Chinese web game Everyone Hit the Traitors targets Hong Kong protesters

Chinese web game Everyone Hit the Traitors targets Hong Kong protesters
Imogen Donovan Updated on by

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Everyone Hit the Traitors is a Chinese web game that lets the player attack and subdue Hong Kong protesters, including caricatures of prominent political activists (via Abacus News).

The game takes place on a street in Hong Kong, with shambling protesters wearing hard hats and masks. To begin, the player chooses a “traitor” to target and the level begins with a mass of protesters moving slowly from left to right. The player must prevent any of the shuffling protesters—termed “useless youth”—from crossing the barrier at the edge of the screen, and must take down the chosen “traitor”. There is an option to use physical attacks, or to use a flip flop or a baseball bat to inflict greater damage to the protestors. The “traitor” has a lot of health, and once defeated, an animation plays showing them being arrested by the Chinese authorities. A counter on the right tells the player how many Hong Kong activists they have arrested. 

The “traitors”—among them student activist Joshua Wong, entrepreneur Jimmy Lai, and former chief secretary Anson Chan—are portrayed as caricatures. Founder of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party Martin Lee is represented as a rat with a red, white, and blue striped tail in the game. In addition, the protesters are seen to be taking bribes from Western political figures which is a popular allegation from the Chinese government. Everyone Hit the Traitors title screen affirms this, showing the statement, “Hong Kong is part of China, and this can’t be meddled with by outside powers.” State-owned tabloid paper Global Times has reported that the game is doing the rounds on social media platforms WeChat, Weibo, and Zhihu.

This is not the first game to interact with the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, activists released Liberate Hong Kong, in which the player takes on the role of a protester to dodge rubber bullets, avoid tear gas canisters, and flee from the authorities. It was set to launch on Steam but Valve did not respond to the developers’ inquiry. Hearthstone pro Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai expressed his support for Hong Kong activists after the Grandmasters tournament, and Blizzard hit the player with a six month ban for his statements that “brings [him] into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

Blizzard apologised for its rash decision-making in the moment, but will not budge on its punishments for Blitzschung and the two casters who interviewed him. “Again, it's not about the content of Blitzchung's message. It's about the fact that it was not around the games,” said Blizzard president J. Allen Brack. “If we hadn't taken action, if we hadn't done something, you can imagine the trail that would be in our future around doing interviews.” Blizzard maintained that its Chinese stakeholders “had no influence on our decision,” but its employees disagreed.