For over a year now, many Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have been mobilized. During this very long movement, they were particularly inventive in order to thwart the repression of the pro-Chinese regime.
With the coronavirus pandemic, it is currently impossible to end up on the street to voice your demands, but activists have found a new way to communicate. They can now be seen in action in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. According to Jushua Wong, one of the leaders of the movement: "It is a place without political censorship, so it is an ideal place to continue our fight".
A means of communicating with less politicized citizens
Li, a student who participates in this online mobilization, also told Wired that it was a way to keep citizens from being forgotten. Millions of copies have been sold, so this is the game everyone is talking about. It also affects sections of the population that are not necessarily politically engaged, which allows access to a new audience.
Concretely, virtual demonstrators take over an island in the game. Their characters then display banners with anti-government messages. As noted Radio Canada, some actions are not without humor. We notably saw mini-games which consisted of beating fishing nets on photos of the chief executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam.
This is how #Hong Kong ppl spend our time during coronavirus lockdown – villain hitting in #animalcrossing, the villain is #CarrieLam, the worst governor in #Hong Kong history.#AnimalCrossingNewHorizons#StandWithHK pic.twitter.com/K5AbOTl9tD
– Studio Incendo (@studioincendo) April 1, 2020
The approach is also collaborative and activists can exchange their creations via QR codes. What best share these symbols and visuals very important for the movement.
In the camp opposite, some Chinese people also share Communist Party propaganda on Animal Crossing. The practice of game consoles is very strictly supervised in the country, but that obviously does not prevent the most convinced from falling between the cracks.