Coordinated via LIHKG, a Hong Kong forum in the vein of Reddit, members of the ‘Stand With Hong Kong’ crew buy yellow hard hats and gas masks to cause havoc on the streets of GTA V’s Los Santos.
As PCGamesN reports, players have been “trashing subway stations and throwing petrol bombs at police vehicles, mirroring the social disruption of the riots in Hong Kong and resulting conflict between citizens and the states.”
Mainland players reacted by dressing as riot police and rolling out water cannon trucks.
The two sides ended up in an “epic” fight in the game, according to social media discussions on Weibo. The mainland gamers won as they had more players on their side.
As discussed on Weibo, a major showdown involving railguns ensued, with mainland gamers outnumbering the protesters and winning.
GTA V has not been approved by the official Chinese authorities as it features drugs, violence, and sexual content. It can still be downloaded from Steam unofficially.
This is not the first time video games have been used as a venue for anti-China sentiment over Hong Kong independence. On October 5, Blizzard removed Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai from its Grandmasters esports competition and banned him from participating any Hearthstone esports event. The decision was made following Blitzchung’s statement in support of Hong Kong’s independence from China. The fan community protested banning Blitzchung over his pro-Hong Kong stance.