Recent clashes between Hong Kong and mainland China may have subsided temporarily, but it’s now being played out in a virtual videogame world.
And while life goes on for these two countries, data HK still continues with lottery results for the hopeful. Thankfully, the economy of HK was unaffected by the playing out of roles in the virtual world and all the participants were unharmed.
GTA V, or Grand Theft Auto V is a sandbox-type of game where players can do anything they like. HK players found out that they could dress up their avatars in protester’s clothing, e.g., yellow safety helmets, gas masks and black clothing, which they shared on discussion forum and social media platform LIHKG.
HK players then began vandalizing train stations, throwing petrol bombs and attacking police. Those from mainland China noticed the actions and called upon reinforcements via Weibo, a popular social media platform that’s similar to Twitter. HK players uploaded photos of their avatar in battle gear with captions that say ‘Ready!’.
Intense battles broke out simultaneously, with the protesters armed with petrol bombs and the mainland players with tear gas and water cannons. In the end, mainland gamers overwhelmed the HK people using sheer force.
Anti-government protests have spread across HK for the last 6 months, with anger and violence constantly erupting from both sides. It started when China introduced a bill that extradites people to mainland China for their trial. The bill has long been rescinded but not without strife and civil unrest in its wake.
Grand Theft Auto by Rockstar Games launched in 1997, and GTA V is the latest title in the series. It has sold 120-plus million copies since being released in 2013 and has had controversial backgrounds. Media company CNN has tried to reach the company to get comments on the recent virtual clash, but Rockstar Games is yet to respond.