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World of Warcraft

WoW Classic and protests in Hong Kong - Azeroth is a place free of censorship

The Taiwanese server World of Warcraft Classic has become a place for the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan to communicate with each other, disregarding censorship. And they bring up uncomfortable topics, because related to politics and protests.

As reported by journalist Zheping Huang on Bloomberg, residents of two autonomies, Taiwan and Hong Kong, in Azeroth (the main location of the World of Warcraft game's storyline) can talk about politics without worrying about censorship. During the protests, now in their sixteenth week, Taiwan's game servers provide an independent channel of communication linking communities that may be isolated from each other on a daily basis by top-down restrictions on media access from different geographic parts. Here, citizens of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan can freely exchange views with each other, so there is no without conflict situations. But there is also solidarity.

On the Taiwanese WoW Classic server, Huang was said to have witnessed a brief slogan exchange between two other players:

- Liberate Hong Kong!

- The revolution of our time.

The hostile part of the community did not remain indifferent to the protests, and the other side responded with xenophobic slurs. The Taiwanese, however, acted as mediators and, addressing the Hong Kong people, urged them to direct their indignation towards the government and not the people of the People's Republic of China. A discussion ensued, with one player trying to encourage others to take part in protests on the streets of the city-state, others presenting an apolitical stance, and still others admitting that it was for freedom of speech that they chose the Taiwanese server.

Huang notes that what is particularly noteworthy about these conversations is their sincerity - participating in them does not give the impression of being attended by people paid by the government apparatus to spread propaganda. It only remains to be hoped that the hype surrounding the topic will not change this, and one way of upholding freedom of speech in China will be preserved.

Protests in Hong Kong

They began in June as a response to a bill allowing the extradition of citizens of autonomous Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. At one point, nearly two out of seven million residents took to the streets. Over time, police brutality and arrests became an issue. In September, the project was cancelled. However, the protest continues, focusing on opposition to the current administration, police violence and the release of those arrested.