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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

Gaming: a new approach to spread pro-democracy movement in China

Photo by Florian Olivo | Unsplash

Players of GTA V from Hong Kong and mainland China clash on GTA V. According to a BBC report, "They (Players in Hong Kong) spread the word on LIHKG - which has been called the Hong Kong version of social news site Reddit - and started organizing violent expeditions.

Though mainland players, in general, responded by showing up dressed as riot police with water cannon trucks, it did provide a way to show mainland gamers the protesting scenes in the real world. The popular phrases and slogans used by Hong Kong protesters were also shown in the game. For example, "On LIHKG, players were telling each other how to buy a set of clothing they have nicknamed 'Glory to Hong Kong' and to join a 'crew' called 'Stand With Hong Kong'."

The Chinese authorities banned the GTA V as it contains drugs, violence, and scenes of a sexual nature, but the game can be downloaded by the mainland China gamers on the Steam gaming store and accessed through a number of other loopholes.

The game not only allowed people to "experience" the protests without leaving their home, but also provided one creative approach to elevate the pro-democracy movement to a "sublime" stage, after "bewater." And there is a possibile that mainland gamers will be inspired by the pro-democracy demonstrations in the game.

Other gaming developers can consider similar ways, such as build-in some cloth/sign/equipment, to spread the democratic information banned in China, which will probably awaken Chinese people's awareness of democratization.


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