Who else is ready for 2019 to be over?
Last month, a group of anonymous game developers in Hong Kong made headlines for their new game, Liberate Hong Kong. The title lets players take the role of a protester in Hong Kong’s still ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations.
“This game will give you an experience you can’t get from reading news or watching live on TV about the protests,” one developer told AFP.
Players can’t fight — they have to use well timed dodges and strategic thinking to evade the police. Now, a new game that is taking the opposite approach.
Everybody Hit the Traitors is a new title, which you can play here. When you open it, the first thing you see are the words “Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, No Tolerance for Outside Meddling!”
The game is remarkably simple, and we don’t really need to delve too deeply into the gameplay. It’s as the title suggests — pick a pro-democracy advocate, then use a hand, flip flop, or baseball bat to repeatedly click on and defeat the advocate and their slow-moving horde of henchmen protesters.
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One interesting point of note is that the entire game is laced with the message that US politicians are the real source of the discontent. In the opening visual, a white man is shown handing money to an older couple, who in turn give it out to the younger protesters, saying “Transportation, 1000! Shout slogans, 2000! Hit someone, 5000!”
The undertone is in line with the recurring Beijing accusation that the protests are being funded and instigated by the United States, leading some to believe that the game is a government-funded piece of propaganda. Indeed, a headline on the state-run Global Times reads “Game targeting Hong Kong ‘traitors’ popular on mainland social media”, while in reality, discussion of the game on mainland social media is limited.
Still, Everybody Hit the Traitors could also be the work of some overzealous programmers with free time on their hands. The government’s feelings toward Hong Kong’s protestors are shared by many mainland citizens, after all.
The game is objectively limited in scope, but a fun and diverse playing experience was probably never a priority.