Grand Theft Protest: Hong Kongers and Chinese Gamers Battle Online


Grand Theft Auto’s hugely popular online multiplayer game has ended up being the latest venue for Hong Kong pro-democracy fans and Chinese nationalists to wage their ideological battles, with demonstrations now breaking out in the virtual world. Over the last fortnight message boards and social networks platforms utilized by players have actually filled with videos and chatter of the virtual clashes too insults and recriminations on both sides of the ideological divide.

GTA Online is an open-world video game that enables lots of gamers to explore and battle each other through the streets of a vast, imaginary American city.

After a recent expansion pack was launched earlier this month, gamers in Hong Kong observed they could now dress their avatars in the clothing of their movement, which is promoting greater democratic freedoms and authorities responsibility.

They put on black clothes, gas masks and yellow helmets and went about tossing fuel bombs, trashing train stations and assaulting authorities– a virtual re-enactment of the demonstrations that have upended the monetary center.

Their antics soon caught the attention of gamers in mainland China, who consequently dressed their characters up as police and fought the Hong Kongers.

In a video clip published on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform on Monday, gamers posted footage of the battle entitled: “Compilation of players slaughtering cockroaches.”

Cockroach is a term routinely utilized by Hong Kong’s authorities and government supporters to describe protesters.

The video had more than 175,000 views by Tuesday afternoon.

” Our self-respect can’t be trampled,” one message on the video read. “As a Chinese player … we must combat!”

But in an illustration of the censorship individuals in China face, the creators of the video blurred out some of the pro-democracy slogans composed by Hong Kong players.

Semi-autonomous Hong Kong has been shaken for six months by progressively violent pro-democracy protests.

They were at first stimulated by a now-abandoned attempt to permit extraditions to the authoritarian mainland but have since changed into a popular revolt versus Beijing’s guideline, with spiralling fears that the city is losing some of its distinct liberties.

China has actually tossed its weight behind the city’s undesirable authorities and dismissed the huge rallies.

Amongst the demands being made by protesters is a query into the police, an amnesty for the more than 6,000 people jailed and the right to elect Hong Kong’s leader.

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