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Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese gamers are reenacting the riots on GTA V

By Kenneth Ang - on 27 Dec 2019, 10:46am

Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese gamers are reenacting the riots on GTA V

Image Source: Weibo

Usually, when people ask you to "take your fight elsewhere", they don't usually mean "take it onto an online game and continue fighting there". Case in point: Hong Kong and mainland Chinese Grand Theft Auto V players have been clashing repeatedly online, with the former dressing up as rioters and the latter as riot police.

The surge of animosity was reignited by the game's Diamond Casino Heist update, which saw the addition of yellow hard hats and gas masks to the game's repertoire of character accessories. Naturally, it didn't take long for someone to realise they could dress up as a Hong Kong protester. 

Following this "discovery" of sorts, players proceeded to share the list of required equipment on LIHKG –essentially Hong Kong's version of Reddit – and started to organise violent in-game campaigns, destroying train stations and police vehicles. Of course, there was no way the mainland Chinese gamers were going to take this political jab sitting down, and they responded in kind by dressing up as riot police, complete with water cannon trucks.

By the laws of common sense, when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, things can get really complicated. The rising tension exploded into numerous server-wide clashes, although the mainland Chinese faction eventually won through sheer strength of numbers. 

Anyway, GTA V isn't the first game that has been converted into a makeshift battleground for irate demonstrators. Among other things, there was a controversial Android game titled "Liberation of Our Times" that came out on the Play Store a while back, allowing people to play as a Hong Kong rioter, but it has since been removed by Google.