A woman plays the same game on her smartphone in a theater.
A multiplayer, cyber-battling game is creating waves among young Chinese.
Bi Yalin, 22, stares at the screen of her mobile phone and stabs furiously at it with her fingers. She is completely engrossed in an online, multiplayer battle game.
Her on-screen incarnation is Donghuang Taiyi, an ancient Chinese god clad in traditional costume and portrayed as a handsome man sporting the lower body of a dragon.
"When I sit together with my classmates, we don't talk anymore, we just hold our mobile phones to play the game. I am so into it that I have little time for meals or homework," says Bi.
Bi is one of 200 million registered users of King of Glory, a wildly popular game developed by Chinese internet giant Tencent Inc.
As of June, Tencent's WeChat online social network platform boasted 963 million monthly active users. That dominance over Chinese social media helps the game attract players, who can easily use their WeChat accounts to do battle and win cyberspace glory.
The game has also become a new way of socializing for young Chinese.
"It's difficult to keep up with my Chinese classmates if they talk about the game and I have no idea what it's about. We have fewer things in common if I don't play it," says Bi, who went to the United Kingdom for a one-year exchange program last year and graduated from university in June.
"It really relieved my stress and loneliness abroad," she says. "We had to pull all-nighters to complete our large amounts of homework. We would play the game to help us rest and maintain a clear mind to continue writing our thesis."
Bi also played the game with her friends in China and that encouraged them to communicate more.