its gray market game stores. Game consoles are banned in China, and the only way that gamers can purchase consoles such as the 360 or PS3 is through the gray market.